I adore travelling and getting completely engrossed in the food and culture of wherever it is I land. I’m an Italofile from way back, but it took precisely one day for me to fall completely in love with Spain on my first trip there. I mean, you can see why… it’s gorgeous!
Given the time of year, I’ve been looking into the kinds of things the lovely Spanish folk serve at Christmas and I came across Turrón. It’s one of their traditional desserts and I’m told by Spanish friends that Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without it. There’s even a Turrón museum! Turrón (basically nougat) dates back to the 15th century, a time when the Moors occupied Spain. It was first created in the Southern town of Jijona, which is the likely result of the local bees also producing some wonderfully sweet honey after collecting pollen from wild flowers on the mountains surrounding the town.
There are two classic styles of Turrón that have been made the same way, using the same recipes for centuries. There is a soft variety, which is the version Jijona is famous for, and a hard, crunchy variety from Alicante. I also found a few modern versions, including a Turrón de Chocolate.
Both the traditional varieties were very heavy on the sugar and much as I loved the idea of making them, I wanted something a little more health promoting. So, I’ve gone with a chocolate version of my own here.
Just remember though, not all chocolate is created equal so be sure to read your ingredients when choosing one for this recipe, as many contain less than favourable ingredients.
So there we go. I love knowing the history of a food, or even an ingredient, don’t you? The process of making a recipe becomes just that little bit more magical for me when I do. I hope you enjoy this and have a wonderful Christmas! ❤️
Turrón de chocolateCourse: DessertDifficulty: Easy
250g organic, fair-trade milk chocolate
250g organic fair-trade dark chocolate
60g honey or rice malt syrup
80g cocoa butter, chopped into chunks
100g chopped, activated almonds (roasted almonds are also fine)
- Line a 26cm x 16cm dish with baking paper. I’ve also made it in a 20cm x 20cm square dish and it was definitely a little thinner but still fine.
- Slowly melt all the chocolate and cacao butter in a saucepan over a very low heat and stir frequently so it doesn’t stick or clump. Don’t rush this or you’ll burn the chocolate
- Once all the chocolate is melted and silky smooth, remove mixture from the heat and stir in the honey or rice malt syrup, followed by the nuts and stir well to combine
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared dish, then place in the freezer for one hour or until set
- Remove from the freezer and let it sit on the bench for 5ish minutes before slicing into small squares
- Store in the fridge and enjoy!
- For a dairy free version just use 500g of dark chocolate (at least 70%) but increase the sweetener to 100g or to your taste, as it will be slightly more bitter without the milk chocolate
- For the nut intolerant, you will need to make a very modern version of Turrón by swapping out the nuts for a mix of seeds, goji berries, or anything at all you’d like mixed into your chocolate 🙂
- For a low fodmap version, use activated or roasted macadamias and the rice malt syrup. You need to be cautious with your chocolate intake too so only small amounts!
- For the histamine intolerant – chocolate is definitely not on the histamine friendly list but if you’re giving yourself a little treat, reduce the histamine levels by changing the almonds to activated or roasted macadamias and again only have very small amounts… like small ice cubish size). I’m OK if I stick to one of these but you be the judge of that for you.