Why You Should Make Rocky Road at Home (But Buy Marshmallows)

October 26, 2015

I admit to loving rocky road—the yummy, crunchy, chewy and chocolatey childhood favorite—but I’d rather make it myself than buy it for one big reason: I like to choose the chocolate that goes into it!

You can easily make rocky road yourself, even if you do not know how to temper chocolate or simply do not want to bother. Either way, it will be better rocky road than you can buy in stores and you will love the dramatic slices. 

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Large store-bought marshmallows snipped into quarters with an oiled knife or kitchen scissors are better—in looks, taste, and texture— than mini marshmallows here. And this may sound like heresy, but I like chewy commercial marshmallows better than the soft homemade ones. So give yourself permission to buy the marshmallows. Large pieces of walnuts are also advised for visual drama and for crunch. 

If you choose not to temper the chocolate, do cool it to 90º F as instructed before folding in the inclusions. Folding at 90° (rather than warmer) often tempers the chocolate more or less inadvertantly. No guarantees here, but it does happen.

But even if the chocolate does not end up accidentally tempered this way, storing the candy in the fridge will keep it looking good. So you can’t lose. 

P.S. Consider folding in some salted pretzels for extra crunch, and a little salt while you’re at it...

Rocky Road Slices

Makes 3 pounds

8 ounces (225 grams) regular large marshmallows, snipped in quarters
2 slightly generous cups (225 grams) walnut halves (or large pieces)
2 pounds (900 grams) dark, milk, or white chocolate  (from wafers or pistoles or bars, but not chocolate chips) melted and either cooled to 90° F or tempered 

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by James Ransom

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jennifer Kaufman Gresham
    Jennifer Kaufman Gresham
  • Elyas
  • Dee Bealer Berge
    Dee Bealer Berge
  • softenbrownsugar
  • Bella B
    Bella B
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).


Jennifer K. October 28, 2016
Don't know what recipe you use, but my marshmallows always come out chewy. I cut them into mini's and put them in homemade rocky road ice cream.
Elyas December 2, 2015
If you really do want to make your own marshmallows, you can take the sugar syrup just to hardball stage rather than only to softball and you will get a chewier marshmallow. Watch the temperature while you're whipping it though, with this consistency it's better to scoop it out just as it comes together when it's still warm, otherwise it will put a strain on your mixer and be much harder to scoop out if it cools too much.
Dee B. November 15, 2015
Made these for a fund raiser and they were a big hit. Wonderful and easy.
softenbrownsugar November 3, 2015
Thank you, Alice!
I have not been able to find a good rocky road ice cream in Canada, so when I go back to the US, I always have to go to Marianne's in Santa Cruz so I can get my rocky road fix. Your recipe sounds wonderful, and now I won't need to wait until Easter to try and scour stores for good chocolate covered marshmallows. I can make my own - and I agree with your comment about the chewiness! Thank you!
Bella B. October 26, 2015
I have got to try this! I think I could eat it all at once though. ♡♡

xoxoBella |