No-bake chocolate 'rocks' are kid-friendly, nature-inspired summer treats
No oven needed for these sweets, and you can get artsy with ingredients
Nordic cuisine is having a moment, perhaps partially spurred by the popularization of the concept of hygge.
Hygge is a quality of coziness, contentment and comfortable conviviality that inspired a series of books and a flurry of online content and Nordic cafes. Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Sweden are all in the top 10 coffee-drinking countries in the world, as is Canada. The eateries, such as Noma in Copenhagen, have been on lists of the world's best restaurants for years.
There has also been an increase in the number of Nordic cookbooks released in recent years.
- For more of Julie Van Rosendaal's delicious meals, bookmark cbc.ca/juliesrecipes
One of the most recent, Bakeland: Nordic Treats Inspired by Nature by Norwegian graphic designer and baker Marit Hovland, is one of the most unique books to join my shelf. It's a baking book focused on esthetically stunning cakes, cookies, tortes and chocolate creations, inspired by elements found in nature without being precious or overly complex.
There are tiny fruits made of pistachio marzipan and blue anemones stamped onto delicate cookies using a rudimentary potato stamp.
There are also tiny icing butterflies require no more than a ziplock bag and parchment, curled leaves and chocolate shells, candied edible flowers and snowflakes made of sugar.
But the desserts are not just one-dimensional. They're made with nuts and dried fruit and cardamom, with substance and a natural colour palette. They're perfect for any kids at home this summer who might be looking for unique baking projects.
Because it was too hot to turn on the oven, our first recipe to try was the one that most caught our eye while flipping through the book. That turned out to these chocolate rocks.
Chocolate rocks with fruit and nut filling
The desserts actually resemble smooth rocks that have been rocked back and forth by waves at the water's edge. They're surprisingly easy to make, and a fun project to make with kids that doesn't require turning on the oven.
This recipe has been adapted from Bakeland: Nordic Treats Inspired by Nature, by Marit Hovland.
- 2 Oreo cookies or three to four chocolate wafer cookies.
- 7 oz. white chocolate, chopped.
- 6 tbsp. sweetened condensed milk.
- Pinch of salt.
- 1/8 tsp., or a big pinch, of cocoa powder.
- Cashews, almonds and dried cranberries.
Crush the Oreos or wafers by removing the icing, putting the wafers into a ziplock bag and rolling them with a rolling pin or bashing with the bottom of a mug.
In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the chocolate, sweetened condensed milk and salt. Stir until smooth.
Remove from the heat and stir in half the chocolate cookie crumbs.
Divide the mixture between three small bowls.
Stir the remaining crumbs into one, the cocoa into another, and leave the third as is.
Let stand on the counter or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Shape the rocks by scooping out a small quantity of the mixture, flattening it slightly and wrapping around a nut or dried cranberry. We played around with bits of two different shades to mimic real rocks.
Roll it in your hands until smooth and place on parchment or waxed paper.
Set in the fridge or at room temperature.
Serving: Makes two to three dozen rocks.
- Hear more from Julie Van Rosendaal about making nature-inspired chocolate bark and edible rocks:
- MORE RECIPES | Salmon gravlax and chocolatey granola bars inspired by legendary seaside inn
- MORE RECIPES | Crispy black bean and feta tacos easily tossed together for 'panic supper'
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With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.
- An earlier version of this story misidentified a Copenhagen restaurant as Noma.Jul 18, 2018 2:22 PM MT