Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas torrone and a very overrrated movie

Christmas torrone / Torrone de Natal

I was reading something about Spring Breakers yesterday and decided to watch the notorious Kids, which script was written by Harmony Korine. I remember all the fuss created by the movie when it was released many years ago and now that I have seen it I know it was only because of its “controversial” subject, not because it’s any good. It’s a poor movie, uncomfortable to watch and completely unnecessary - one and a half hours of my life wasted with something very overrated.

When I was little, every year in the middle of December, my father received a basket of goodies from the company he worked for: there was panettone, prunes, raisins, chocolate, and torrone (which was my favorite treat in the basket). Nowadays, the torrone I find in shops is nothing like the torrone of those days – I believe both the product and my taste buds have changed – and up to recently I though the candy was really overrated (and what 6-year-olds know of good sweets, anyway?) :D.

That was until I made it at home. ;)

If you’re short on time, though, or don’t have a candy thermometer around (which is mandatory for making torrone), use your egg whites, pistachios and cranberries to make the financier version of torrone.

Christmas torrone
from Martha

edible wafer paper, enough for 2 layers in pan
1/3 cup corn starch
3 large egg whites
1 cup honey
3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
½ cup (70g) confectioners' sugar
130g shelled raw pistachios
130g dried cranberries

Piece together wafer paper, without overlapping, to fit bottom of a 22.5x32.2cm (9x13in) baking pan, and set aside. Liberally sprinkle a clean surface with the corn starch. Pour egg whites into bowl of electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine honey and granulated sugar. Place over medium heat; cook until mixture just begins to simmer, about 4 minutes. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of saucepan; continue to heat, stirring occasionally.
Beat whites until stiff peaks form; add confectioners' sugar, and beat until combined. When thermometer registers 157°C/315°F, remove honey mixture from heat. Temperature will rise to 160°C/320°F. Stir until temperature drops to 148°C/300°F, 1 to 2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly pour honey mixture into egg-white mixture (at this point, whites will double in volume; let stand a few seconds; volume will return to normal). Beat until mixture thickens and begins to stick to beaters; beat in the pistachio and cranberries.
Pour mixture onto cornstarch-covered surface (I found it easier to remove the mixture from the bowl using my hands, because it’s so stiff a spatula wouldn’t work); knead 3 turns and avoid incorporating too much corn starch. Stretch and roll to fit pan; place mixture in pan. Cover with another layer of wafer paper; let cool on wire rack. Cut into slices while still warm; store in airtight container, with parchment between layers, for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 40 large pieces – I made the exact recipe above using a 20x30cm (8x12in) baking pan


Marise said...

When you have the chance, try El Almendro, turrón al punto de sal. It is to die for!

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Beautiful torrone - such a treat!

anilou said...

Great recipe, I didn't think about making your own nougat at home. We call it 'edible rice paper', I haven't heard of 'wafer paper' before. Merry Christmas!

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