Traditional chocolate rocks, known as “vrachakia”, hold a nostalgic kind of allure. Nuts wrapped in chocolate are the epitome of finding delight within simplicity.
Two basic ingredients, melted chocolate and our beloved nuts, give out a result that can stand the test of time in our preferences. Those of us who grew up in the 80s think of chocolate rocks as the ultimate sweet, especially around the Christmas holidays.
My mother used bitter chocolate, you know, the one in the blue wrapper, and she’d add only roasted almonds. Maybe because during the pre-Christmas period she would fuss around a lot with almonds because of the kourambie batches, it was really easy for her to prepare another batch of sweets, just with almond and chocolate. As a matter of fact, she used to wrap every rock in small pieces of tin foil, to keep it fresh.
In this recipe, I “messed” a little with the classic rocks but I think that was… good for them. The salt brought out the sweetness of the chocolate and the orange zest gave a very pleasant aftertaste. You may stay faithful to the old, classic recipe or choose to make your own modifications, depending on what you like, You may add raisins, cranberries or chopped dry fruit. You may also make more than one version, with different flavours. Don’t think it’ll take up more than half an hour of your time !
INGREDIENTS (for 35-40 rocks)
- 400g couverture
- 300g hazelnuts or raw almonds (you may use a single type or any other nut you like such as pecan)
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil or seed oil
- 1 pinch of salt
- zest from half an orange
Pour the nuts on a non-stick pan, pour a little salt and roast them for a while. Let them cool off.
In bain-marie, melt the couverture. Place a small pot with a little water over heat, and on top of it place a glass or metal bowl that doesn’t touch the water inside the pot.
Chop up the couverture into little pieces, add olive oil and orange zest and mix carefully until it melts completely and you get a smooth mix.
Take the bowl out of the pot and add in the nuts. Stir well, until the very last piece has been covered in chocolate.
Spread a piece of baking sheet on your kitchen counter and with two spoons, make your sweets.
With a spoon, grab 5-7 nuts and place them on the power, leaving them in the irregular shape that characterises this small delight.
Let them cool off properly, at least for a couple of hours, and keep them in a glass bowl or metal box.