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Turrón de Chocolate y Almendras

There are few things I look forward to at Christmas that I couldn’t have any time of the year.  Unlike childhood where they withhold the holiday to the very end, of the very last month, until you just can’t take it anymore, as an adult you can fly to snow, buy your own presents, mix your own nog.  Turrón, however is one thing that, while I could technically indulge in year around, I only ever have at Christmas.  A specialty item in May, it’s stacked sky high in every possible flavor by November and the challenge is to remember everyone’s favorite before they sell out and you’re left to choose from three kinds of coconut and a mashed up box of sugar-free Alicante.

Though I love it now, it took me awhile to get there.  Coming just after dinner on Noche Buena, I thought of it as an adult dessert and waited for the cookies and brownies unless my grandfather prompted me to try one first.  Now of course I realize how wrong I was.  Marcona almonds mashed into a paste and mixed with honey, chocolate with dried fruit or creamy coconut bars – what was I waiting for?

Deciding to make my own last year, I tried a chocolate-almond variation.  Always the most accessible on the tray, chocolate was the gateway turrón that prompted me to try the others so it was a good place to start.  I thought they would make great pre-Christmas gifts this year and whipped up another batch for a dessert party later this week.  I’m still looking for a detailed recipe for Jijona and found another for yema tostada that made me long for a brulee torch.  If I decide to make them I will, no matter what day of the year it is.

Turrón de Chocolate y Almendras
I love all things chocolate and orange so I adapted this recipe from Kir Rodriguez’ Orange Grand Marnier truffles.  Any combination of almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts or dried fruits works well.

250 g bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% percent)
40 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
115 g slivered almonds
1-2 tablespoons, Grand Marnier liqueur
Zest of 1 orange

Preheat oven to 350º. Spread almonds in an even layer on baking sheet and toast till lightly golden, 7-10 minutes. Cool on a rack and roughly chop.  Set aside.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or heatproof bowl over simmering water. Add the butter one tablespoon at time, blending well after each addition.  Remove from heat and mix in almonds, liquor, and zest until well combined.

Line a loaf pan with aluminum foil. Pour in chocolate mixture and smooth top. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Chop and serve.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m in love! And totally making these this weekend 🙂

    10 December 2010
  2. these are AMAZING! best chocolate turron ever.

    13 December 2010
  3. My jaw literally dropped when I loaded this page. Amazing photos, great recipe! Definitely a must try! 🙂
    Happy Holidays!

    13 December 2010
  4. ke$ha #

    awesomeness!!!!!!!!!! sooooooooooooooo using this for my b-day party!!!!!!!! ooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhh i should give some to my friend as a present!!! she’ll love it!!!!!!!!!!

    4 March 2011

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