Soft nougat (torrone morbido)
400 g raw almonds
confectionery rice paper
500 g sugar
50 g liquid glucose
100 ml water
450 g orange-blossom honey
3 egg whites
100 g pistachios
60 g marasche cherries (Italian cherries in syrup), or glacé cherries if unavailable
100 g white chocolate
Note: You will need a sugar thermometer for this recipe.
Lightly roast the almonds in a moderate oven. Butter the sides of a lamington tray (approximately 20 × 30 cm) and line the base with rice paper.
Put the sugar, glucose and water in a saucepan and cook until it reaches 150°C on a sugar thermometer. At the same time, put the honey in a separate saucepan and cook until it reaches 120°C.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. When the sugar and honey reach temperature, gradually pour the hot honey into the egg whites with the beaters running. Then, gradually pour in the sugar syrup. Keep beating for another 5 minutes (the mixture will begin to firm up), then fold in the almonds, pistachios and cherries.
Pour into the tray and spread to the corners (the mixture will be quite stiff by this stage). To smooth the top, cover with a sheet of baking paper and roll with a rolling pin.
Place another rectangular tray on top and weight down with a heavy object, such as a bag of sugar or flour. Leave overnight.
The next day, melt the chocolate and, after removing the baking paper, spread the chocolate over the top of the nougat. Cover with another sheet of baking paper and smooth the surface of the chocolate with your fingers. Remove the baking paper and leave until the chocolate hardens. Cut the nougat into bars.
SBS cook’s notes
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55–60 g, unless specified.
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