Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Almond Roca (sugar-free, honey-sweetened)

Ever since the holidays we have been enjoying little bites of almond roca for an occasional sweet treat.  This candy is very easy to make.  Simple directions and a short list of ingredients make for an elegant dessert with a crunch.  I make it plain, but you can melt chocolate and drizzle it on top for a more decadent version.

When I use them, I soak raw nuts and seeds in a salty brine for a day, then dehydrate them a low temperature to improve digestibility.  The soaking removes enzyme inhibitors, which interfere with your body's ability to utilize the enzymes present in these raw morsels.  Then the dehydrating returns them to their crispy state, but doesn't kill the enzymes that are now available for absorption in the body.  It is still better to soak nuts and seeds even if you plan to roast them.  The enzymes will die, but at least the enzyme inhibitors are neutralized.

Almond Roca

1 1/2 cups butter
1 cup honey
1 cup chopped almonds

1. Melt butter gently in a saucepan.  Add honey while the butter melts, stirring constantly until nicely combined.  

2. Using a candy thermometer, heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches the "soft-crack stage" or the "hard-crack stage".  Use "soft-crack" for a softer candy that bends, but then cracks into pieces when broken apart.  Use "hard-crack" for a harder candy that is stiff, and doesn't bend when broken into pieces.
3. After the mixture reaches the desired temperature, stir in the chopped almonds until combined.  Then immediately spread onto a jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper, or that has been buttered to cool.  Let cool for 45 minutes or so.  Transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely.
 4.  When you put your hand on the candy and cannot feel any more heat radiating from it, remove from the refrigerator to break into pieces.  Remove the pan and paper.  Break into any size you like.

5.  You can store the candy at room temperature, but it does get a bit sticky and the pieces hold on to each other.  I kept ours in the fridge until they were mostly gone, then started keeping the remainder in the cupboard.  Either way I prefer to eat them at room temperature, so if you store in the refrigerator, remove about 20 minutes before you want to eat it.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.


Lani said...

I defninitely need to try that, thanks!

Stella said...

I don't know why I never knew it had SO MUCH BUTTER. Must be why I like it!

DeDe said...

Go, K!!! I was missing my toffee. This might be the best substitution ever!! Thanks