According to Irish mythology, somewhere down Ireland’s cobbled lanes or over the rolling green hills, leprechaun’s gold is hidden in a pot at the end of the rainbow. If the little men in green were also stockpiling candy along with their treasure, it might look like this Rainbow’s End Rocky Road, a scrumptious cobblestone confection of marshmallows, chocolate, peanuts, and what might be tiny bits of that magical rainbow.
I have documented my misery over countless failed attempts at chocolate tempering, a heating-cooling-heating process that keeps chocolate shiny at room temperature. Without tempering, cookies that appeared beautifully enrobed in chocolate one day, will be blooming with white snowflakes and cloudiness the next. It’s not harmful, just ugly.
I adapted this Rocky Road recipe from “The Great Book of Chocolate” by David Lebovitz, the American- Parisian chocolate guru. The simple recipe can be prepared quickly with time saving ingredients (packaged marshmallows and chocolate melts) or with a more time consuming preparation involving making the marshmallows from scratch and tempering the chocolate. I love homemade marshmallows, but was short on time, so I chose a compromise. I used store bought mini-marshmallows, but tempered the chocolate. After so many tempering failures in the past, I was still not ready to give up completely. This time, following David’s detailed directions, with patience and accuracy, I was able to temper melted chocolate so that it remained shiny brown. I did my own version of an end zone happy dance!
Now that I am no longer temper challenged, the question is, would I do it again? Maybe for a very special dessert for a very special occasion, it would be worth the effort and worry. Plus, it takes time. I am rather proud of my long awaited tempering success. (Thank you, Mr. Lebovitz.) But for everything else, I am sticking with the Chocoley.com compound melting chocolate that I have used for many recipes, like Kiss Cookies and Chocolate Covered Oreos. With compound chocolate, no tempering is required, and you still get a rich, creamy chocolate flavor and a lustrous shine.
Your choice of colored sprinkles make Rainbow’s End Rocky Road a festive treat any time of year. With rainbow bits or green nonpareils it is perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day care package, as long as the weather is cold. Melting was definitely not a concern with the box I sent to Chicago. However, Rocky Road candy in the military care package to Afghanistan, is a little more questionable at this time of year. If worse comes to worse, we will call it marshmallow soup, and Soldier B. can eat it with a spoon.
- 10 ounce package mini marshmallows
- 1 ¼ pounds semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 2 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts
- Optional: 2-3 tablespoons sprinkles (rainbow chips or nonpareils)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- To temper chocolate: Put 16 ounces of the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stirring continually, until all of the chocolate is melted, then remove the bowl from the water.
- Stir in the remaining chopped chocolate. Allow the chocolate to stand, stirring occasionally, until the temperature drops to the low 80 degree range.
- Place the bowl back over the simmering water for 3-5 seconds, then stir. Repeat the 3-5 second bursts of heating and stirring until the temperature just reaches between 88 and 91 degrees F. If the temperature is allowed to go higher, the tempering process will have to be repeated.
- Immediately add the marshmallows and peanuts. Toss to coat.
- Spread the mixture on to baking sheet in a rough rectangle shape, about 1 ½” – 2” thick.
- Optional: Sprinkle with rainbow chips or nonpareils.
- Chill until firm (about 15 minutes), then cut into chunks.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Add to the celebration with these delectable St. Patrick’s Day treats! Click the photo for the recipe.