What is Rocky Road? Your guide to the ultimate no-bake chocolate delight

30 May 2023

Chocolate Knowledge Food + Drink

Crunchy, chewy, and brimming with opulent chocolate — discover the joys of Rocky Road, the ultimate no-bake delight

A treat many of us enjoyed as children, Rocky Road offers an irresistible balance of sumptuous chocolate, crunchy biscuit, and chewy marshmallow. This beloved treat has become a favourite indulgence for chocolate enthusiasts around the globe. But what exactly is Rocky Road? Read on to unveil the secrets behind this irresistible confection, exploring its rich history, iconic ingredients, and mouth-watering variations. 

Rocky Road offers a delightful combination of textures and flavours, customisable to any preference or palate.

Slices of Rocky Road

What is Rocky Road?

Rocky Road is the perfect cure for any chocolate cravings. A delicious square of cacao goodness, it’s made from a base of chocolate, butter and sugar or golden syrup. This combination creates a silky smooth base, so you may be wondering where the ‘rocky’ part comes in. Enter: a selection of chewy, crunchy nibbles — a whole array, in fact. The beauty of this traybake lies in its versatility. You can mix in biscuit pieces, chewy toffee, gooey marshmallows, or a selection of dried fruits to give a bumpy texture.

The origins of Rocky Road

The origins of Rocky Road remain a subject of debate. Some people believe it was created by an American confectionary company, while others attribute it to an Australian entrepreneur. One theory suggests that Rocky Road emerged in Australia around 1853 as a clever way to salvage spoiled ingredients imported from the UK. These past-their-prime ingredients were allegedly mixed with chocolate and nuts to mask their off-flavours. Nowadays, of course, Rocky Road ingredients are perfectly fresh!

The name “Rocky Road” is said to have derived from the arduous path that Australian gold field workers traversed daily for their commute. This was, of course, reflected in the uneven texture of this irresistible treat.

What is Rocky Road made from?

As mentioned, rocky road centres around the chocolate, butter and sugar mix, which is combined to create a smooth carrier for the other ingredients.

In the UK, you might hear Rocky Road referred to as ‘tiffin’. British tiffin tends to focus more on a medley of dried fruits nestled into the chocolate base. In contrast, American Rocky Road usually includes marshmallows and nuts. Australian Rocky Road favours the addition of coconut, lending a tropical twist to this confection.


The ultimate rocky road recipe

Rocky Road couldn’t be easier to make. It only requires a few simple ingredients as a base and equipment that everyone will likely have in their kitchen. There are three basic steps to creating the perfect rocky road: 

  1. Melt your chocolate, butter and sugar or golden syrup in a bain marie to create a smooth chocolate mix. Be careful not to allow the mixture to burn as this will result in a lumpy split mixture. 
  2. Combine the chocolate mixture with your ingredients of choice, as mentioned below. If you’re feeling particularly creative, you could split the chocolate mix between two bowls and make two different flavour variations. 
  3. Once your mixture is fully combined, you will need to set it in the fridge. And if you’re in a hurry, you can always pop it in the freezer to speed up the process.

For a more detailed guide, see the BBC Good Food recipe hub.

Creative recipe variations

It’s also worth noting that there are no rules to adhere to. You can amend your Rocky Road recipe to incorporate your favourite flavours and textures. Why not experiment with some of these variations?

Traditional fruity

Start with a dark chocolate base — we recommend a minimum of 70% cacao, such as our 70% Dark Chocolate Batons. Stir in chopped almonds, raisins, glace cherries and dried apricots. You could also add a sprinkle of dried coconut in a homage to the classic Australian recipe.

Chocolate orange

Those who adore the zesty notes of orange chocolate can swap their dark chocolate for our Orange Wafer Batons — which already include a delightful crunch of buttery wafer. Add in any chopped nuts you like and a scattering of candied peel or dried orange pieces.

Eton Mess

We’ve talked about using dark chocolate, but there’s nothing to say you can’t use white chocolate in your Rocky Road. Ideal for those who adore mellow, vanilla notes, creamy white chocolate can pair perfectly with mixed nuts and freeze-dried raspberry pieces. Reminiscent of another classic dessert — Eton Mess — this can be a great option for little ones who find dark chocolate a little bitter. Why not top with our Eton Mess Selectors for ultimate opulence?

Crunchy caramel

Staying with the more mellow flavour profiles, why not try a milk chocolate base? After melting your 40% Milk Chocolate Batons, stir in crunchy biscuits and pieces of honeycomb along with marshmallows. For the finishing touch, drizzle your set traybake with a golden, buttery caramel sauce. Make it a real showstopper by topping your Rocky Road with our Salted Caramel Chocolates.

Is it possible to make vegan rocky road?

For those with a passion for chocolate and veganism, the question arises: can you make a vegan version of Rocky Road? The good news is, yes, making a vegan version is very simple.

With a few ingredient swaps, you can create a scrumptious vegan twist on this classic treat. Instead of using milk chocolate, opt for a plant-based alternative. Why not try our deep and nuanced 85% Dark Chocolate Batons? Or, for a more mellow flavour profile, there are our astonishingly creamy 45% Nutmilk Chocolate Batons. These unbelievably vegan* recipes make an excellent addition to any Rocky Road traybake.

As for fillings, these are easy to swap. Opt for vegan marshmallows and biscuits, and load your chocolate mixture up with plenty of dried fruit and nuts.

*Please note, we believe our dark and Nutmilk chocolate is suitable for vegans. However, as it is made in the same environment as our milk chocolate we cannot guarantee it is free from milk.

Rocky Road Chocolate Slab Selector: our take on the classic traybake

We adore the aromas, textures and flavours of Rocky Road. Our talented chocolatiers have taken the core elements of this nostalgic delight and created our very own Rocky Road Chocolate Slab Selector.

This complex chocolate bar provides all the tastes and textures of rocky road, with cookies providing a chewy texture and puffed rice giving you that satisfying crunch.

Rocky Road Slab Selector from Hotel Chocolat

Cacao-rich chocolate from Hotel Chocolat

No matter what variety of Rocky Road you like best, give your traybake a luxurious edge with the finest ingredients. Look for chocolate with a high cacao content for a beautiful balance of depth of flavour and creaminess. Explore our range of Slabs and Batons and elevate your Rocky Road.