When I was small, I was so fascinated with Church that my mother used to tell my dad that she quite seriously thought I would be a nun when I grew up. They were never quite sure where my interest came from, having not been born into a particularly religious family. My dad was baptised in the Catholic Church, and my mum in the Church of New England; they had me baptised as Catholic (and I later went on to celebrate my Holy Communion and my Confirmation through school), and they would occasionally take us to Church for Christmas and Easter, but that was about the extent of a religious upbringing in our house.
I don’t know if it was the sense of community or the feeling of belonging (particularly when we lived in isolated communities where my main interaction with others was via radio for school), or just the pretty windows, but from the ages of about 6 – 10, I would insist that my dad take me to church.
Over the years, my attendance at church became less and less, but Lent has always been the one concept that has stayed with me. Perhaps to try and appease the healthy dose of Catholic guilt (that was instilled in me through school) of going to church less than five times a year, for the six week leading up to Easter I choose to give up something that is a true sacrifice for me. The past couple of years, this has been chocolate – my one emotional crutch.
When I say I give up chocolate, I’m talking all things chocolate – including, but not limited to: milk, dark and white chocolate, chocolate icecream, chocolate topping, chocolate in my coffee (i.e. mochas), chocolate on my coffee (i.e. cappuccinos), chocolate lollies (chicos, eclairs etc), lamingtons, chocolate cake, chocolate spread (nutella), chocolate milk/hot chocolate, chocolate mousse/yoghurt, chocolate biscuits… You get the idea.
Given I gave up chocolate for Lent, you might wonder what it was that possessed me to whip up a batch of Snickers Rocky Road at 9 o’clock on Wednesday night… I stupidly volunteered to make what I knew was a favourite treat for one of my staff member’s birthday morning tea on the Thursday. It was torture.
I used Not Quite Nigella’s Original Rocky Road recipe, but added extra Snickers bars and chocolate, partly because more is more when it comes to chocolate (and when you haven’t had any for weeks), and partly because I’m lazy and couldn’t be bothered measuring (in the interest of spending the least possible contact time with the chocolate).
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 400g milk chocolate
- 200g unsalted peanuts
- 8 regular sized Snickers bars (I got mine on special for a buck each)
- 200g mini marshmallows
- Line a tin with foil – I think I used an 11 x 7 inch tray.
- Melt the 400g milk chocolate and three chopped Snickers bars in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Roast the peanuts in the oven for approximately 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix the mini marshmallows and remaining chopped Snickers bars – add the roasted peanuts and stir what I can only liken to“rubble”. Spoon into the lined tray.
- Pour the melted chocolate/Snickers mix over the marshmallow/peanut/Snickers rubble. Refrigerate until set, and chop into pieces!
We first made this dish at Christmas, and it was delicious. I can’t tell you how this batch tasted, lest I be struck down for even considering a bite, however my team ate every last piece, so it must have been a bit orright.
Lord, lead me not into temptation…