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Homemade Torrone Italian Nut Nougat

The art of crafting homemade sweet treats is a timeless tradition, especially when it comes to Italian Christmas candies like torrone. This beloved holiday confection, made with roasted nuts, offers a delightful combination of sweet and chewy textures. While famous soft torrones hail from regions like Alba, Siena, Cremona, and Benevento, there’s no reason why you can’t create your own delicious white nougat using almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, or pecans.

What makes Italian nougat recipes particularly special is their ability to evoke the festive spirit of holidays like Christmas. As a gift, it’s hard to resist the allure of this sticky, chewy treat, making it an ideal present for loved ones.

The key ingredients that bring this candy to life are honey and citrus, which work in harmony with nuts to create a truly unique flavor profile. Feel free to experiment with different nut combinations, such as mixed nuts, to discover your new favorite.

When it comes to the texture of Italian nut nougat, you can opt for hard, soft, or medium- sweet varieties, each with its own distinct appeal. And let’s not forget the decadent delight of chocolate-covered white nougat – a treat that’s sure to impress.

Typically served after lunch or dinner during Christmastime, torrone is often enjoyed alongside mandarin oranges, dried dates, or figs. Once you master the art of making torrone, you’ll find yourself eager to share this perfect edible gift with others – and perhaps even enjoy a few slices for yourself.

As an added bonus, any leftover nougat can be chopped and used in cheesecakes, semifreddos, or sprinkled over ice cream. With its versatility and delicious flavor, homemade torrone is sure to become a staple in your holiday traditions.

What is Nougat Exactly?

While nougat and torrone are often used interchangeably, they actually refer to the same traditional sweet confection. So, what exactly is this classic treat, and how do you create it? Nougat shares similarities with meringue in terms of its ingredient list, but differs greatly in texture. It can range from light and airy to chewy and firm, depending on the recipe. This delightful dessert is typically made with egg whites, honey (sometimes sugar or a combination of both), and added fruits and nuts. For instance, whole almonds and edible wafer paper are common components in Christmas-themed nougat recipes.

The art of nougat-making has a rich history that dates back centuries in the Middle East and Europe. While it may not be the most straightforward dessert to prepare, with the right ingredients and equipment, anyone can master the process. To achieve the perfect torrone, you’ll need a layer of wafer paper and a candy thermometer. For those looking for a comprehensive guide on how to make nougat, I’ve got all the details covered.

Is Torrone Nut Nougat Gluten Free?

One of the advantages of torrone’s uncomplicated nature is its gluten-free status, making it a great option for those with dietary restrictions. Additionally, the ease of finding and using nougat ingredients means that even novice bakers can tackle this recipe without much fuss.

What is Wafer Paper?

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Wafer paper, also known as rice paper or nougat paper, is a starch-based product made from either rice or potato starch. Characterized by its stiffness and slight translucency, this edible material is completely safe for consumption, boasting a neutral flavor profile that won’t affect the taste of your desserts. Its subtle nature makes it an ideal choice for incorporating into sweet recipes without imparting any distinct aromas or flavors. If you’ve ever indulged in traditional macaroons, chances are you’ve come across wafer paper – it’s often used to add a touch of elegance to cakes by shaping it into delicate petals and assembling them to resemble flowers. Additionally, wafer paper finds its way into Christmas candy recipes, such as torrone, where it serves the dual purpose of adding visual appeal while keeping moisture at bay. Enthusiasts can source this versatile material from baking supply stores or online retailers, utilizing it not only for decorating macaroons and cakes but also to create wrappers for homemade candies. Its utility extends beyond aesthetics, making it a valuable tool in maintaining the texture and integrity of your treats.

How to Prepare Italian Nut Nougat

To begin crafting white nougat, prepare your workspace by lining a baking dish with plastic wrap, followed by a layer of wafer paper. Next, whip egg whites with salt until they reach soft peak consistency. This foundational step sets the stage for the remainder of the process.

Heat sugar and honey in a pan on the stovetop until dissolved, then gradually incorporate the mixture into the egg whites. The length of time spent boiling the sugar solution will directly impact the firmness of the final product – the longer you boil, the firmer the Italian nougat candy will turn out.

Add vanilla and lemon zest to the mixture, continuing to blend until it thickens. Once the desired consistency is achieved, introduce nuts into the equation and pour the resulting concoction over the wafer paper in the prepared baking dish. Finish by adding additional wafer paper on top, pressing firmly to ensure a solid foundation.

Once your soft torrone has cooled, you can divide it into manageable pieces using a sharp knife. If desired, individually wrap each piece for added convenience.

How to Store Homemade Torrone

Italian nougat candy, known as torrone, retains its flavor and texture when stored in an airtight container in a dry, cool environment for up to two weeks. Avoid refrigeration as the humidity can cause it to ‘weep’ and alter its taste. For longer preservation, you can also freeze torrone for a month or more, but it’s essential to chop it into smaller pieces before freezing so that you only need to thaw what you require.

White Nougat Variations

While traditional torrone recipes stick to a specific set of ingredients, the beauty of this Italian nougat candy lies in its ability to be adapted and personalized. Consider substituting lemon zest with orange or lime zest to give your torrone a unique twist. Additionally, feel free to swap out almonds for pistachios, hazelnuts, or pecans – each nut variety will add its own distinct flavor profile. For an added layer of complexity, try incorporating different extracts, such as a nut-based extract that complements the existing flavors. And if you’re looking to get creative, experiment with adding a pop of color by blending in pink, green, or red food coloring – perfect for a festive holiday treat!

Homemade Torrone FAQs

While it may seem unusual, wafer paper is indeed edible and a perfect example of how creative food can be. When it comes to cutting soft nougat, also known as torrone, a serrated edge knife is the way to go. Simply cool the nougat and then use your knife to cut it into desired pieces. For added ease, lightly oiling the blade before cutting can help prevent any sticking. Interestingly, nougat and torrone are interchangeable terms, describing the same sweet treat. If you’re interested in trying these delicious cookies for yourself, be sure to check out my holiday cookie box, where you’ll find these tasty treats and many more.

Homemade Torrone Italian Nut Nougat Recipe

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Homemade Torrone Italian Nut Nougat

Homemade sweet treats, such as traditional Italian torrone, are always a delight. This roasted nut-based candy is not only delicious but also surprisingly easy to prepare. By making your own soft white nougat with almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, or pecans, you can create a unique and flavorful treat that’s perfect for the holiday season. With a total preparation time of 4 hours and 45 minutes, this project requires some patience but yields a satisfying reward.


To begin, prepare a 9” square baking dish by lining it with plastic wrap, ensuring complete coverage of the bottom and sides. Cut two sheets of wafer paper to fit the size of your baking dish, setting one aside for later use. Next, beat room temperature egg whites with a dash of salt in a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Set the mixture aside for further use. In a medium to large sized heavy-bottomed pot, combine honey and sugar. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it reaches 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Once reached, remove from heat and immediately transfer the hot sugar mixture to the stand mixer. With the mixer on medium-high speed, slowly stream in about three tablespoons of the hot sugar mixture, allowing it to fully combine with the egg whites before whipping for a few moments more. Add lemon zest and vanilla extract, monitoring the mixture’s thickness as it cools. Continue whipping until the bowl’s sides are cool enough to touch with your hand for 10 seconds; then, add nuts and mix briefly before stopping. Working quickly, pour the mixture over the prepared baking dish and wafer paper, spreading evenly if necessary using a lightly greased spatula. Top with the second wafer paper sheet, gently pressing everything down tightly and flat to achieve a smooth surface. Use the bottom of a cup or ramekin to help level the top if needed. Allow the nougat to cool at room temperature. When ready, carefully turn the torrone out onto a cutting board, removing the plastic wrap. Use a long serrated knife to cut the torrone into desired sizes.


For a firmer texture, consider boiling the sugar mixture to a temperature of 315 degrees Fahrenheit. Be cautious not to overcook it, as this could compromise its ability to maintain its shape.