Turrón, the traditional Spanish Christmas sweet, has to a large extent managed to remain the product of artisan confectioners. All around Spain family-run businesses, sometimes centuries old, produce high-quality turrón in a wide range of flavours to cater for changing palates. Nevertheless, the classic turrón, either ‘blando’ (soft) or ‘duro’ (hard like nougat), is as popular as ever. This turrón recipe is a lovely way to make the elegant Spanish sweet go much further. Soft turrón is made with almond paste, eggs, honey and sugar whilst the hard version uses whole almonds. With such rich ingredients turrón is well complimented by another celebrated ingredient of the Christmas season – the orange. These financiers are bursting with nutty flavour and refreshing orange zest.
The financier, of French origin, gets its name from the traditional rectangular mould in which they were originally baked. The rectangular shape was thought to resemble a bar of gold and hence a connection with finance was established. They characteristically contain ground almonds which, when combined with the turrón, give this recipe a double whammy of almond intensity. They make a perfect Christmassy ‘petit four’ or a moreish accompaniment to tea or coffee. And, of course, they can be made in any shape you want according to the moulds you already have. It’s also perfectly possible to keep some of the batter in the fridge for two or three days and bake fresh batches whenever you fancy.
Ingredients Serves: 10
- 200g butter and a little extra for buttering
- 150g soft turrón
- 80g plain flour, sifted
- 80g ground almonds
- Zest of 3 oranges
- A pinch of salt
- 6 egg whites
- Moulds for baking small cakes of any shape, or muffin tray
- One disposable piping bag
- One medium piping nozzle
- Preheat the oven to 180° C.
- Butter the financier moulds – rectangular, round, oblong…
- Melt the butter with 75g of turrón stirring occasionally to prevent the butter from burning. Set aside and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, combine the sifted flour, almonds, orange zest and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl.
- Roughly beat the egg whites with a hand whisk.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and add slowly add the whites, mixing with the whisk.
- Pour in the warm butter/turrón and stir to combine.
- Use a piping bag and nozzle to pipe the mixture into the moulds.
- Finally chop up the remaining turrón into small squares and push them into the tops of the financiers.
- Depending on the size of the moulds bake for 15-25 minutes or until browned on top.
- Remove from the moulds and leave to cool on a cooling rack. Alternatively, serve hot with ice cream, cream or crème fraîche.
By Jessica Donnithorne