A Spanish Christmas celebration is not such without turrón, as it should graze the table of every respectable family during the holidays. Everybody here likes turrón of some type, and those who do not are regarded as hopeless individuals. Turrón is a confectionery typically made of honey, sugar and egg white, with toasted almonds or other nuts, and usually shaped into either a rectangular tablet or a round cake (check here the Spanish pronunciation of turrón). As found in Wikipedia, Spanish turrón may be roughly classified as:
- Hard (the Alicante variety): A compact block of whole almonds in a brittle mass of eggs, honey and sugar; 64% almonds.
- Soft (the Jijona variety): Similar but the almonds are reduced to a paste. The addition of oil makes the matrix more chewy and sticky; 60% almonds.
Though those are the truly traditional varieties, different types have evolved through time incorporating all kinds of not-so-traditional ingredients, chocolate turrón being one of the most successful, a sort of praliné flavored with a variety of nuts or cereals. And because these chocolate turróns are one of the easiest to make, this is the recipe I have chosen to give. This turrón only consists of chocolate with nut bits or cereals to which some kind of fat is added in order to make the final product creamier and softer. The hard and soft turróns can also be made at home, but they are a lot more complicated to make and the store-bought stuff has a superb quality, so it is maybe not so worthwhile. This easy peasy and tasty recipe is adapted from this Spanish website. It yields 2 tablets of around 20x8cm. You will need a couple of small loaf pans; silicone molds work best, but plain metal loaf pans lined with plastic film will do too. And it goes without saying that the better the chocolate quality, the better your turrón will be.
And I am also giving a recipe using Nutella instead of butter or rendered pork lard, as I used it while preparing the turrón one of those days I happened to have run out of lard… and the result was superb.
- 150g milk chocolate with hazelnuts
- 150g milk chocolate with almonds
- 200g dark chocolate for melting
- 70g softened butter
- 80g cocoa rice Krispies
The nut chocolates can be replaced by 280g plain milk chocolate, but then use 100g cereal instead of 80g. The dark chocolate can be replaced by milk chocolate if you are not a dark chocolate fan, like me. And the milk chocolate can be replaced with dark chocolate too, in case you are a dark chocolate fanatic, feel free to make the turrón as dark or milky as you like. The original recipe uses rendered lard (very common in Spanish confectionery) instead of butter, it makes the turrón a bit creamier.
- Melt all chocolates in separate bowls, little by little in the microwave or in a double boiler (I melt them separately as they tend to have different melting points and I prefer not to overdo it, just in case). The butter should be just softened, not thoroughly melted. When the chocolates are melted, mix everything together in a bigger bowl.
- Add the Krispies and stir to distribute evenly.
- Prepare 2 silicone loaf pans or plastic lined metal loaf pans and divide the mass into both. Leave to cool and set in a fresh environment (but not in the fridge) for 4-5 hours at least, better overnight. Then cut into cubes and enjoy!
- 400g milk chocolate (or another ratio of milk to dark chocolate to your taste)
- 60g dark chocolate
- 110g Nutella
- 80g cocoa rice Krispies
- As in the above recipe, melt all the chocolate, warm the Nutella slightly just to make it a bit more fluid, mix everything together.
- Add the Krispies and distribute evenly.
- Pour the mixture in the pans and let set as directed above.
For a more elegant presentation (though not traditional at all), cut the turrón into cubes, sprinkle with cocoa powder and place in cute candy cups, like truffles. And if you want to make a fancier turrón, you can swirl a small amount of white chocolate in the mass too, for example.