When I was a child, Mum would occasionally make Rocky Road. This was always a delightfully sticky mess where by a process of heating and mixing with other things, “Cooking chocolate” was magically transformed into something delicious and special.
When made, the Rocky Road was placed in an old, cleaned, ice-cream container in the fridge to be served up if we kids were good, or if it was a special occasion. There was usually quite a lot, in an ice-cream container so I used to sneak in and break lumps off to eat. Surely nobody would ever notice if a little disappeared? Sorry Mum…. Secret is out now. Of course, Mums are not as stupid as children think. Of course she knew.
Anyhow, during recent visits to Bracegirdles and Woolworths, a couple of Rocky Road products leapt out and reminded me of childhood. I figured it is probably best to do a taste-off: to compare with each other, and to compare with my memory of Mums Rocky Road made about 5000 years ago.
A hunk of Bracegirdles Rocky Road is about 100g, and will set you back $5. The chocolate is some unspecified Belgian milk variety, and is quite sweet. Running down the ingredients list, there are also dried apricots, roasted almonds, marshmallows and raspberry lollies.
The one I don’t remember from way back when is the dried apricots, but I think it’s a nice touch. The overall result is SWEETNESS, with lots of milk chocolate, the gooiness of the marshmallows, and the nuts give a pleasant crunch. The dried apricots don’t really stand out but contribute to the texture and that huge hit of sugar. Mercifully, there don’t seem to be a lot of the raspberry lollies – things which I think are somewhat overrated.
As far as a Rocky Road goes, it’s pretty good. Very sweet. But that’s how they are meant to be. It compares well with the memories of the perfection that Mum used to make when I was about 8.
Grans (The Block)
The makers aren’t kidding when they label this “the block”: It is a huge great slab of what is actually a fudge, coated in milk chocolate.
Apart from the milk chocolate, there is not really a great deal of resemblance to a real Rocky Road. The fudge centre contains sugar, condensed milk, glucose syrup, maltodextrin, vegetable fat, butter, roasted peanuts, desiccated coconut, and compound white chocolate. That makes for a lot of sugar.
For those with a sweet tooth, this is very pleasant eating: the chocolate is nothing special either good or bad, the fudge centre is very sweet but quite pleasant. I struggled, though, to find any of the peanuts or coconut in the fudge. I even resorted to breaking a piece up into quite small bits to try and find the elusive pieces of white and pink shown on the box, without success.
So: very sweet, quite pleasant, but is it Rocky Road? Nah – don’t think so.