DSC04704cropsmallWhen I was a child my Mother made a concoction of teabiscuits and chocolate which were called in our family ‘ Alistair’s cakes’ because a cousin of that name loved them. My brother who pops into my blog demanded of me why I didn’t make them and write about them here. I refuse to. It’s family confession time. I hated them. I never had the courage to confess that to my Mother. Dark chocolate was not readily available then for baking and it was prohibitively expensive so therefore not used. Wanton extravagance don’t you know. A concoction of eggs and cocoa powder or drinking chocolate was made instead. Tea biscuits were broken and added. Marshmallows and syrup were meant to go into the mix but my Mother didn’t like them. Gave her the heartburn and so were excluded. The whole confection was covered in melted chocolate flavoured ‘Scotbloc’ then cut into squares. When I first saw Nigella Lawson’s Rocky Roads, it occurred to me they were much the same but much richer and used chocolate. Lots of it. I was intrigued. A comparison had to be made. Trust me there is no comparison. These are a delight. I recommend if you have never made them you must. So easy and a mouthful of sheer heaven. With apologies to my Mother.

Rocky Road Crunch Bars


125g/4½oz soft unsalted butter
300g/10½oz best-quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
3 tbsp golden syrup
200g/7¼oz rich tea biscuits
100g/3½oz mini marshmallows
2 tsp icing sugar, to dust


1. Heat the butter, chocolate and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan over a gentle heat. Remove from the heat, scoop out about 125ml/4½fl oz of the melted mixture and set aside in a bowl.
2. Place the biscuits into a plastic freezer bag and crush them with a rolling pin until some have turned to crumbs but there are still pieces of biscuit remaining.
3. Fold the biscuit pieces and crumbs into the melted chocolate mixture in the saucepan, then add the marshmallows.
4. Tip the mixture into a 24cm/9in square baking tin and smooth the top with a wet spatula.
5. Pour over the reserved 125ml/4½fl oz of the melted chocolate mixture and smooth the top with a wet spatula.
5. Refrigerate for about two hours or overnight.
6. To serve, cut into 24 fingers and dust with icing sugar.


If you line the baking tin with baking parchment leaving an overhang, you can lift the whole slab out making it so much easier to cut.

Oh and I forgot to reserve some of the chocolate mix to spread on the top. Didn’t make a whit of difference. One chore less.



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