Every Christmas I make almond roca, a tradition I've inherited from my Canadian cousins. It’s like a massive Daim bar only nicer. One year Sarah made me a batch and George, who doesn't really have a sweet tooth, exclaimed "Να τρώει η μάνα και του παιδιού να μη δίνει - to have a mother eat and not give her child", which is Greek for "bloody hell, this tastes nice". If something is so tasty a Greek mother isn't trying to make you eat a family sized portion of it, it's a recipe worth sharing:
200g flaked almonds
250g caster sugar
3 tablespoons of water
- Toast the flaked almonds lightly and set them to one side.
- Spread a length of tin foil along a bench ready for when you pour the boiled toffee onto it
- Heat the water, sugar and butter over a medium high heat for ten minutes, stirring continuously.
- Once the mixture has turned a little transparent and the colour of milk chocolate, mix in the almonds and spread it out on the foil with a palette knife. Work quickly because the toffee is still cooking. You need to catch the mixture just before it starts smoking and turns a dark brown.
|Not yet. Not yet. Now!|
- I can’t stress this enough – be very careful not to stick your mitt into the toffee, it’s at about 160 degrees C and hurts like hell if it burns you, as I learned to my cost last Christmas.
- The almond roca will set in a few minutes. Pat off any excess butter with kitchen roll and smooth on some melted chocolate.
- Once the chocolate has set, break it roughly into pieces.
- Pop it into some cellophane bags, tie with ribbon and distribute it to friends and family, cleverly disguising the fact you’ve not actually done any Christmas shopping.