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The Italian and the French cuisine have a lot of similarities, Torrone is one of the most popular Italian Christmas desserts and is the same French nougat recipe.
Usually exchanged as edible gifts, torrone/nougat is a caramelized mix of marshmallow and honey filled with toasted almonds and pistachios.
There are hard and soft versions, this is the soft one.
This recipe is part of two different events:
– Food blogger exchange
– Christmas advent calendar
The idea started with a bloggers’ exchange initiated in our Facebook Group: International Food Bloggers Cooperative.
Each of us has to cook a recipe from one of our fellow bloggers, add a personal touch and publish the article.
I had to choose a recipe from Patty Saveur, and I couldn’t be happier.
I love all the other fellow bloggers in the group, but Patty forced me into a new French Challenge.
She is close to me Geographically, and blogs in English and French.
When I saw her French Almond and Pistachio Nougat, I knew it was time for me to master it.
To add my personal twist I decided to cover some with dark chocolate.
The second event is an advent calendar where each day in December leading into Christmas a typical recipe from around the world is published.
My Torrone/Nougat is the Italian Christmas dessert, they don’t know yet it covers France as well.
It is still in the making and will keep you posted as soon as it starts.
I also want to take this opportunity to give some ideas on homemade Christmas edible gifts.
In Italy Torrone is a typical Christmas present, usually made by artisanal bakeries or by common chocolate brands.
The base is always the same but it can be mixed with different flavours (orange, lemon) or covered with chocolate.
It is wrapped in a colorful wrapping paper, often in the shape of candies.
So here are the edible gifts I am giving to friends this Christmas:
- Candy nougats
- Jars of mixed nougat: chocolate and plain
- Nocino: The winter Italian Homemade liquor
Those of you who followed my blog will remember the article I wrote in June about the Nocino.
It is made with fresh walnuts that have to be harvest in June before they reach maturity.
The Nocino is ready now: one bottle is for Elisabeth who kindly provided me the tree with fresh walnuts.
Another one is for Anna and Pierre who provided the 95% alcohol.
One is for us to enjoy when friends come to visit.
So if you want to prepare those edible gifts, get ready for a challenge.
Nougat is not an easy dessert to prepare, like an orchestra director you will have to perfectly time the rhythm of the caramel honey, the syrup and the marshmallow.
They all have to reach the right temperature and consistency at the same time.
So get your pots, pan, whisk and candy thermometer together and let’s get started.
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Torrone Italian Nougat Recipe
- 1.5 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh water
- 1 cup +1 TBSP honey acacia or wild flowers
- 2 egg white
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 14 oz peeled almonds
- 3 1/2 oz peeled pistachios
- 4 sheets rice/waffle paper
Chocolate ganache for the coathing
- 11 1/2 oz dark chocolate 70%
- 1 cup whole cream
- Peel the almond and toast them in the oven with the pistachios
- Put one or two rice/waffle sheet on one or two flat trays. The tray will have to go in the fridge once it is ready. I made two trays to make a thin layer that will be easier to cut. If you want to make a thick layer use only one tray.
- Prepare two pots and the electrical whisk close together so you can easily have a complete control of all processes and adjust temperatures and timing promptly.
- In one pot put the sugar and the water for the caramel. With a gentle heat start making the caramel. Do not mix, do not move the pan or continually check the temperature, even if the sugar is not completely dissolved. It will eventually. If you move the caramel the sugar will crystallize and you will have to start all over again. The caramel has to reach 145 C
- Once the sugar is all dissolved start caramelizing the honey and stir it from time to time. The honey has to reach 126 C
- The caramel and the honey have to reach the desired temperature at the same time, so keep both heat medium-low and adjust them based on the temperature they achieve.
- When there are only a few minutes left, start whisking the eggs white. Make sure they are a room temperature and you can add a pinch of salt.
- Once they are firm, add the sugar and continue to mix.
- At this point, you need to slowly add the honey first then the caramel. If they haven’t yet reached the desired temperature keep whisking the egg whites at low speed
- Once the honey and the caramel are incorporated add the roasted almonds and pistachios.
- Spread the nougat mix over the rice waffle sheet with a spatula
- I made two, don’t worry about the uneven edges. Cover with a second rice waffle sheet, make sure it is all even and flat. Put in the fridge to settle
- Let it rest for at least two hours. Once it is firm, cut the uneven edges, then cut the nougat into rectangular stripes
- The nougat is ready and should be stored in the fridge
- If you want to package them to make candy parcels, pack them into 3 rectangular with a wax paper for candy.
- Then roll them into a transparent package paper so you can see the nougats inside
- Cut the uneven edges into small bites and remove with a scissor the extra waffle paper
- Prepare the chocolate ganache by melting the chocolate in the microwave for few minutes at low to medium watts (500W).
- Slightly warm up the whole cream and add to the chocolate
- Deep the nougat bites in the chocolate ganache, lay them on a tray and put them in the fridge to solidify. This is a fun activity to do with children. The bites do not have to be perfect, they are handmade
- I left some plain bites and put them mixed in the jar. You can also coat them in white chocolate or make different flavours