Archive for the ‘Confections’ Category

The ChocolateDoctor’s Bumpy, Rocky Road

Friday, August 8th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

In 1950, a Russian Immigrant, Sam Altshuler started the The Annabelle Candy Company in San Francisco. The company was named after Sam’s daughter. It’s like I have always believed, all great trends start in California and Rocky Road was no exception.

The company currently makes 10 different candy bars. Rocky Road, the original marshmallow, chocolate, and cashews bar currently ranks among the top 35 best selling chocolate bars on the West Coast. Annabelle also makes Big Hunk, Look, U-NO and Abba-Zaba candy bars—all my favorites.

This recipe is my take on Sam’s famous, original Rocky Road bar. It’s easy to prepare and makes for wonderful food gifts for Christmas or Easter. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making it, you can find an Annabelle Rocky Road bar in a candy aisle near you.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Cool Time: 2 hours
Yield: 10 Bars

Ingredients:
8 ounces Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate
2 1/2 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate
3/4 ounce unsalted butter
1 3/4 ounces mixed mini marshmallows
1 3/4 ounces butter shortbread cookies, chopped into mini marshmallow size sized pieces
3 1/2 ounces salted cashews nuts
3/4 ounce dried cherries

Directions:

  1. Line a 3 x 10-inch loaf pan with plastic food wrap.
  2. Place the milk and dark chocolates with the butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water); then stir until melted.
  3. Stir marshmallows, cashews and dried cherries into chocolate.
  4. Spread into pan, chill in fridge for 2 hours or until hard. Remove from the pan by lifting the edges of the plastic food wrap.
  5. Slice into 1-inch wide bars on a clean dry cutting board.

ChefSecret: You can replace the cashews with roasted and salted macadamia nuts or blanched, roasted and salted almonds. Any crisp cookie can be used in place of the butter shortbread.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Home-Made Chocolate Almond Toffee (Almond Roca-Style Candy)

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Harry Brown and J. C. Haley invented Almond Roca in 1912. It is that famous log-shaped, butter-almond toffee confection, individually wrapped in gold foil and packaged in a pink tin can. There is nothing better than receiving one the original tins for a holiday unless it’s a batch of homemade almond toffee made in your own kitchen. Giving the gifts that you make yourself are gifts from the heart.

You won’t need any special equipment when making homemade almond toffee—not even a candy thermometer. You will need to stir the toffee constantly and watch the color as you bring it to a medium mahogany color.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cool Time: 4 to 6 hours
Yield: about 2 pounds

Ingredients:
2 cups unsalted butter (for this recipe I used Plugrá butter)
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 cup whole roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of pure almond extract
1 1/2 cup Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate Pastilles, or
Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate Pastilles
1/2 cup almonds, ground for almonds for coating the logs
Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2-inches jelly roll pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed 2-quart (or larger) saucepan, combine the butter sugar and water over high heat, stirring constantly, until they combine completely.
  3. Continue cooking over high heat while stirring. (if using a thermometer 300º F)
  4. Add coarsely chopped almonds until just mixed.
  5. Add the vanilla and almond extracts by pouring down the side of the pan to prevent the toffee from crystallizing.
  6. Quickly and carefully pour the hot toffee and almond mixture onto the prepared jelly roll pan. Tilt to spread evenly. Use a pot holder as the pan can get very hot.
  7. After 5 minutes, distribute the chocolate pastilles over the toffee mixture. When they have begun to melt, spread them over the top of the hot toffee with a silicone spatula.
  8. Sprinkle the ground nuts evenly over the top.
  9. Cool the toffee for at least 4 hours, and up to 8 hours, at room temperature until hardened completely. The almond toffee is thoroughly cool when the chocolate is slightly dull looking.
  10. Break into pieces and the almond toffee is ready to eat.

ChefSecret: I recommend using Plugrá Butter for the taste. It’s made with a higher butterfat content than most American butters (82% vs. 80%). That may not sound like much, but it makes a big difference in the final taste of the toffee.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate-Peanut Butter Fudge

Friday, June 27th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

I love a good piece of fudge any time. It is a good thing to snack on when you need an energy boost. We thought about making Choclatique fudge, but decided it is so easy to make at home that we would just share one of our secret recipes with you. We’ve made it easy. There are just 5 ingredients, most of which you already have in your home pantry.

This fudge is seriously good. Best of all, it works every time. It is great to give as a hostess/host gift. Consider this a base recipe and feel free to mix things up a bit. You can change the chocolate and add different mix-ins or toppings to create a variety of flavors and textures. Last week we even swirled in 1/4 cup of Concord grape jelly. So, be creative; we leave it up to you.

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
16 oz. confectioner’s sugar (about 3 ½ cups)
1 1/2 cups Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate Pastilles

Directions:

  1. Prepare an 8 x 8 baking dish lined with food film, parchment or wax paper and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and peanut butter. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract and confectioner’s sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until just incorporated.
  3. Transfer the base mixture to a medium size bowl and whip it using an electric mixer for about 2 minutes.
  4. Transfer the base mixture into the prepared baking dish. Press it down with a spatula and smooth until level.
  5. Microwave the milk chocolate in a small bowl for 1 minute. Stir until melted, smooth and shiny (heat for an additional 30 seconds if needed). Pour melted chocolate over the fudge, and use a spatula to gently spread it.
  6. Let the fudge cool at room temperature for 4-5 hours before cutting into 1-inch pieces.

ChefSecrets: If you want a less sweet tasting fudge substitute Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate Pastilles for the milk chocolate pastilles for the topping. Cooling the fudge at room temperature for 4 to 5 hours will reduce the amount of crystallization that you can get with poorly prepared fudge. You can quickly set the fudge in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes, but expect that it may crystallize and taste a bit gritty. You will see condensation if you try to serve it at room temperature after refrigerating. So, just try to allow enough time to cool it properly.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Venice Beach Pier Chocolate Saltwater Taffy

Friday, June 13th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

When Venice of America opened on July 4, 1905, Abbott Kinney had already dug several miles of canals to drain the marshes for his planned residential community. He built a 1,200-foot long pleasure pier with an auditorium, ship-style restaurant, dance hall, hot salt-water plunge and 3 blocks of arcaded businesses all in Venetian-style architecture.

Thousands of tourists arrived on the “Red Cars” of the Pacific Electric Railway from Los Angeles and Santa Monica, then rode the Venice miniature railroad and canal gondolas to tour the town. But the biggest attractions were Venice’s gently sloping beaches and the saltwater taffy emporium. This was the Roaring ‘20’s and for the amusement of the public, Kinney hired aviators to do aerial stunts over the beach and boat races in the Pacific surf. Venice was becoming famous for its canals, beaches and circus-like oceanfront walk; a pedestrian-only promenade that featured street performers, fortune-tellers, artists and vendors.

My uncle opened Herb’s Doughnut Factory & Coffee. It was known for the state-of-the-art conveyor fryer that plopped the raw batter into the hot oil and transported each steamy, yummy doughnut past the counter guests under a curved glass canopy as they enjoyed their 5¢ cup of coffee. Who could resist the temptation of one of these plump morning treats at only 3¢. As afternoon turned to evening, doughnuts and coffee sales declined and my uncle added saltwater taffy chews to his offerings. Here one could get a twenty-piece bag of authentic Venice Beach Pier Saltwater Taffy for only 7¢. This little spot became as famous as the saltwater taffy shops on the Atlantic City’s Boardwalk in New Jersey.

You’ll never sink your teeth into a piece of candy quite like old fashioned salt water taffy. Each bite will leave you wanting more with its unique, soft, non-sticky texture and its irresistible flavor. Here is the original recipe that made Herb’s Doughnut Factory & Coffee (and taffy emporium) a major attraction at The Venice of America.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cool Time: 30 to 45 minutes
Ready In: 2 hours
Yield: Makes 120 pieces

Ingredients:
Cooking spray or oil
1/2 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons cold coffee
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 cups light corn syrup
1/2 vanilla bean, split
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Wax twisting papers

Directions:

  1. Generously grease a baking sheet.
  2. In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the milk, coffee, sugar, cocoa powder and corn syrup.
  3. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan. Add the pod. Begin to bring to a boil over high heat, uncovered, then insert candy thermometer.
  4. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring frequently to avoid scorching, until mixture reaches 246º F (this is known as the firm ball stage), 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Remove pan from heat and pour on baking sheet.
  6. Remove vanilla bean pod with tongs. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the surface of the taffy. Cool until warm to the touch, 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. Turn the cooled taffy onto a large oiled cutting board. Stretch the taffy out with both hands, fold it over on itself and stretch again. Repeat this continuously until the taffy has turned opaque and white, about 15 minutes. This step is called pulling taffy.
  8. Generously grease the blades of a kitchen scissors and your hands. Pull the taffy into 4 equal pieces. Roll the first into an 24-inch robe. Snip off 1-1/2-inch pieces; immediately roll them in wax paper, so they hold their shape. Repeat with remaining taffy.
  9. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

ChefSecret: Be very careful when working with hot sugar confections as they can cause terrible burns. Saltwater Taffy and hard candies will not set properly on a humid or moist day.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate & Worm Dirt Cups

Thursday, April 24th, 2014
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Worms in dirt may not sound appetizing, but kids will love it. Start by making a delicious homemade pudding that you will chill and later decorate with crushed cookies and gummy worms. I even like to add a sour gummy worm or two. Not that you ever have a problem with getting kids to eat a chocolate dessert, the dirt and creepy-crawly treats will have them ask for more. It’s all about chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. How can you go wrong?

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cool Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 Hours 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
3/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
6 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 cups chocolate milk
12 ounces Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate Pastilles
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup crushed chocolate cookies
12 to 16 gummy worms

Directions:

  1. Thoroughly wash 6 to 8 new terra cotta garden pots and line with clear, clean plastic inserts (available at your local nursery).
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder, sugar and salt and set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl combine the cornstarch and heavy cream.
  4. In a double boiler over simmering water, heat the chocolate milk until steaming.
  5. Remove from heat, pour half of the chocolate milk into the heavy cream mixture, while whisking.
  6. Add the cocoa mixture to the liquid and stir. Return the combined mixture to double boiler. Cook, stirring for approximately 5 minutes or until the pudding has thickened. I will leave tracks on the back of the spoon when you draw your finger across it.
  7. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla extract, stirring until smooth.
  8. Divide evenly among the bowls and cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface, to avoid a pudding skin from forming, chill for at least 2 hours or until you are ready to serve.
  9. When ready to serve apply an even layer of crushed chocolate cookies on top of the pudding.
  10. Top off with gummy worms for decoration.

ChefSecret: To give a more 3-dimensional look, stick a paper or plastic flower on the pot.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Almost, But Not Quite A Baby Ruth® Candy Bar

Friday, September 6th, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

It was in the late ‘60’s. Jim Jordon and I hopped on to a United Airlines plane—first class no less—and headed off to Chicago. Jim was a famous commercial director and I was the house art director at Cascade Pictures. We were going to meet with the president of the Curtiss Candy Company about designing and producing their first television commercial for Baby Ruth Candy. I had my sketches and story boards all packed up and Jim had his smile and wit. The meeting went well and we were hired. When we left, we were both given a gift box of Curtiss Candy products (Baby Ruth, Oh Henry, Butterfingers). I was never bashful about eating candy bars of any kind (still not), and a Baby Ruth was no exception. I loved the flavor combination of real chocolate, nougat and peanuts. The following recipe is a very good imitation of a great American tradition—Baby Ruth.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 30 minutes
Yield: About 18 bars

Ingredients:
1 cup peanut butter (I like Skippy)
1 cup light corn syrup (Karo)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 cups corn flakes cereal (or you can also use crispy puffed rice)
1 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
1 cup salted Virginia peanuts
2 cups of Choclatique Heirloom Milk Chocolate Pastilles, melted

Directions:

  1. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the peanut butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and white sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove from heat and quickly mix in the corn flakes, chocolate chips and peanuts until evenly coated.
  3. Press the entire mixture gently into the prepared baking dish. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.
  4. Melt the milk chocolate chips in a double boiler or in a microwave oven.
  5. Roll the bars into individual round logs and dip them into the melted milk chocolate to enrobe.
  6. Place them on waxed paper to let them set-up. Eat immediately or twist-wrap them in wax paper to savor later on.

The Baby Ruth Back Story: Do you know how the Baby Ruth got its name? Although the name of the candy bar sounds a lot like the name of the famous baseball player, Babe Ruth, the Curtiss Candy Company claimed it was named after President Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth. The candy maker named the bar “Baby Ruth” in 1921, as Babe Ruth’s fame was on the rise, over 30 years after President Cleveland had left the White House. The company did not negotiate an endorsement deal with the Babe. Was the story true or was it a devious way to avoid having to pay the Babe any royalties? Or, was it actually named after the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Williamson, the candy makers who actually developed and sold the original formula to Curtiss Candy in 1921?

Note: Baby Ruth is a registered trademark of NestleUSA.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Friday, June 21st, 2013
Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

H. B. Reese, a former dairy farmer from Hershey, Pennsylvania, created the original Peanut Butter Cup in 1928. A peanut butter cup is a wonderful confection filled with peanut butter and enrobed in chocolate. At Choclatique, we make our own artisan blend of peanut butter filling for our very special truffles that are creamier and tastier than even the original.

I took the peanut butter cup one step further with our Peanut Butter Cup Cookie. This is a wonderful peanut butter cookie baked in a small muffin tin with a peanut butter cup pressed into a hot, out-of-the-oven cookie before it has time to set. This is a peanut butter cookie fancier’s dream.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Baked Time: 10 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield: 12 to 15 cookies

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk
12 Choclatique Milk or Dark Peanut Butter Truffles

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375º F.
  • Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
  • Cream together the butter, sugar, peanut butter and brown sugar until very fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and milk. Add the flour mixture; mix well. Shape into 12 to 15 balls and place each into an ungreased mini muffin pan.
  • Bake for about 8 minutes until just turn light brown. Remove from the oven and immediately press a peanut butter cup into the hot center of each cookie.
  • Cool on a rack.
  • Carefully remove each cookie from the pan.

 

ChefSecret: There is only one way I know to make a great thing even better. Press in a Choclatique Peanut Butter & Jelly Truffle to add an additional flavor thrill.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Chocolate Hot Cross Buns

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Sharing a hot cross bun with someone is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time. Because there is a cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten. If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny,
Hot cross buns! Hot Cross Buns!
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons
One ha’ penny, Two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns

Dress up your buns for Easter! We’ve glamorized the traditional Hot Cross Bun by lightly sweetened with cocoa, cinnamon and tender dried cherries strewn throughout. The egg yolk wash gives these buns the signature browned, glossy finish, making a canvas for the namesake cross, a painting of milk, cocoa and sugar icing.”

Hot Cross BunsPrep Time: 20 Minutes
Bake Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 3 Hours 30 Minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:
3/4 cup warm water (110º F)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon instant powdered milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3/4 cup dried and sweetened cherries, small dice
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons water

For the icing:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons whole milk (use a little more or less depending on how fluid the mixture is)

Directions:

  1. In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the warm water, butter, skim milk powder, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, egg, egg white, flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon and yeast. Mix for about 7 minutes until the dough begins to cling to the dough hook. Roll it into a ball and cover the bowl with a damp dish towel and let it rise for the first time in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the dough ball doubles in size.
  2. Punch down the dough down on floured surface, add cherries and cinnamon. Knead for 5 minutes and shape into 12 balls and place in a greased 9 x 12 inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place till double, about 35-40 minutes.
  3. Mix egg yolk and 2 tablespoons water. Brush on balls.
  4. Bake at 375º F for 20 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.
  5. To make decorative crosses: mix together confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Pipe a cross on each cooled bun.

ChefSecret: You can also make chocolate only or two-tone decorative crosses. For the chocolate crosses, mix together 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 tablespoon Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder , a drop or two of almond extract and 3 teaspoons of milk. Pipe a chocolate cross on each cooled bun or atop the white cross previously piped and set. After all, you can never have enough chocolate.

If you have the time, soak the cherries in a little port or brandy for about 30 minutes for additional flavor. It also helps the cherries from scorching if on the outside edge of the bun when baking.

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The ChocolateDoctor’s Old-Fashioned Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel Coins

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Chocolate CoinsWe had to go to the vault for these less-than-golden coins. These are homemade chocolate coins that will bring back lots of growing-up memories. As a kid I remember getting gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins in a little mesh bag. The only little piggy bank these went into was me. I remember the excitement of peeling off the shiny foil and stacking them up like poker chips on the kitchen table. The foil-wrapped chocolate coins may be for kids, but the flavor combination of dark chocolate, caramel and sea salt is all grown up.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 32 Coins

Salted Dark Chocolate Caramel CoinsIngredients:
6 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate, broken into small pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
sea salt to taste
1 tablespoon Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
  2. Pour about 1 inch of water into the bottom of a saucepan and place over medium-low heat; bring the water to a simmer and turn off the heat.
  3. Place a stainless steel bowl over the saucepan. Put the chocolate and the butter in the bowl and soften over the hot water.
  4. Place the sugar in a small skillet over medium-low heat and cook until it forms a dark liquid and begins to bubble, 7 to 9 minutes. Carefully pour the cream over the caramelized sugar. Cook and stir the mixture until the caramelized sugar is dissolved into the cream; immediately remove from heat.
  5. Quickly pour the hot cream mixture over the warmed chocolate; stir quickly with a spatula until completely incorporated.
  6. Drop the mixture by the teaspoon onto the prepared baking sheet. Top each with a sprinkle of sea salt. Cover with plastic wrap. Gently press a second baking sheet onto the chocolate coins to flatten. Chill in refrigerator until firm.
  7. Dust with the cocoa before serving.
  8. Store in a cool spot. You can always wrap the chocolate coins in gold foil if desired.

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ChocolateDoctor’s Nutty Chocolate Torrone (Old-Fashioned Italian Nougat Candy)

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Nutty Chocolate TorroneThe simple fact is that Torrone’s precise origin has been lost to time. One legend claims that Torrone (“big tower” in Italian) was invented for a medieval wedding in the Italian city of Cremona. However, this story does not preclude the more probable history of the confection, which some historians believe originated in ancient Greece or Rome and suggests a Sicilian introduction of Torrone into Europe, via the Arabs in the twelfth century. It is entirely possible that similar confections were invented during the same early period in China, Persia and the Mediterranean.

I usually make Torrone around Christmas or Easter. This is a fluffy white, delicious, orange and chocolate flavored Italian nougat candy. Rosa Giardinieri (Rosa’s Italian Restaurant) would always give a small box Torrone to each guest as they left her restaurant. She would always say it reminded her of communion in her church in Sicily. And, why not… eating Rosa’s homemade Torrone is a religious experience.

Don’t let reading this recipe intimidate you. It is amazingly easy to make—just a little time consuming. You can make this in many flavors, lemon, vanilla, orange to name but a few. Little squares of fluffy Torrone nougat candy is quite a treat and an old fashioned Italian tradition.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Ready In: 1 1/2 hours
Yield: About 24 pieces

Ingredients:
Edible wafer paper (rice paper), enough for 2 layers in pan (see ChefSecret below)
1/3 cup cornstarch
3 large egg whites
1 cup honey
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1/4 cup of Choclatique Rouge Cocoa Powder, sifted
1/4 teaspoon orange oil or 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
2 cups toasted, shelled pistachios, hazelnut or almonds

Directions:

  1. On the bottom of a 9 x13-inch baking pan place the wafer paper without overlapping the edges and set aside.
  2. Sprinkle a clean surface with cornstarch.
  3. Break the egg whites into bowl of electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment; set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, combine the honey and granulated sugar. Cook over medium heat until mixture just begins to simmer, about 4 minutes to make the nougat.
  5. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the saucepan; continue to heat, stirring occasionally.
  6. Beat whites until stiff peaks form; add confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder, and beat until combined.
  7. When thermometer registers 315 degrees, remove nougat mixture from heat. Temperature will rise to about 320 degrees. Continue to stir until temperature drops to 300 degrees about 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment running, slowly and carefully pour the hot nougat mixture into the egg-white mixture add orange oil (at this point, whites will double in volume; let stand a few seconds; volume will return to normal). Beat until mixture thickens. The nougat will begin to stick to beaters when nearly done.
  9. Fold in the nuts.
  10. Pour the mixture onto cornstarch-covered surface; knead about 5 turns.
  11. Stretch and roll to fit pan. When fully stretched place the mixture in pan. Cover with another layer of the wafer paper pressing down to get it to stick; let it cool completely on a wire rack.
  12. Cut into slices (1 x 1/2-inch pieces) wrap with parchment paper twisting the ends.
  13. Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Torrone can be frozen for up to 3 months in an airtight container.

ChefSecret: Edible wafer paper (sometimes called rice paper) is available at baking-supply stores and online at Amazon.com. It can also be used to decorate cakes, cupcakes, candy and cookies.

Torrone is best made in winter, when temperatures are cool and dry. If made on a warm, humid day, Torrone may be sticky and not set properly.

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