Torrone (Nougat)

A recipe 2 years in the making.

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I’ve always wanted to try making torrone ever since my Spanish friend gave me some for Christmas in my first year of university (or turrón I guess since she got it from Spain).

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I’ve just never been able to easily find edible wafer paper though. And I also did not have a sugar thermometer and didn’t want to go through the trouble of dropping the syrup into water to determine which stage it was at. FURTHERMORE I didn’t have an electric whisk.

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But this year all the stars aligned. I finally got some edible wafer paper. I bought a sugar thermometer because I started making ice cream (and wanted to be scientific about it ok). My new housemate had an electric whisk. The world was telling me to make this torrone.

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Confession though. This was supposed to be more of a (typical?) Spanish turrón or specifically turrón de alicante/torrone di cremona. The crunchy one. Not the soft one.

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But yeah I ended up with the soft one that’s kinda more Italian (see notes). Sorry Spanish friend from year 1. Still tasted good though!

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I was tempted at first to omit the lemon zest because I forgot to buy some lemons but no, I told myself that it’s a new year you have to be less lazy. And so yes I made the arduous 5 min trek to the local Sainsburys.

And I’m so glad I included the lemon zest because it just adds that extra dimension of flavour and interest, and also off-sets the sweetness a little. I also like lemons.

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The nougat also somehow tasted better after leaving it overnight! Not sure if the flavours developed or my standards dropped.

I got the recipe from here and changed the temperatures.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup sugar (250g)
  • 1/3 cup honey (113g)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest (or about 1 lazily zested lemon)
  • 2 sheets edible wafer paper (see notes)
  • 3/4 cups almonds, chopped roughly into halves

Method

  1. Line a baking dish (mine was 22cm x 16cm) with clingfilm and wafer paper.
  2. Combine the sugar, honey, and water in a large saucepan. Place over low heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Increase the heat to a medium-high. Don’t stir the syrup further at this point or it’ll crystallise. Brush the sides of the saucepan down with water (using a pastry brush) to prevent the syrup from crystallising.
  4. Heat the syrup till 140°C (290°F, see notes). The syrup will darken and be bubbling vigorously.
  5. While waiting for the syrup to heat up, whisk egg whites and salt in a heatproof bowl until soft peaks. Add lemon zest to the egg whites and beat.
  6. When the syrup has reached the right temperature, add the syrup to the egg white while whisking continuously in a slow steady stream until the mixture is thick and glossy and the outside of the bowl is cool to the touch.
  7. Stir in almonds with an oiled spoon (or your oily hands).
  8. Transfer the nougat mixture into the baking dish you prepared earlier. Top with a sheet of rice paper, and weigh it down with something heavy (I used a bottle of wine). Let cool.
  9. Cut the nougat using a sharp serrated knife.
  10. To store, keep in an airtight container.

Notes

  • For the temperature thing, the temperature I used was supposed to result in either a crack or a hard crack, which was ideal since I was aiming for a crunchy nougat. However I still got a soft nougat in the end. I think to get a crunchy nougat you definitely have to use a different recipe, maybe this one.
  • I got my edible wafer paper from here (in the UK, they ship around Europe as well but try your local baking supply store first).
  • The original recipe heated the syrup to a lower temperature.
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