If you are from this area you most likely know Almond Roca but if you are out of state or even out of country you might have never heard of this candy. Its a Butter Toffee Almond candy made right here in Seattle (well Tacoma ;-)), wrapped in gold foil and sold in round pink metal tins. I think its considered a specialty/delicatessen because it always shows up in the fancy gift packages I used to get from business partners for Christmas.
I was introduced to Almond Roca many years ago, when I received Almond Roca as a wedding favor when my friends Laura and Mark got married. I think I opened the little treat right there since I can eat anything chocolate covered at any time of the day or at any occasion. Oh my was I in for a treat – this Almond Roca stuff was delicious; I had to have the recipe! So I asked the bride and was I disappointed when I learned that this delicious wedding favor recipe is a family secret. I think I was so intimidated that I didn’t even try to find a recipe online and went on for years to buy tins and tins of Almond Roca in the store to satisfy my craving for it.
Over time I would still buy Almond Roca here and there but almost completely forgot about them when just recently I run across a Toffee recipe which reminded me of Laura’s mum’s Almond Roca and I gave it a try to make my own. I bought a little 4 pack of the original Almond Roca for a real-time taste test and after the 3rd try I had sweetness, ratio of Almonds to butter and chocolate as well as “crunchiness” down. I am not sure if it tastes exactly as Laura’s mums Almond Roca, but I want to say it must be pretty close because its darn tasty.
Most of the recipes say to cook the toffee to a temperature between 290 and 310 degrees; that did not work out for me, the toffee came out way to soft. I got the right consistency at 330 degrees. I guess it really depends on where you live and how humid it is. I also have to cook my caramels at a much higher temperature than what all the recipes suggest. The best way to go about it is to watch the toffee closely and when it reaches a dark amber color you have the right consistency for the toffee to be crunchy but not as hard as Werthers Echte Toffee candy. The other suggestion I have is to use a very very heavy bottomed pot – I cook all my candy in a Le Creuset and have never ever burned any of my sugar, caramel or toffee. I would not attempt to make these ultra hot cooking liquids in a regular pot.
Given that Christmas giving time is over, I would still bookmark this recipe for next year, as this Toffee makes for a great food gift!
Enjoy making Almond Roca!
- 3 sticks butter
- 1,5 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups chopped almonds (I use the thin almond slices and pulse them 1 – 2 times in the food processor – you don’t want almond flour so don’t pulse too much, it should still be chunky).
- 1 bag (12 ounces) of really good semi sweet chocolate morsels
- Bring the butter, sugar and water to a boil on medium heat. Let the mixture boil until it reaches a dark amber color, approximately 20-30 minutes. If you have a candy thermometer your liquid should reach the amber color between 310 and 330 degrees.
- Take the pot off the stove and mix in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1,5 cups of the chopped almonds.
- Pour the mixture onto a small greased cookie sheet (with edges) and spread out into all 4 corners.
- Pour the chocolate over the toffee and spread evenly. The chocolate will melt easily on the hot toffee, just make sure you distribute it evenly.
- Spread 1 to 1,5 cups of chopped almonds over the chocolate and let the Almond Roca cool over night.
- The next day, turn the entire sheet out on some parchment paper and break the toffee into random pieces and store in an airtight container.
Guten Appetit and Go Hawks!