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ITALIAN NOUGAT - Sweetmeat from Naples

ITALIAN NOUGAT - Sweetmeat from Naples


  • 6-8 sheets edible rice paper (baking, not Asian)
  • 100 g blanched almonds
  • 200 g whole hazelnuts
  • 100 g skinned pistachios
  • 250 g clear runny honey
  • 2 large egg whites (60 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • tablespoons golden syrup
  • 2 baking trays: 26 x 16 x 2.5 cm (or 1
    Swiss roll tin, 39 x 29 x 2.5 cm)
  • Sugar thermometer
Makes about 650 g

Line the bottom of the baking trays with rice paper. Spread the almonds and hazelnuts on a separate baking sheet and toast in a pre-heated oven at 200° C (400° F) Gas Mark 6 for 5-8 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven. Let the almonds cool on a plate. Put the hazelnuts in a clean cloth and rub off the skins.

Put the honey in a wide saucepan. Drop in a sugar thermometer, bring to the boil and boils steadily until the honey reaches soft-ball stage – 115oC (240° F).

While the honey is cooking, wisk the egg whites in a food mixer until firm peaks form. They should be ready at the same time as the honey, not before. When the honey is ready, pour it over the eggs whites, with the machine still running. Continue whisking for 5-8 minutes until thick and cooled. Beat in the vanilla.

Put the sugar, syrup and 2 tablespoons of water in a wide saucepan and melt over a low heat. When dissolved, drop in a sugar thermometer and bring to the boil. Boil until the syrup reaches the hard-crack stage – 148°C (285°F). Remove the mixture from the machine and stir in the nuts. Spoon the torrone carefully into the rice paper-lined tins in blobs then spread flat – it should be about 1.25 cm tick. Cover with more rice paper, then put one tin on top of the other and press down gently to level the surface. Repeat, but vice versa.

Allow to cool, then cut into squares. When cold, wrap well in clingfilm and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.