Saturday, March 29, 2014

Nougat Torrone - THE DARING BAKERS’ MARCH, 2014 CHALLENGE

The March 2014 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Rebecca of BakeNQuilt. She challenged us to learn to make classic nougat and to make it our own with our choice of flavors and add-ins.


This month we Daring Bakers were challenge by Rebecca of BakeNQuilt to learn to make nougat. The first sentence of the notes went like this "Success in nougat (as with most candy-making) relies on an accurate thermometer, dry weather, no distractions, and preparing everything in advance so it’s ready to go when you need it." Hmmmmm, since we had had over 400 mm of torrential rain in the past week and humidity of 80% and above, it probably wasn't the "dry weather" that nougat calls for. But I thought I would still try my hand at making Nougat Torrone by the recipe Rebecca supplied. 


Growing up in  an Italian family torrone was an essential part of every Christmas with at least several bars of the imported Italian nougat consumed during this time. Homemade Torrone is an often served at weddings and other special events in our regional town. It is brittle, filled with almonds and flavoured with cinnamon, made by descendants of Sicilians who immigrated to Australia many years ago bringing with them their traditions and recipes. Even though my family always had store bought Torrone, I have watched and helped with the making of this Italian Torrone. So with this idea and Rebecca's recipe, I persisted.
The honey I purchase is a delicious and delicate light coloured and light flavoured honey from the blossom of a eucalyptus tree, Yellow Messmate. I would have liked to team it with the macadamias fresh from the tree but this was not to be. So instead I toasted almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios and ground a cinnamon stick to fine powder for flavouring.



But alas! The humidity dealt a cruel blow! Even though I took the sugar syrup and honey to a higher temperature the recommended the resulting torrone is soft and chewy not hard and brittle as I would have liked. Kept in the refrigerator the nougat doesn't reduce itself to a sticky mess.  Photos are taken quickly but then the torrone is hastily returned to the refrigerator. Sad!
I think the recipe is great but one must do what one is advised - You need DRY WEATHER to successfully make nougat. Check out Rebecca's post for all the details and the recipe.

Thanks Rebecca, I do think it is a delicious recipe that will work in the right conditions!


3 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

You did an excellent job! These nougats have turned out perfect!

Rebecca said...

Marcellina, i'm sorry the weather didn't cooperate with you! Your nougat looks so pretty though and I love the idea of using cinnamon. I had the opposite problem when testing - super hard and brittle due to our drought conditions! I haven't tried it, but you can try drying out the soft nougat in a very low oven for several hours like meringue cookies.

Joy said...

I am wondering if anyone has tried the idea of drying the nougat in a low temp oven? Also, is the color of the honey the secret to the color of the torrone? I have tried to make torrone twice. Both came out sticky and soft. I live in damp San Francisco! But both batches came out yellowish rather than white. I guess I need a lighter than standard honey?