Why It Works
- The aluminum foil “sling” makes it easy to remove the turrón from its dish and slice.
- The traditional edible wafer paper on the bottom and top of the nougat keeps it from being too sticky to enjoy.
It was never fancy. Usually, we—my dad and I—would be at the pharmacy or checkout aisle in the supermarket and we'd toss a few glossy rectangular boxes into the red plastic shopping basket or already packed cold metal cart. But somehow, those gold-lettered boxes and cellophane wrapper, along with the excitement of Christmas being just a few days away, made a bar of nut-encrusted, wafer-covered, crunchy, pale golden nougat a once-a-year treat that I truly looked forward to.
Marcona almonds and honey have been used to flavor the nougat for centuries.
Turrón de Alicante is a nougat traditional to Spain served most frequently during the Christmas season. Marcona almonds and honey have been used to flavor the nougat for centuries, their presence in the recipe highlighting local ingredients as well as Arabic influence. Turrón de Alicante is a regional specialty, characterized by a firm nougat sandwiched between two wafer sheets. Turrón de Jijona, a close cousin, is chewier and softer than the Alicante variety. Versions of turrón exist across the Mediterranean, including the Italian torrone.
Making turrón at home this morning, as the smell of honey and almonds wafted from my mixing bowl while the whisk whipped egg whites and hot syrup into a sticky cloud of nougat, I smiled as memory took over and deposited me under the blue-tinted neon lit drugstore. It's the small things that make this season special. And delicious.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons water
1 large egg white, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 sheets of wafer paper, trimmed to 8- by 8-inches (see note)
3/4 cup Marcona almonds, very coarsely chopped
Line an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with heavy-duty foil lengthwise with one sheet, then crosswise with a second sheet to create a sling. Lightly coat sides with spray.
Combine sugar, honey, and water in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir with wooden spoon over medium heat until sugar dissolves completely, 7 to 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and boil syrup until thermometer registers 250°F (121°C), 2 to 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, whip egg white and salt on medium speed until it holds soft peaks, about 2 minutes.
With mixer running, add hot syrup to egg white in a slow, steady stream. Beat until mixture is thick and glossy and outside of bowl feels cool to the touch, about 10 minutes. Add lemon zest and beat just to combine.
Lightly coat rubber spatula with cooking spray. Stir in almonds.
Place one trimmed sheet of wafer paper in prepared pan (see note). Scrape turrón mixture into pan, spreading in an even layer with spatula. Top with second sheet of wafer paper, and press down lightly with a flat-bottomed 1/2-cup measure to compress and flatten.
Let stand at room temperature until set, 1 to 2 hours. Transfer turrón to cutting board with sling. Remove and discard sling, then cut into 8 pieces and serve.
- To trim the wafer paper to 8- by 8-inches, arrange one sheet on a cutting board. Set the baking pan on paper. With a sharp knife, slice the excess paper off. Repeat with second sheet.
- Edible wafer paper is available at most specialty cake shops and online.
8- by 8-inch baking pan, heavy-duty foil, edible wafer paper, electric mixer, rubber spatula, wooden stirring spoon, candy thermometer, large heavy-bottomed saucepan
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 7g||9%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 48g||17%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||5%|
|Total Sugars 43g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||1%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|