Sunday, 28 July 2013

Summer Rocky Road (white chocolate, apricot, sour cherry, salted pistachio and marigold)

Week 2 of no oven in the Dickson house....things are taking their toll....NO BAKING!

I was prepared this morning to bake a cake, I found a recipe to adapt, was just about to line a tin and preheat the oven when, wait, what oven? 
You might have seen my post on instagram about the new oven arrival and how there shall now be no more BBQs and cakes galore! And it doesn't fit.
.....But it's terrible, I can not survive another day without cake! Fine, soon it'll be fixed, hopefully in time for my Mum's Birthday next month (7th) ! 

So how's this summery? Well rocky road reminds me of Christmas and edible homemade biscuits, cookies and fudge wrapped in tissue paper in little boxes eaten within a day, sat around an open fire with family and the smell of a spiced cinnamon in the air..... I CAN'T WAIT FOR CHRISTMAS (149 days to go!)
So for this I replaced dark chocolate with white and added dried apricots and sour cherry, more summery fruits and oaty biscuits for a different texture to digestives. I did want to add amaretti biscuits and Turkish delight but I only got back from Scotland yesterday so the cupboards are bare. My Mum thought that adding turkish delight might make it too sweet as white chocolate is very sweet so I didn't add it and added a few salted pistachio nuts for the salty sweet combo instead. 
secondly I also thought that some marigold petals (which are edible don't worry!) because they don't really add a taste but look very pretty, if you're going to add them though make sure you eat the rocky road within two days or they'll wilt.

And thirdly a word of warning.....melting white chocolate is the bane of my life!, it always seems to go gritty when I use a bain marie, this is because white chocolate has a lower melting point than other chocolates so it seizes sooner. Another thing about white chocolate (I know it sounds awkward to cook with but lets be honest it tastes beautiful) is that it can hold it's shape really well so take it from the bain marie just before it looks completely melted and the outside of the chocolate is just a little soft. If the chocolate does go gritty in the end it probably won't affect the taste too much, just the texture so it'll still taste like delicious!

Just realised I haven't told you guys about my holiday! So the week after Paris and the green tea ice-cream I went on my bronze D of E expedition in the lakes, we had to walk with 60 litre rucksacks in about 30 oC heat. It was boiling. I'm not going to say horrible because I enjoyed it, but two members of our team got mild heat exhaustion.
So I got back on Thursday night from that and on Friday I broke up for my summer holidays at 2 O'clock before rushing home, packing and at 3 O'clock driving to Montrose for the Dickson family holiday with all my Aunts and Uncles on my Dad's side. There were 22 of us all together and we stayed in a castle on a remote Scottish estate surrounded by mist on most days! It looked like something from 'the hound of the baskervilles'. This weather didn't dampen our spirits (we are from Scottish descent after all!) and we went swimming in the sea twice, built a tide defence, played capture the flag in pitch black on the estate, did a high wire adventure course, watched monsters university (I can highly recommend it!, and my brilliant aunts kathy and Helen wrote a murder mystery for us to dress up and solve on the last night! I was the cook and luckily not the murderer! It was a great game to play and really well written (probably because Kathy writes books!).

 There was looads of cooking too, it was like a military operation to get breakfast, lunch, tea and pudding plus snacks, we all LOVE our food! It was an amazing holiday and I missed them all after less than 24 hours! 
Here's a picture of me and all my cousins (excluding one who is in Japan working!) 

we usually behave more like this.....

Anyhoooo I better give you guys the recipe, thanks for being patient! 

Summer Rocky Road(makes 16 squares)

you will need-
  • 200 grams of white chocolate
  • 150 grams of sour cherries and dried apricots 
  • 100 millilitres of orange juice
  • 60 grams of soft butter
  • 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
  • 100 grams of oaty biscuits (I used choc chip hobnobs) 
  • 35 grams of salted and 35 grams of unsalted pistachios
to decorate-
  • 25 grams of white chocolate
  • 2 marigold flowers

  1. don't preheat the oven! line a 8 inch square tin
  2. bring a pan of water water to the boil, break up the white chocolate into a heat- proof bowl (not the decoration chocolate), if you use a bigger pan and a bigger bowl the chocolate will melt at an even rate. bring the water to a simmer and set the bowl on the top.
  3. while the white chocolate is melting (keep an eye on it remember, read above about seizing) put the dried fruit and orange juice into a pan over the heat, boil until most of the juice has been absorbed by the fruit, drain any remaining juice off and set aside to cool
  4. add the butter and syrup to the almost melted chocolate, turn off the heat and stir until everything is melted and combined
  5. roughly chop the nuts, put the biscuits is a bag and smash into chunky chunks with a rolling pin (I LOVE THAT BIT), add to the mixture along with the dried fruit and stir
  6. pour into the tin and put in the fridge for about 2 hours (until solid)
  7. take the petals off the marigold flower heads, wash in water and dab dry with kitchen towel, melt the white chocolate in a bain marie again. scatter over half the petals, then drizzle some chocolate, then scatter the petals again and finally drizzle with chocolate
  8. eat!

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