TORRONE (CHRISTMAS ITALIAN NOUGAT)


Torrone is a very simple nougat candy made from egg whites, honey, nuts (usually almonds) and –in some recipes– cane sugar.

The recipes of several popular commercial candy bars (Toblerone, Mars, etc.) are based on that of traditional Italian torrone.

That’s why the flavour of torrone seems familiar to many who try it for the first time after having tasted these other candies.

The more honey (and the less cane sugar) that is mixed into the torrone, the softer the final product.

The softer, honey-based version is the more traditional, cane sugar having been introduced in Sicily no earlier than the ninth century.



Makes approximately 36 pieces

INGREDIENTS:


1/3 cup cornstarch
3 large egg whites
1 cup honey
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 cups whole almonds, pistachios or hazelnuts

METHOD


1. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with parchment paper.

2. Sprinkle a cutting board with cornstarch.

3. In a medium saucepan, combine honey and granulated sugar and put over medium heat.

4. When a candy thermometer registers 315 degrees F/157 degrees C, remove pan from heat.

5. Put egg whites in a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

6. Start mixer on medium.

7. When egg whites are stiff add icing sugar, scraping down the sides.

8. When the honey mixture temperature has gone down to 300 degrees F/150 degrees C, pour honey into egg whites while mixer is running.

9. Increase speed to high until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes.

10. Fold in nuts with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.

11. Scrape mixture onto cutting board with cornstarch.

12. Knead for about 4 minutes.

13. Press mixture evenly into pan.

14. Cover with another piece of parchment and let cool.

15. Cut into 36 squares with a hot knife.

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