Turrón de Jijona Recipe (Soft Spanish Almond Nougat)
Homemade with toasted almonds and honey, this turrón de Jijona recipe will allow you to enjoy the sweet, smooth, popular Spanish Christmas treat anytime of the year, even if you aren’t in Spain. (Makes 2 tablets.)
Toast the almonds in the oven until they reach a light golden brown. Remove them from the oven.
As you allow the almonds to cool, grind the sugar into a powdered sugar consistency in a blender or coffee grinder. (Or use store bought powdered sugar.) I like to grind my own because I can use the type of sugar that I prefer. (unrefined, organic)
Grind the cooled almonds in a food processor. If you have a high powered food processor, this process should be relatively simple and shouldn't take too long. If your food processor isn't as potent, this recipe may be a lot of work for it and could end up breaking it. I'm not telling you this to scare you from proceeding, but do want to warn you. If you are making nut butters already with your food processor without issues, you should be fine!
As the almonds turn into more of an almond butter, add in the powdered sugar and honey. Continue to process the mixture until you reach a pretty thin paste consistency. You want the almonds to release their oils! (Yes, this totally contradicts most of the recipes out there, but is more inline with what I saw the turrón factories doing.)
Line a loaf pan with parchment or wax paper for easier removal later on. You can see in the video that I originally covered mine with another layer of paper, added a piece of cardboard over top of it, and weighted it down with a bottle of olive oil. I then let it rest for 24-48 hours.
After 24-48 hours, I checked on the turrón, and noticed that with my setup, the turrón probably couldn't release any excess oils very easily. The cardboard had absorbed some of the oils, but I decided to remove the top layer of paper and cardboard, and cover it with a cotton cloth instead. I then covered the cloth with some absorbent paper towels and let the turrón rest another couple of days. If you have more time to let the turrón rest, I don't think you need to switch to the cloth/paper towel method. It should firm up over the next week or two as the mixture releases its oils and as the liquid component evaporates. If you are in a hurry, or impatient like I was, though, the cloth method does speed up the process.
Remove the cloth and check on the consistency of the turrón. It should get progressively more solid as it rests and releases more of its oils. When it is firm enough to hold its shape, you can remove the turrón from the pan with the cloth or cardboard, and move it to an airtight container for storage, or serve immediately. (Mine started to get a bit drier on the top where the cloth was, and a very thin layer began to stick to the cloth. I flipped the turrón over for serving and storage, and that gave it a much nicer appearance and allowed the turrón to mellow out and have the right consistency throughout.