I have been experimenting with recipes for this wonderful confection for a couple of months now. This one here has been the best of the bunch (and it just happens that I made the batch today). It is something of a hybrid of recipes and techniques whose sources are listed below. BTW, it just so happens that one soft sticky batch I made turns out to make a wonderful Torta di ricotta con torrone (That's roughly a Ricotta nougat cheesecake Italian style).
- 1 c. minus 2 Tbsp. corn syrup
- 1 c. minus 2 Tbsp. honey (I like star thistle honey if you have it available)
- 1 c. minus 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 large egg whites (1/4 c.)
- 1/2 c. slivered blanched almonds
- 1/2 c. shelled pistachios
- 1/2 c. hazelnuts, skins removed, or pine nuts
- 2 Tbsp. cold butter cut into small cubes
- 2-3 tsp. orange flower water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp organic lemon oil extract
Have the egg whites ready in a mixer with a whisk, and a paddle handy (this assumes you have a KitchenAid mixer; the regular beaters will suffice for both purposes in other mixers).
Put the nuts to roast on a cookie sheet in a 300 deg. oven for about ten minutes. Lightly roasted is the goal here.
Combine the sugar, honey, corn syrup and 1 Tbsp. of water in a very well cleaned and dried stainless steel pot that will allow for it to boil up to triple its volume. Bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly until it boils. Cover for 3-5 minutes or wash down crystals on the sides of the pan by your preferred method. Uncover, place a candy thermometer in the pan and cook without stirring. Start whipping the egg whites in the mixing bowl. Beat them until very stiff and try to time the conclusion of this step with the syrup approaching the firm ball to hard ball stage (245 deg.). If using a KitchenAid, the whisk will throw too much syrup onto the sides of the bowl for this next step, so change to the paddle. VERY CAREFULLY take a 1/2 c. stainless steel measuring cup, also VERY clean, and scoop up as much of the boiling syrup, up to 1/2 c., and pour very slowly into egg whites beating them about med. to med. high speed. Beat until the meringue becomes very thick, about five minutes. During this time, continue to watch the syrup as it boils, as the temperature will rise very quickly from now on. When the rest of the syrup is almost to the hard crack stage (take it off the heat at 290 deg.) prepare to pour this also into the meringue in the mixing bowl. Let it cool to the point of the bubbles subsiding. If you use any water to cool the pan be very careful as the hot syrup could cause spattering if it contacts cool water. Turn the mixer back to med. high and pour in the remaining syrup, and continue to beat five minutes more. The nougat should begin getting quite thick now, and while still very warm beat in the butter and the flavorings. At the end stir in the nuts by hand.
Have ready an 8"x8" or 9"x9" pan lined with parchment and oiled with almond, hazelnut, or pistachio oil. A very light oiling will suffice, as would the use of unsalted butter. Pour in the nougat, and set it in a cool place for 12 hours. Cut into pieces with a wet or oiled kitchen knife and wrap in more oiled parchment.
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Source: The Joy of Cooking
Submitted By: Mark Uhlmann
Torrone, or Italian Nougat