Homemade Torrone (Italian Nougat)

Homemade torrone (Italian Nougat) recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 24 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
226 Calories
6g Fat
43g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24
Amount per serving
Calories 226
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 89mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 41g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 33mg 3%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 98mg 2%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Torrone, the classic Italian nougat, is easy to make at home. Nougat is a sweet confection made of whipped egg whites, sugar and/or honey, and nuts. In this traditional torrone recipe, the honey-sweetened candy is flavored with orange and almond flavors, and packed with toasted almonds. It's a popular treat in Italy around the winter holidays, and a delicious gift year-round.

This is not a difficult candy to make, though it does require your undivided attention. The sugar mixture needs to be monitored to prevent burning and you'll want to beat the egg whites to firm peaks by the time the syrup reaches the target temperature. Be sure to have everything ready and read through the recipe a few times to familiarize yourself with the steps and timing. As with many egg white-based candies, nougat does not do well in humidity; it's best to choose a low humidity day to make this candy.

Ingredients

  • Edible rice paper, optional

  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

  • 1 cup honey

  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

  • 2 cups almonds, toasted

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for homemade torrone
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Prepare an 8-inch by 11-inch pan by lining it with plastic wrap, leaving enough excess to pull the candy out once it has set. Spray the lining with nonstick cooking spray, taking care to spray the sides well.

    Prepare pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Place the edible rice paper in a single layer on the bottom of the pan; you may need to cut the pieces to fit the pan.

    Cut rice paper to fit pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a large stand mixer that has been thoroughly cleaned and dried. Any traces of grease on the bowl or whisk will prevent the egg whites from beating properly.

    Egg whites in bowl
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Combine 3 cups of sugar, honey, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. The mixture will foam up as it cooks, so be sure your pan is large enough so it can safely triple in size.

    Combine sugar and honey
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  6. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to remove any stray sugar crystals.

    Stir until sugar dissolves
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Insert a candy thermometer and cook the syrup, stirring occasionally, until the mixture cooks to 290 F / 143 C.

    Insert candy thermometer
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  8. When the syrup reaches 270 F / 132 C, start beating the egg whites and salt with the large mixer using the whisk attachment until you have soft peaks.

    Mix egg whites
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. When the whites form soft peaks, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, a little at a time, until the whites are shiny and can hold firm peaks. Ideally, this stage should be reached when the sugar syrup reaches 290 F / 143 C but, if the whites are at stiff peaks before the syrup is ready, stop the mixer, so the whites are not overbeaten.

    Whites form soft peaks
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Replace the whisk attachment with the paddle attachment.

    Replace whisk attachment
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Continue to cook the syrup until it reaches 290 F / 143 C then remove the pan from the burner and carefully pour it into a large 4-cup measuring cup or similarly sized container with a spout.

    Continue to cook syrup
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  12. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly and carefully stream the hot syrup into the egg whites. (If you don't have a container with a spout, be very careful when pouring the hot sugar syrup directly from the saucepan into the mixer.)

    stream the hot syrup into the egg whites
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  13. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high, and continue to beat the egg whites for 5 minutes, until very thick, stiff, and shiny.

    Increase speed of mixer
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  14. Add the three extracts—vanilla, orange, and almond—and beat briefly to incorporate them.

    Add extracts
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  15. Add the toasted almonds to the bowl, and stir until they're well incorporated. The candy will be very sticky and stiff.

    Add toasted almonds
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  16. Scrape the candy into the prepared pan, then use an offset spatula or knife sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to smooth the top.

    Scrape candy into pan
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  17. Cover the top completely with another layer of rice paper, cut to fit.

    Cover the top with more rice paper
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  18. Place a pan of the same size on top of your nougat, and place a large book or another heavy object in the pan to weigh it down. Let sit at room temperature for several hours.

    Place pan on top
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  19. When you are ready to cut the nougat, lift it from the pan using the plastic wrap as handles. Spray a large sharp chef's knife with nonstick cooking spray, and cut the nougat into small squares. If the knife gets too sticky, periodically wash it with hot water and dry it between cuts.

    Cut nougat
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  20. Nougat can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. It is sticky and will gradually lose its shape once cut, so for storage purposes, wrap individual squares in nonstick waxed paper.

    Serve the nougat
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

What Is Edible Rice Paper?

Traditionally, nougat is made with edible rice paper to make it easier to slice and serve. Also known as wafer paper, it's available at some kitchen and gourmet stores, as well as online. The thin rice paper wrappers used for spring rolls are not a good substitute.

Tip

  • For thinner nougat, use a 9-inch by 13-inch pan instead.
  • If you cannot find the rice paper, line the pan with foil, spraying it thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. Skip the compacting step and do your best to smooth the top of the nougat.

Why Is It Called Nougat?

The word "nougat" is French and derived from the Old Occitan (Provençal) word nogat, meaning nutcake. It's a centuries-old type of chewy candy popular in France, Italy, Spain, the Balkans, and the Middle East, each with its own variation. While Italians call it torrone, in Spain, it's known as turrón, and Iran's gaz is often called Persian nougat.

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