Advantages Generous topping, crunchy base, marshmallows are vegetarian
Disadvantages If you aren't keen on coconut, you will probably find that taste too strong.
I often come across recipes for Rocky Road Squares or slices in the cookbooks I own, but I never get to make them. This is becuse they contain marshmallow, which is hard to find in a vegetarian version. [It's usually made with beef gelatine.] So I was pleased to see a ready made version of the slices in Holland and Barrett that was clearly labelled as suitable for vegetarians. I couldn't wait to give them a try!
They may sound like a some kind of extreme driving accessory, but they are just a cake slice! Everyone seems to have their own idea about what a proper or traditional rocky road should contain. The only thing all of the recipes that I've looked at have in common is the use of chocolate and marshmallows, although most have either nuts or cherries in too. Some books claim they were invented in Australia, others in the U.S.A - which is the place that I most associate with them myself. Sunstart describe their slices as "crunchy biscuit bars topped with mini marshmallows and cherries, and finished with the finest milk chocolate." That sounded fine to me. These particular bars are also gluten, wheat and egg free.
I have never tried any products from the Sunstart Bakery range before, although I have seen them in both supermarkets and health food stores. They are a bakery that specialises in producing "free-from" products, specifically gluten and wheat free goods. I noticed on their website that they actually produce many of the own label products in" free from" ranges in Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury's which I thought was interesting. I have found that the biggest range of their Sunstart labelled products, outside independent health food shops, is Holland and Barrett.
The rocky roads come in a standard cardboard box with an inner tray. Most importantly, the labelling makes clear what special diets this product is suitable for. You get 5 slices per box, and each one does look delicious. They are heaped with chocolate and marshmallows, which is what you want to see. I was surprised at how generous the chocolate coating was - it looks a good cm thick. They also smell great - a winning combination of cocoa and cherries.
You will notiice from Sunstart's description of their product that there was no mention of coconut. I was surprised therefore to find that that was by far the most dominant flavour. This may be a nice surprise if you like coconut, but I really don't! It is of course listed amongst the ingredients so it is my fault for not reading the package carefully. It's a shame, because I liked all the other elements and minus the coconut, I think I would really enjoy this. The chocolate topping is generous, if not especially milky. The marshmallows taste fabulous - exactly like any other kind, and they make a slightly chewy contrast to the softer glace cherry pieces. The base is crunchy and not too sweet. Unfortunately for me, this is where most of the coconut is! I did like the fact it wasn't too crumbly, and therefore it would be a good choice for a lunchbox or eating out and about and you don't want to be coated in crumbs.
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