In Italy, torrone is a traditional Christmas dessert—a sweet, toasted-almond candy—with many famous regional variations. The term “torrone” probably comes from the latin verb “torrere,” or to toast, referring to the toasted almonds. Today, there are many different types of torronne available—some soft, some hard and some with chocolate—not just in Italy, but worldwide. Torrone from Sicily, Abruzzo, and the cities of Siena, Alba, Cremona and others are especially renowned.
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- SERVES: 10-12
- LEVEL: Roll Up Your Sleeves
- 1 and 1/2 cup honey
- 1 and 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 cup almonds, peeled if desired and toasted
- 1 and 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted
- 3 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/2 orange, zested
- 2-4 pieces wafer paper
- Combine your honey and sugar in a large glass bowl over a pot of water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. This is your double boiler. Cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
- When there are about 5 minutes left, beat your egg whites and a small pinch of salt to stiff peaks using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or whisk.
- Whisk your egg whites into your honey-sugar mixture, one whisk-full at a time, making sure to incorporate each whisk-full completely before adding more.
- Use your wooden spoon again, and continue mixing for another 40-50 minutes, or until thickened and a ribbon of the mixture will stay on the surface for 5-7 seconds.
- Add your lemon and orange zest, as well as your toasted nuts. Stir to combine.
- Line a pyrex pan or baking pan with parchment paper, followed by a single layer of your wafer paper (trimmed if necessary). Add with your torrone filling, smoothing the top out with a spatula, and then top with another piece or two of your wafer paper.
- If possible, place a weight on top of the entire torrone, and set aside for 1-2 hours. Turn upside down on a board and cut into small rectangular pieces. Store the candy in a suitable container with wax paper in between.
NOTES: Method adapted from Chef John.