While we had his girls in Lake County during Spring break he and I were texting back and forth. He was just being funny and, all this time, I thought he was making a suggestion about one of my favorite Italian treats - torrone, an Italian nougat with nuts. I've always wanted to make it, but it took this - misunderstood text-a-roni - to get to me into the kitchen to make torrone.
If I don't have a traditional Italian recipe tucked into my memory bank somewhere, my resource of choice is La Cucina Italiana, either the print versions on my bookshelf or online. For this, I started with this La Cucina Italiana recipe. It worked well. I did use pistachios instead of almonds and lemon for orange.
Cornstarch for dusting
3 C whole, roasted and unsalted pistachios
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pink Himalaya salt
3 C organic granulated sugar
1 C clover honey
1/2 C organic powdered sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Put egg whites and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whisk; set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, heat sugar and honey over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until mixture begins to simmer and sugar is mostly dissolved. Drop a candy thermometer into the pan. Cook until temperature reaches 315º. It will take the mixture about 15 minutes or more. As it gets close to the temperature, the mixture will begin to foam and darken in color.
Meanwhile, beat egg whites on medium speed until firm peaks form. Add powdered sugar and continue to beat until fully incorporated, about 1 minute.