Toblerone and Roasted Almonds. Is There Anything Better?
Want an edible festive season decoration? YES!
Some years ago, before we had children and had a lot more time to spend creating ridiculously time-consuming dinners at home, we used to host an annual ‘festive season’ dinner. I would spend days and days choosing my turkey, debating stuffing versus no stuffing, scouring magazines for the best plum pudding recipe (and found it!), trying out various Christmas cakes and researching the perfect mince pie.
And all the while, searching for a decorative edible non-Christmassy Christmas tree.
I had seen a picture in a magazine of a chocolate tree and I was besotted with the idea – a textured chocolate to resemble bark, and nuts to hold it all together. That was it!!
You can make the tree a couple of weeks ahead, just cover it with foil and store it in the fridge. I have tried it with peanuts instead of almonds (great, except for the allergy factor) and chocolate crackle mixture (great, until it was put on the table in the Sydney summer heat and proceeded to fall apart before our eyes).
Be patient when making it. It is much easier when the melted chocolate is at room temperature. And make sure you allow enough time for each branch layer to set firmly in the fridge before assembling. Mine are always too tall to assemble and then refrigerate (it doesn’t fit in a normal sized fridge) so I do it in halves and then assemble an hour or so before serving.
The picture above is one that I made in 2014 – will 11 branches. It was a miracle that it didn’t come crashing down, so my recommendation is to start with 8 branches and see how you go. Have fun!
Chocolate Almond Tree
- 750 g Toblerone chocolate
- 4 cups Roasted Almonds or raw (750 g)
- 1/2 cup Coconut desiccated, optional
- If the almonds are not roasted, place in a large baking dish in a 180C (350F) oven and cook for 20 - 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Melt the Toblerone in a large bowl over a pot of simmering water or in the microwave. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Stir in the almonds and mix well. The cooler and thicker the chocolate mixture, the easier to assemble.
- Tear off 4 sheets of baking paper and place on flat trays or plates. Draw 10 different sized crosses on the sheets of paper: 22 cm (8 1/2"), 20 cm, 18 cm (7 1/2"), 16 cm (6"), 14 cm (5"), 12 cm (4"), 10 cm (3"), 8 cm (2"), 6 cm, 4 cm. Turn the paper over so the marks are face down.
- Spoon the mixture thickly on the baking paper, using the crosses as guides. Place an extra mound at the centre of each branch for extra height. Keep the leftover mixture to use as glue in the next steps. Place them in the fridge to cool, at least 1 hour.
- Assemble the branches by placing them on top of each other in pairs, according to size. Use the melted mixture as glue.
- When the pairs are properly 'glued' together, join the 2 smaller pairs together so you have 4 levels. When that is chilled and stuck, add the next pair. Allow to chill until well stuck together. On the day of serving (or earlier if you have loads of space in your fridge), add the top pair and a decorative knob at the top if you wish.
- Sprinkle with the coconut for a 'snowy' effect if you like that look.
Need something else delicious for the festive season? Just click here.