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White Torrone


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I tried to make this recipe, from About.com:

 

Torrone, otherwise known as nougat, is a concoction made from honey, well-whipped egg whites, vanilla, and walnuts or almonds; it's an ancient sweet that requires considerable skill and care to make well, and in the past was also a great favorite among pastry chefs because it can be used as a building material for making fanciful cakes and other such delights. It's made throughout Italy, and Sicily's is especially renowned. Torrone Bianco also has pistachios.

Prep Time :

Cook Time :

Type of Prep : Heat

Cuisine : Italian

Occasion : Christmas

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

1 1/8 pounds (500 g) toasted almonds

2/3 pound (300 g) honey

1 cup sugar

3 egg whites

The grated zest of a lemon

A teaspoon of vanilla extract

Edible rice paper or fine wafers of the kind used in baking

PREPARATION:

 

 

Preparing torrone at home is not easy: One needs exercise great care in the cooking, stirring the ingredients constantly to obtain a well-amalgamated mixture.

 

Begin by cooking the honey for an hour over a double boiler, stirring constantly, until it has caramelized.

 

In the meantime make a syrup with the sugar (you'll want three volumes of sugar to two volumes water), heating the mixture gently while stirring it constantly too lest it stick to the bottom of the pan.

 

Beat the egg white to stiff peaks, and add them, a little at a time, to the caramelized honey. Mix and continue cooking, directly over a low flame, stirring all the while. The honey will begin to expand and become frothy; continue mixing for a few more minutes and gradually incorporate the syrup, mixing well. Continue cooking and stirring, and when the mixture begins to tighten up and harden, incorporate the almonds, vanilla, and lemon zest. Mix thoroughly and turn the mixture into a pan, preferably square or rectangular in profile, that you have lined with wafers or rice paper. Cover the top of the torrone as well, and press down so as to level the torrone and press out any air bubbles that may have formed.

 

When the torrone has cooled, turn it out onto a wafer-lined work surface, and use a sharp knife to slice it as you prefer. The best way to cut a crumbly torrone is to place the knife blade on the torrone and tap it sharply with the other hand to obtain irregularly shaped chunks of torrone. Torrone should be kept sealed in a cool dry place.

 

I had the honey over a double boiler for a little over an hour, but didn't notice much change in consistency or color.

 

After incorporating the egg white, the mixture never really hardened. After adding everything and pouring into a pan, the syrup separated out to the bottom. I tried putting it back into to the pot and heating it again, and the whole thing deflated.

 

Any suggestions?

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Oh, and this is where the royal icing went:  

15 years later, I tried again.  This time using Bruno's recipe.*    Much better result, but still not right.  I was going for soft torrone, but the nougat was too soft -- more like a thick chewy marsh

I've had my Ankersrum since March, when we went into lockdown. I love it.  Absolutely unbeatable for bread, including bagel dough which is usually really brutal for other machines. I did a few co

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The recipe looks fine, but needs up grading. Best advise for doing this type of cooking is to buy a candy thermometer. For soft torrone it should get to the Hard-Ball Stage (250° F–265° F). Once the guess work is taken out it should be a easy.

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The final sugar mixture. This is what makes candy candy. Heating sugar syrup until the water is removed, depending on the amount of water removed you get a different product (if to much water remains you just have a concentrated sugar syrup, remove more water and it will set but form large crystals, remove more water and the product is more like a glass. Removing water results in a temperature changes as well. Hence the use of a thermometer.

 

I would guess that the reason for the long cooking time of the honet is to remove much of the water, so that it doesn't upset the sugar-water ration.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just tried this again from a recipe that did not call for honey. But it did tell me how hot to get the sugar syrup - big difference. Seems to have worked.

 

But the clean up looks like it will be a bitch.

 

Later -- Close! Hard and chewy. Not quite as airy/crunchy/flakey as it should be. Like a very hard marshmallow.

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Guest Suzanne F

No, no -- clean up is easy: just fill the pan you cooked it in with water, bring it to a boil, and everything that got cooked onto the pan is dissolved again. (If that's what your problem was.)

 

It's also possible that the first time you tried it was particularly humid (for winter). That can affect candy-making quite a bit. Also a possibility: the honey you used had an unusually high water content. Water is the enemy of candy.

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The first recipe didn't have any temperatures for the sugar syrup. It wasn't nearly hot enough. With this one, I added a small bit of syrup at 250* to the egg whites, and a larger bit at 300*.

 

Basic Recipe:

 

1.5 C light corn syrup

2C sugar

1/4 C H20

Pinch Salt

 

Heated to 250*. Add quarter of syrup to 2 beaten egg whites. (If I left it at this point, would I have marshmallow topping?) Heated rest of syrup to 300* and added to mixture, along with a little almond extract. Then added 1/4 cup softened butter.

 

I should have warmed the bowl of the mixer -- the mixture cooled at the side and it was hard to incorporate.

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when heating up the syrup, is there an easy way to pour it out of the pan into the mixer without leaving the coating in the pan? It seems that a lot of the syrup was left over. I guess I can get a better rubber spatula (which leaves syrup on the spatula). How about if I sprayed the pan or spatula with non-flavored Pam?

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Guest Suzanne F

Rubber may melt at candy temperatures. Get a silicone spatula. LeCreuset, KitchenAid if you want to spend big bucks. Otherwise, poke around at Bway Panhandler -- they have some no-name ones that work just fine for a lot less $$$.

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  • 15 years later...

15 years later, I tried again.  This time using Bruno's recipe.*    Much better result, but still not right.  I was going for soft torrone, but the nougat was too soft -- more like a thick chewy marshmallow.  I assume that I didn't get the sugar high enough.  I used both digital and analog thermometers for the honey and the sugar syrup.  Odd, the analog thermometers registered about 10-15 degrees below the digital.  So, perhaps that's the simple answer.  (But when I tested them all in boiling water, they all registered at 212* on the dot.)  And I didn't have rice paper (thus, all the corn starch/powder) -- I think that would have held the individual bars together better.  

I may trying cubing the torrone and dipping in some melted chocolate.  

*Apparently, Chef John's recipe is very good, but I don't feel like that much stirring.

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  • 1 month later...

Another try over the weekend.  With dried mango, dried apricots, pistachios, almonds, pecans and cashews (because I didn't have enough pistachios and almonds).

Definitely better.  I had rice paper -- which was a mixed blessing.  Although it definitely helped contain the goo, when I poured the hot, sticky mess onto the rice paper, the paper slid around and crumpled and ended up quite the mess.  I had to peel it off and put on a new piece.  I let the sugar mixture get hotter this time, and the texture was a bit firmer.  But it still didn't have the texture of other soft torrone I've bought.  Mine was actually smoother, although I don't think I liked it better. It was still more marshmallowy.

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