The Spanish Christmas Candy That Wasn’t: Turrón
January 27, 2013
I had the feeling, as I was making it, that it wasn’t exactly what it was supposed to be. The pictures I’d seen had seemed somewhat more… nougat-y.
Nevertheless, I continued to melt sugar into a deep brown molten liquid on the stove. I had a bowl of blanched, peeled almonds beside me, and what I didn’t up snacking on as the sugar melted, I poured into the pot just as the sugar had entirely liquefied and started popping up dangerous bubbles of hot candy.
I poured the caramel and almonds onto a buttered piece of parchment paper and watched as it slowly oozed out from the center. Beautiful. But definitely not what I had been anticipating. Although I’m not sure what sort of magic I was expecting to occur – that just sugar and almonds would magically turn into something chewy and cream colored. Maybe I shouldn’t have settled for the easiest turrón recipe I could find on the internet. On the other hand, when I broke apart the brittle and bit into the cracking-crystal sugar, deep and smoky sweet, tempered with the gentle crunch of almond, I didn’t really care what it was, just that it was good.
This is a short story. I took my brittle to a few parties. It was a hit. So the moral, I guess, is that sometimes the easiest recipe on the internet is best. This faux-turrón looks pretty, tastes delicious and is exceptionally easy to make. But don’t tell anyone that last bit.
Turrón (or Almond Brittle)
1 cup sugar
1 cup whole almonds
If your almonds are unpeeled, blanch them in boiling water for 30 seconds, then drain and quickly run cold water over them for 30 more. Allow them to cool for a bit, then slip the skins off until you have a whole bowl of beautiful, peeled almonds.
Prepare a cookie sheet for your finished product by covering it with a piece of lightly buttered parchment paper.
Over medium-high heat, melt your sugar until it liquefies. This happens exceptionally quickly, so don’t, under any circumstances, leave the stove. Stir sugar frequently to prevent it from burning. Don’t get too close to the sugar as it tends to pop and can burn your face. Not that that happened to me – but it sounds nasty – and I wouldn’t want it to happen to you.
When your sugar has completely liquefied (now we call it caramel), add almonds to the pot and give it one good stir to blend.
Pour mixture onto parchment paper and allow to cool completely. When cooled, remove paper and break into pieces.