'A very nice thing to munch on'
The above quote is from Ruth-Anne Adams, who created this dish for Rocca’s dessert menu. While smashed almond bark is indeed a very nice treat with which to end a meal or an evening, it can also be a delightful beginning or a good bar snack.
This confection — which lies somewhere between a brittle and a cookie — combines whole candied almonds in a meringue that’s fortified with ground nuts, sugar, and baking powder and served with a bowl of melted chocolate for dipping (or for running one’s finger around the inside of when the bark and all its crumbs are gone). It’s sweet and salty and crunchy and addictive. Served in big pieces that can be broken into smaller ones with a definitive snap, it’s also fun to share.
The dish was inspired by one that Rocca owners Michela Larson and Gary Sullivan were served in Milan a few years ago. Adams — whose husband, Rocca chef Tom Fosnot, makes some pretty inspired dishes of his own — tried to recreate it.
“The almonds were the hardest part to navigate through,” says Adams, who — after many trial-and-error batches — mixes the nuts with sugar and egg whites and fries them in a pan of olive oil.
“It’s close enough to what we remember,” adds Larson of the recreation. “But it’s wonderful in its own right.” Taste it once and you’ll agree.
Available for $9 at Rocca Kitchen & Bar, 500 Harrison Avenue, in Boston. Call 617.451.5151.
: Hot Plate
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