Torrone is an amazing recipe that is liked by all. A smooth nougat made with sugar, honey, fresh eggs, and toasted almonds or hazelnuts, is a popular snack loved during the festivities in Italy. Its consistency can vary from rough-crunchy and strong-to smooth and chewy morbidity. Often it is either coated in caramel or aromatized in spices. Torrone is enjoyed at formal events nowadays, particularly around the Christmas holidays, when it is distributed in the many seasonal markets and confectioneries in Italy.
Torrone is undoubtedly to be irresistible. It makes people remind of their families at Christmas eves. Its traditional version is prepared from ingredients that have preserved its heritage with cooked honey, sugar combined with hazelnuts and eggs. Those who are addicted to healthy snacks have no chance of resisting this snack as its delicious taste will make them craving for even more.
Need to make the perfect torrone right in your kitchen? Your reaction is yes, of course, who wouldn’t be wanting such a delightful snack. Enjoy the delicious torrone range all over the global market, or make up your stuff with the procedure below. Read on for our recipe for a perfect torrone!
Etymology of Torrone
When you dream of Italian Christmas sweets as lovely and tasty, torrone ranks right up there as a delightful treat. Torrone or nougat is a snack food usually produced from white eggs, sugar, and nuts, including almonds and hazelnuts, and does seem that the name originates from the Latin term “torrere” implying “toast.” While celebrated in many areas of Italy at Christmas time and other holidays, this typical item is appreciated in Spain and France too.
History of Torrone Recipe
Naturally, like any novelty food such as torrone, it is hard to say for sure its heritage. While its roots remain unclear, many assume that it was loved in Italy as early as the Ancient Roman period, when honey and nuts were mostly eaten as sweets. Back in 116 BC, throughout the Roman republic, Marco Terenzio Marrone reported of “Cupeto” or “Cuppedo,” which would have been close to torrone of nowadays.
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Then, earlier in the 4th or 5th century AD, the word refers to a tasty egg white, almond, and honey in one of the oldest recorded cookbooks. Others also claim that the torrone originated from the Middle East since the Arabs talked of a nice “turun.”
In Italy, it is assumed that it all started in Cremona on October 25, 1441, when Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza, who ultimately became the Duke and Duchess of Milan, were bounded in the relation of Mr. and Mrs. The intervening cooks made a fantastic dish having similarity to the tower of the town called “Torrazo.” Thus, Torrone’s first record in Italy originated in the city of Cremona in 1441, where it was prepared at the royal wedding ceremonies.
Torrone retains its elegance even though if you like alternative ingredients. Note that it’s precious to make, so it’s more than essential to include the right quantity of everything. Apart from that, it’s simpler than you would imagine, but it requires a few ingredients and spices to render it perfectly fine.
Some ingredients are already in your kitchen, while some may require you to visit the mall and get them. However, it is not necessary that you should have all the items listed here, you can add whatever you think will enhance the taste. Even though traditional torrone has a specific taste, you should not be afraid of being innovative in the kitchen and add ingredients according to your choice.
In last, there are some items that are added only to give the sweet some “taste.” In other words, these ingredients are optional, which again means you can skip them if you are unable to find them. Do not just stick to whatever items are required as recipes change with traditions, and be comfortable with your own cooked torrone.
- Three egg whites
- 1 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- One tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
- 2 cups almonds (toasted)
- 3 cups and two tablespoons granulated sugar
- Edible rice paper (totally optional)
Some important things to note: egg whites should be carefully separated from yolks. Even though there is no harm in using yolks, traditional recipe mentions the use of egg whites explicitly. Also, it is necessary to use egg whites at stable room temperature. You should not go for what some people do, and that is, to use frozen egg whites.
Other than the above, almonds should be toasted. The main point is that you should have an understanding of the difference between “toasted” and “roasted.” If you want a perfect taste, you should toast the almonds just a little bit and no more than that. Deeply roasted almonds may fail to give your snack what is called a perfect taste.
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As it is already mentioned, some items are optional, and one of them is rice paper. You are free to use whatever paper you have in your kitchen cabinet. Moreover, it should be noted that toasted almonds and almond extract are two different things and should not be exchanged for one another. Both of the items add a unique flavor to torrone, and the absence of any can damage the taste.
How to Prepare Torrone?
Usually, this traditional Italian nougat is made from almonds, and the main reason why almonds are used is because of their vibrant color and fresh taste. Torrone can differ between hard and soft, but this one has a sweet, gentle chew. Flavor-less wafer paper sheets prevent the stripes from sticking to each other.
After you have done grabbing all the ingredients, it’s time to have your first traditional torrone encounter, or perhaps the way you like it, based on the ingredients of your choices. Here is a step by step guideline of how to make the perfect torrone right in your home – fast, quick, and tasty in a completely traditional way. Only in a short period, it will allow you to go and fulfill your snack craving every time you wish for it.
- Begin preparing the pan by covering it with plastic wrap, then apply nonstick cooking oil, ensuring that the sides are well coated.
- Place the organic rice paper on the bottom of the container in a single layer. If the paper is large, perhaps you need to break the pieces to match the container.
- Put the egg whites with salt in the bowl and make sure no yolks are added. Any residue of oil on the cup or whisker will avoid adequate beating of the egg whites, so make sure of it.
- In a wide saucepan over medium heat, mix 3 cups of honey, sugar, corn syrup, and water. The water is going to bubble up when it heats, so make absolutely sure the pan is high enough to double in size comfortably.
- You should pay attention as you add the ingredients as sugar crystals may remain at the bottom of the pan. To extract any leftover sugar crystals, try stirring until the sugar completely gets dissolved.
- Steam the syrup and stir continuously. When the temperature rises, use any spatula to begin beating the egg whites and salt until you are left with soft peaks.
- As the egg whites shape into soft peaks, add the remaining two teaspoons of sugar but little at one time. Does it till the mixture becomes smooth and can support stable peaks? An important thing to note is not to overbeat the whites. If the whites have become firm peaks and the syrup is prepared, then avoid beating them.
- Now it’s time to stop stirring and just steaming the syrup until it is “boiled” thoroughly. Extract the syrup in the pan and scatter it into a large cup, or in a similar pot. Do it carefully and gradually steam the hot syrup into the egg whites.
- After you have poured the syrup into egg whites, beat the mixture for almost five minutes before they become dense, hard, and somewhat shiny. Now, add the toasted almonds and mix until it becomes well absorbed. This will make the dessert moist and dense.
- Cover the surface of the prepared plate with a further sheet of rice paper and place the nougat on the top. Let it stay for some hours at room temperature.
- Once it is ready, cut it carefully with a non-sticky knife, and here you go with your delicious torrone in its traditional style!
Things to Remember
Like any other historical recipe, torrone is sacred, and its traditions should be preserved as they are. Therefore, it is always important to consider the rituals as specific customs are associated with each recipe. These traditions, how ancient they are, nobody understands, yet they have passed down from generation to generation, rendering Torrone a very sacred sweet.
The perfect texture of torrone is essential, as it is not only the taste that requires efforts to make it. Organically grown wafer paper is the ideal way to maintain the form on top and bottom or left and right sides of your nougat but is not necessary for such a recipe. You should quickly shift a 50% cornstarch coating and 50% icing sugar instead of using wafer paper to keep the nougat from attaching to it.
After you have prepared your torrone, you should remember that nougat can break or melt in conditions with intense humidity. If you stay in a high-humidity setting, leave it in a dry atmosphere or wrap it with a vacuum sealant to preserve the traditional texture of it. Using this method, you can enjoy this craving snack for more than one time.
Not to do’s
Paying attention when making Torrone is essential because even a slight act of mistake can transform your delicious snack into anything but a typical sweet. Here are a few suggestions on why you should always be vigilant not to ruin the chance to create what is considered an authentic Italian snack.
There are typically three mistakes that everyone makes when they prepare their first torrone. Usually, what happens is that all of us have stored our eggs in the refrigerator. Because torrone is a winter snack and is made in Christmas time when the cold is prevailing, most of the eggs used are frozen from inside.
Not only this make it difficult to separate the egg white from the yolk, but also frozen egg white can damage the taste. If yolks are added in the recipe, the traditional taste will be ruined, and thus it is crucial to keep the eggs in room temperature to make a perfect dish.
Next are the almonds. Even though it is already mentioned, but almonds are required to be toasted just a little bit. Torrone tradition doesn’t involve too much roasting of almonds, and you should pay attention to this point, especially if you are not adding any extra ingredient and if you really want to make a traditional treat.
Almonds are not exchangeable for almond extract. Note it or paste this statement on the wall. So many torrone beginners just skip this critical point because they combine the features of both. The reality is that both toasted almonds and almonds extract play their key role in giving it not only a great taste but also a perfect texture.
Torrone may be eaten instantly or kept at elevated temperatures in an airtight bag. It is sticky and will slowly become lose its form until sliced, so cover single squares in nonstick waxed paper for storing purpose. Besides, this recipe includes edible rice paper, which is also recognized as wafer paper.
The rice paper helps keep the nougat from sticking on anything and making the treat simpler on the shape, and thus you should prefer it. However, you can also use any other paper like butter paper if you want.
In last, torrone is a really lovely snack, and you should try it. Indeed, it is a perfect alternative to adopt, not only in customs but taste too.