Almond roca: one of our favorite gift candies
3/4 cup salted butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
dash of salt
1 cup untoasted sliced almonds (optional)
9 ounces mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup toasted sliced almonds (I put mine on a low flame in a cast-iron skillet, stirring until they're a bit brownish)
Have a 10x13" lasagna pan at the ready, have the chips and toasted almonds ready to fling onto the hot mixture because when you pour the goo into the pan, the chocolate and nuts have to melt. Also have a bowl of very hot water in your sink to fling your spoon and saucepan into before they cool off.
Put first four ingredients in a saucepan and boil on medium heat, stirring constantly, until candy thermometer registers 250 degrees. It takes quite a while.
Stir in the untoasted almonds. Keep boiling and stirring until the mixture reaches 290 degrees. Towards the end the temperature rises rapidly so watch carefully.
Keep stirring! When the goo is as brown as a grocery bag, it's ready.
Scrape the mixture out into a non-stick 10x13 lasagna pan and shake to level it out.
IMMEDIATELY cover with chocolate chips. IMMEDIATELY cover with the chocolate chips and then the toasted almonds. Press them in a bit so they stick.
Chill. Wait until it's completely cool! Then, and not before, knock the toffee out of the lasagna pan and break it into pieces by sticking the point of a sharp knife straight down into it.
UPDATE: DO NOT try to hurry the cooling process by putting the almond roka in the freezer. I did that three times and ruined it every time before I realized that the consistency gets destroyed - maybe it rehydrates or something. Just be patient and cool it off at room temperature.