Salted caramel pretzel rocky road

This is such an easy, no-bake treat, using mostly ingredients lying around. A real crowd-pleaser, it is packed with goodies such as chocolate pretzels, salted caramel, Kirsch-soaked cherries and the like: very rich (and rightly so!) but moreish.

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I made this take on rocky road with ingredients that were lying around the kitchen and needed using up: marshmallows, sultanas, pieces of chocolate from various bars (I know, it is a miracle I hadn’t snaffled them for myself long ago!).

I also added sour cherries from a jar in my kitchen with cherries that are permanently soaking in Kirsch, as well as a few sultanas: you do need some squidyness in a rocky road, I think, and these fit the bill perfectly.

Pretzels? In a Rocky Road?

I love mini pretzels and they are great for this as they are very crunchy with a nice salty kick: just perfect with the chocolate. These made up what would normally be the biscuit component of a rocky road.

The pretzels I used were the ones with a caramel sauce/toffee covering them, but I have made this with ordinary snacking salted pretzels.

I have also made this rocky road more traditionally with biscuits such as digestive, rich tea or shortbread, along with a few tablespoons of salted caramel sauce. In fact, whenever I make biscuits I keep the baked trimmings and left-overs in an airtight container for treats such as these.

The joy of salted caramel

These particular pretzels had a generous amount of salted caramel toffee on them but I have made these previously with chunks of frozen salted caramel: just freeze some salted caramel sauce in a shallow container (it will go firm but not solid) and chop it up into small chunks before mixing into the cooled mixture.

These chunks will melt as the rocky road sets so as as you bite into it you get little pockets of salted caramel sauce oozing out. Quite fabulous!

Salted caramel pretzel rocky road: makes about 40 small pieces

For the rocky road mixture:

  • 300g salted caramel pretzels, or any salted pretzels, roughly crushed (or 240g shortbread biscuits & 60g frozen* salted caramel sauce)
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • 50g milk chocolate
  • 120g unsalted butter
  • 150g golden syrup
  • 50g chopped toasted nuts (any variety)
  • 50g sultanas
  • 100g macerated sour cherries (often come in a jar of Kirsch), chopped or torn
  • 60g marshmallows: mini are ideal

*when frozen, the salted caramel won’t go firm, just more thickly toffee-like

To finish:

  • 80g melted dark chocolate
  • 80g melted white chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable or groundnut oil

(1) Line a shallow rectangular tin (about 30cm by 20cm) with clingfilm, allowing the clingfilm to hang over the sides.

(2) Put the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted. Leave to cool, but not set.

(3) Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the pretzels, nuts, cherries and marshmallows. If using frozen salted caramel, spoon amounts of it into the mixture and very lightly mix it through, trying to keep bits of the caramel intact rather than have it blend into the mixture.

(4) Spoon the mixture into the tin and flatten the surface. Chill while you prepare the chocolate topping.

(5) To finish, melt the dark and white chocolate separately. Add a teaspoon of oil to each batch of chocolate: this prevents the chocolate from setting so firm that it shatters when you cut through it.

(6) Pour the dark and white chocolate over the top and gently spread with a palette knife to give a marbled effect. Chill for several hours until set.

(7) Carefully lift the set mixture out of the tin, using the clingfilm overhang to help. Remove the clingfilm and cut the cake into squares or small rectangles with a long sharp knife dipped in hot water for clean cuts. I like to trim the edges first: for totally selfish reasons as the trimming are great for me to snack on!

Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

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