Almond Roca

This recipe can be doubled without any extra effort — just make sure you use a large enough pot.

For a perfect holiday treat, break this roca into big irregular pieces and pack them into gift tins, or store in your freezer. Fair warning: Even frozen, the roca is pretty hard to resist.–John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg

Almond Roca

A green bowl of almond roca--broken layers of chocolate, caramel, and sliced almonds--on striped fabric
John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg

Prep 30 mins
Cook 15 mins
Total 45 mins
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  • 1 pound unsalted butter cut into chunks, plus more for the pan
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped toasted slivered almonds
  • 9 ounces 41% milk chocolate melted


  • Lightly butter a 17-by-12-by-1-inch baking sheet (half sheet pan), and line with parchment paper to cover the bottom and all sides. (The butter will anchor the parchment to the pan.)
  • Melt the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the sugar, water, lemon juice, and corn syrup and bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Once the mixture boils, stop stirring. Brush down any sugar crystals clinging to the sides of the pot with a pastry brush dipped in water.
  • Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and cook for 15 minutes, or until the mixture reaches 300°F (150°C). If the mixture threatens to boil over, lower the heat as necessary. (If the liquid is too shallow for the thermometer to measure the temperature, tilt the pot to get an accurate reading.) Resist the temptation to stir; if the caramel is not coloring evenly, swirl the pan from time to time.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 2 cups of the almonds. Quickly spread the caramel in an even layer on the prepared baking sheet. Let cool completely. Spread the chocolate over the top of the caramel, then sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups almonds. Let the chocolate harden at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  • Break the roca into irregular pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze for longer storage.
Print RecipeBuy the The Essence of Chocolate cookbook

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Originally published April 27, 2005

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This was gorgeous and a calm introduction to the scary world of caramel making. If you follow the precise instructions you can’t go wrong. However, there is no time to spare so pre-measure the sugar, water, lemon juice, and corn syrup into a little bowl so your butter doesn’t burn. And make sure you have a pan with high sides.

I regretted making a half batch, so learn from my short-sighted mistake. Also this makes a fantastic hostess gift, if you can bear to part with it. (Or keep it all to yourself and use it to make stellar sundaes with vanilla ice cream, crushed roca, and warm chocolate sauce!)


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