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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Torroni di Mandorle - Almond Nougat

Christmas is an excellent opportunity to prepare traditional Italian desserts and serve old recipes but, despite the passing years, still remains a favorite by everyone, young and old. Here is one of my favorite Christmas treats.

Torroni di Mandorle
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Blanched Almonds
1 lb. toasted almonds
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
Zest of one orange

Blanching Almonds
Pour boiling water to barely cover almonds.
Let the almonds sit for 1 minute and no longer.
Drain and slip the skins off.

Toasting Almonds
Place almonds in a heavy, ungreased skillet.
Stir often over medium heat until golden brown.
Oven method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Toasted Almonds
Spread nuts in one layer on ungreased shallow baking pan.
Bake for 20 to 30, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

Melt sugar and honey in a pot over medium heat, add the almonds and turn constantly with a wooden spoon (about 30 minutes) until a firm consistency. Add orange zest in final minute. Put the mixture on a wet, work surface and spread with a cutting board until you reach a thickness of 1 inch. Cut into rectangles of 2 inches.

These torroni may be kept in a closed container for a long time.