Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Turrón de Jijona #FantasticalFoodFight


I love the Fantastical Food Fight coordinated by Sarah of Fantastical Sharing of Recipes. For more information about the event, click here. This month, she challenged us to make candy! She posted: "Our theme for the month is: CANDY. Your recipe must be a CANDY recipe. This can be hard candy, fudge, toffee, truffles, taffy, etc."



I sent her a quick note back, "Just wanted to confirm this is for MAKING candy, not using already made candy, right?" Correct. Okay. Thinking cap on! I'm not a big candy fan. But I have made fudge and truffles; though I guess I'm wrong in not considering them candy.


That train of thought took me to Italian Torrone and I remembered that friends had brought me some honey from Spain this summer. I have always wanted to try to make Turrón. I found two versions - Turrón de Navidad and Turrón de Jijona - and loved the idea of a soft nougat. That would be the latter.


The honeys they gave me were Tomillo (thyme) and Albaida (gypsophilia or milflores). We have used the Albaida in teas over the past few months. So, this Turrón is made with the thyme honey and you can really taste that herb. It's delicious!

Also a quick note that I don't know if this is truly authentic. Susana is bringing me some Turrón  that her parents brought from Spain this week. So, I can sample the correct texture...tomorrow. For now, I'm sharing this because the flavor is amazing. But first...the throwdown...

The Candy Throwdown

Turrón de Jijona 
Spanish soft nougat

Turrón is of Moorish origin and was its recipe first written down 500 years ago in the small town of Jijona where wildflowers in the mountains help bees create delicious, abundant honey. Turrón is a classic Christmas sweet with, likely, as many variations as cooks. This is one that I adapted from several different versions. And, again, I don't know how traditional or accurate my version is. Susana says it should be kind of soft, but crunchy from the almonds. Mine is more the texture of marzipan.

Ingredients

  • 2/3 C honey 
  • 1/2 C organic powdered sugar 
  • 1/2 t grated cinnamon
  • 1/4 t grated nutmeg (that's my addition)
  • zest from 2 organic lemons (I used Meyer lemons)
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 C finely ground almonds

Procedure
Line a flat dish with cheesecloth.

Warm the honey over a medium-low heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the powdered sugar and keep stirring until it is dissolved. Continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon zest.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg white. Whisk it quickly to avoid cooking the egg into strands. Return the pan to the heat, whisking constantly before stirring in the almonds.

Fold the mixture until the almonds are completely moistened. Spoon the almonds into the cheesecloth and compress the mixture, flattening the top. Wrap the cheesecloth completely over the sweet and weigh it down with a plate or dish. The weight will help expel the oils and dry out the candy.

Leave to chill and compress overnight in the fridge. Cut into chunks to serve. 


Buen provecho y feliz navidad!

8 comments:

  1. Almond flour sounds like a great choice for candy!

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  2. It sounds wonderful! How nice to have such amazing honey too.

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  3. That sounds like a delicious candy... honey, almond... totally yum!

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  4. Thyme honey sounds totally amazing, and the candy does too!

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  5. What a fun kitchen project - even if you didn't have an original to compare to this time. They look amazing and the flavor sounds wonderful!

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  6. I am drooling - this sounds absolutely fantastic and looks even better. I love that you share foods with histories in other cultures. Love learning about new things :)

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