The festive smells and traditions of Christmas always evoke memories of our childhood and remind us of the joy this special season brings. It is with this festive mood that we wanted to share one of the most popular treats in the Iberian Peninsula which is eaten by old and young during this period – turrón, otherwise known as nougat.
The origins of turrón can be traced back to the Moorish Conquests in the Middle Ages and since this time, turron has taken its place as one of the traditional Christmas sweets. A tray full of turrones is a must have in every household in Spain during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
There are many types of turrones available, but the most popular and truly traditional ones are Turron de Jijona (soft nougat from Jijona) and Turrón de Almendras (hard nougat from Alicante). They are made with the same ingredients but the final product is very different. The Spanish have endless arguments about which one they believe is the best! Chocolate turrón is also very popular amongst the younger members of the family!
There are some great Spanish food suppliers here in the UK but turrón is definately more tricky to find here than in Spain so we would give you the Jijona and the Chocolate turrón recipes. Give them a try - we are sure you will not regret it! They are easy to make, last up to a year and they are truely delicious!
Turrón de Jijona
- ⅔ cup honey
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ lemon zest
- 1 egg white
- 3 cups ground macarona almonds
Heat up the honey until it starts to caramelise then add the sugar, egg whites and nuts, stirring a few times. Remove from the heat and add the cinnamon and lemon zest, then pour into your chosen container lined with cling film and cover the top of the turrón with cling film, pressing down to compress the mixture. Leave in the fridge over night and serve the next day.
Turrón de Chocolate
- 227 g baking chocolate
- 227 g dark chocolate (60 percent cocoa)
- 70 g vegetable shortening, at room temperature
- 80 g puffed rice cereal
- 85 g almonds coarsely chopped
Melt chocolate. Once melted, add the vegetable shortening and stir until shortening is blended into the chocolate, then add rice cereal and almonds. Spread chocolate mixture into a mould and leave in the fridge to cool until hard.