White Christmas Rocky Road is a treat my friend Nicola makes when she celebrates Christmas at her home in Sydney, Australia. A delicious mixture of toasted coconut, macadamia nuts, cranberries and marshmallow in creamy white chocolate. This year she is in the UK and has made a batch for me. It's very naughty but very nice too!I usually go to my friend's kitchens to shoot the pictures for Friends in the Kitchen but this time Nicola made her White Christmas Rocky Road in my kitchen. Nicola and I studied Home Economics together at Polytechnic back in the day. Partnered together in the kitchen on the first day because in alphabetical order our surnames were next to each other, we have been friends ever since. Even though our paths since those days have quite literally taken us in very different directions!
After studying Nicola went travelling and met a young, tall, handsome Australian who was to become her husband Tony. After a few years together in the UK, they moved to Sydney where they still live together with her two daughters Harriet and Eliza. I have been lucky enough to stay with them in Sydney a couple of times over the years and she comes back to England reasonably frequently to visit her family. Although sadly, as a result of her living so far away, sometimes we do not see for several years at a time. Luckily we are the sort of friends that, whether it is a matter of months since we saw each other or a few years, we just instantly pick up where we left off as if it was yesterday.
This last week she has been staying with me and we have been having the best of times. Catching up on each others news, and doing a few touristy things that as a Londoner I seldom get to do. Inevitably, we have also found ourselves cooking together.
I asked her to make something she would make at Christmas at home in Australia and so she made this White Christmas Rocky Road. Nicola explained that White Christmas was a confectionary that, when she first tasted it, was made with a white fat called Copha (a brand of hydrogenated coconut oil). Although it tasted fine somehow it didn't fully appeal and she didn't make it. A few years later she started to see recipes for White Christmas made with white chocolate and although more of a fan of dark chocolate herself, she started to make it. Over time it has become a traditional part of her own Christmas and is a particular favourite with her daughter Eliza. White Christmas usually contains toasted coconut some candied or dried fruit and crispy rice cereal (called rice bubbles over there). Her version has now become almost an amalgamation of White Christmas and Rocky Road, as she likes to add marshmallows and toasted macadamia nuts.
I did wonder if it would altogether be a bit too sweet for me and, whilst there's no denying it is sweet, I love the crunch of the toasted macadamias and the flavour of the coconut. For the dried fruit we added cranberries as they seem the most festive and are less sweet than some other dried fruits, I think they add a good flavour. Dried sour cherries would also work well. Giving how when the boys arrived home they tucked in, I'm pretty sure we will be making this again. Who knows maybe it will become a regular Festive treat for us too, I certainly fancy trying it with rice crispies (bubbles) in it.
Nicola's White Christmas Rocky Road
- 100 g macadamia nuts roughly chopped
- 50 g desiccated coconut
- 450 g white chocolate broken into small pieces
- 75 g dried cranberries
- 100 g mini marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 180℃ (170℃ fan)/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a 20cm (8in square cake tin with baking parchment. Spread the chopped macadamia nuts out on one of the baking trays and the coconut on another. Toast in the oven for about 4-6 minutes until golden. Don't put them on the same tray as the coconut may toast a bit quicker.
- Meanwhile, place the chocolate broken into small pieces in a large bowl and place of a pan of hot water. Heat gently stirring until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the pan and wipe the base of the bowl dry.
- Allow to cool slightly then stir in the toasted nuts and coconut, cranberries and marshmallows until well coated in the melted chocolate.
- Tip into the prepared tin and spread level. Chill for 2 hours or until required.Serve cut into small squares.
At home, Nicola measures in cups but I have given metric measurements for my readers, however, as with all my recipes, you can toggle the ingredient list between metric and cups depending on your preferred method of measuring. When it comes to baking, I recommend weighing as it tends to be more accurate.