chocolate + almond rochers

A simple five ingredient recipe courtesy of chef Michel Roux. These are the perfect after dinner treat or even better as a handmade holiday gift for your friends.

Chocolate and Almond Rochers
You have to work quickly as the mixture solidifies pretty fast. If it does, just warm it over hot water for a minute to soften.

1 ⅔ cups chopped or slivered almonds
¼ cup cognac or Armagnac
½ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
7 oz. dark, bitter chocolate (60-70% cocoa like Valrhona), chopped
2 Tbsp. cocoa butter or hazelnut oil, gently warmed

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Toss the almonds with the cognac. Dust with the confectioner’s sugar and mix to insure the almonds are coated. Scatter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and toast for 10-12 minutes, turning at least twice until golden brown. Let cool, moving them every 5 minutes so they don’t stick together.

Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan one-third filled with hot water (122º-140ºF), making sure the bowl does not touch the water. Melt the chocolate over gentle heat, making sure the temperature of the chocolate doesn’t exceed 122ºF.

In another bowl, mix one-third of the almonds with one-third of the warmed cocoa butter or hazelnut oil until the almonds are glossy. Pour one-third of the melted chocolate over the almonds and mix gently until evenly coated.

Drop a teaspoonful of the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper to form a small mound. Shape the rest of the mixture the same way, working quickly, leaving an inch between each rocher. Repeat to mix and shape the rest of the rochers in two batches. Leave in a cool, dry place until set, about 15-20 minutes. Store in an airtight container, between layers of wax paper, in the refrigerator, until ready to serve. Makes 3 dozen.

Michel Roux is one of the best chefs in the world having maintained three Michelin stars at his London restaurant Le Gavroche for over 25 years. He’s also a brilliant teacher and his latest book Desserts is a must-have for any culinary collection.

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