I'd like to posit myself as bearing no ill-will towards the Toblerone. They're really, really nice if you manage to get your hands on one, there's no attitude here of "the world needs urgently a new version of the Toblerone and I charge myself with the noble duty of providing an inconvenient and slightly inferior appropriation!" Nooo.
I just like crunchy toffee nutty chocolatey stuff, and why should Toblerone be the only thing that gets to monopolise that combination?
So I made this stuff, inspired by that chocolate bar. It's kind of a slice, kind of just melted chocolate with more sugar added, but it's simple and seriously wonderful to eat with its crystals of toffee and bashed up toasted almonds. Fine as is, broken into rough shards, particularly effective when chopped up and sprinkled over icecream.
Toffee Brittle Chocolate
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup salt (jokes! A small pinch of salt, that's all)
250g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (I used Whittaker's Dark Cacao)
Firstly, toast the almonds in a saucepan over a low heat till lightly browned. Tip them into either a silicon baking dish, or a medium-sized baking dish (the sort you could fit a roast chicken into, but not two, or use a pie dish) lined with baking paper. In the same saucepan, slowly melt the sugars and the water over a low heat, and bring to the boil without stirring. Stirring causes bigger crystals to form which isn't what we're after here. Allow it to bubble away merrily for about five minutes until it smells like caramel and the syrup under the silvery bubbles appears to be dark brown. At this point, carefully but quickly pour it over the almonds, getting as much as you can out with the help of a spatula. Sprinkle over the salt and allow to set.
Once set, chop it all up very roughly and then transfer it all back into the baking dish. Then slowly melt the chocolate and tip it over the chopped up almond toffee, stirring to mix. It'll look rough and like the chocolate's not going to cover everything, but that's all good. Pop in the freezer for a bit to set properly, then break into small pieces and serve as you wish.
Bubbling sugar and water is kind of beautiful, am I right? Just don't get close, it'll burn you faster than an insult from Blackadder.
It's also quite pretty once all chopped up but before getting covered in chocolate - all golden and sparkly. I guess food blogging has conditioned my brain to think such things, but I swear it looked pretty in real life.
I've been keeping it in a container in the freezer, and something about the icecold chocolate makes the delicate almond crunchiness even more excellent. It's perfect for a sweet thing after a big dinner but also, as I said, completely delicious chopped up over ice cream.
On Saturday night I went to see Rose Matafeo's show Scout's Honour as part of the Comedy Festival. I didn't know tooooo much about her apart from she's on TV and on Twitter seems like my kind of person, but in real life, on stage, she is a scream. Hilarious. She's got some shows coming up in Auckland so if that's where you're from, I most definitely recommend attending. Not least because her show had tea and biscuits, and super-nice audience members. I was by myself and appreciated the rolling-with-the-punches niceness of the people either side of me. In that when I asked "can I sit here?" they said "sure" and smiled, rather than blankly staring at me, or saying no. But also: about halfway through her show she worked in a Babysitters Club joke, so, you know, free pass for life.
Luckily everyone can join in basking in the tiny, adorable splendour of Rory the kitten, one of our friend Jo's foster cats. (Speaking of Jo, kindly check out this write-up she did of an incredible dinner we had at Hummingbird. Includes a panna cotta gif!) I can't adequately express how tiny and sweet Rory is, but I'll tell you this: he's truly much the same size as he appears to be in this picture. Spent significant time adoring him inbetween episodes of Veronica Mars. So important.
Title via: tick, tick...BOOM! the musical by a young Jonathan Larson, who would go on to write RENT, which this blog is named for. The song really is about sugar, in case you're wondering, and it is good, especially with Raul Esparza wrapping his sweet, sweet vocal cords around it.
Woke up Saturday morning to the news that Adam Yauch, MCA from Beastie Boys had died. This is such sad news - Beastie Boys have been together longer than I've been alive and consistently putting out music that I love. Honestly part of the soundtrack of my life. Remote Control is one of my favourite songs of theirs. However I'd also like to call attention to this glorious rhyme from the glorious Sure Shot: "I want to say a little something that's long overdue/ the disrespect to women has got to be through."
Finally listened to some Lana Del Rey, and uh, have become mildly obsessed with her music. It's just so utterly melancholy, I can't help but love it.
It's not actually him singing, but a young Johnny Depp with an also-young Amy Locane in John Waters' Crybaby on Please Mr Jailer is worth suspending reality for. As is the heavily crushable Wanda Woodward, thanks to Kate for the necessary reminder!
Next time: I was thinking about Gin and Tonic Ice Cream. First to catch my gin...