Torrone Gelato

Calabrian Frozen Nougat


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This extremely sweet dessert is best served with chilled semi-sweet white wine. It is not real nougat, but a variation on the theme. Making it takes skill and requires the use of a loaf tin or terrine, but the final result looks so spectacular that the effort is certainly worthwhile. It is important to use good-quality candied fruit. In Calabria, candied fruit nearly always includes thick pieces of the locally grown limes, oranges and tangerines, and is very special.


  • almond oil, for greasing
  • 1 kg/ lb/9 cups icing/confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • juice of 1 or 2 lemons (see Cook’s Tip)
  • 3 drops lemon extract
  • 3 drops red food colouring
  • 25 g/1 oz/4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 50 g/2 oz/½ cup blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 275 g/10 oz/2 cups assorted candied fruit, roughly chopped
  • 225 g/8 oz dark/bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces


  1. Line a 1.3kg/3lb loaf tin or pan or several smaller tins with clear film or plastic wrap, leaving plenty of overhang. Grease with almond oil.
  2. Put the icing sugar in a large bowl. Stir in just enough lemon juice to make a mixture that resembles dough. It should be neither runny nor hard, but malleable enough to be kneaded.

  3. Divide the mixture into three equal parts. Knead the lemon extract into the first part, the red food colouring into the second part and the cocoa into the third, making sure that the colourings and flavourings are evenly distributed in each case.

  4. Mix the almonds and candied fruit in a bowl. Divide the mixture into three parts and add one part to each quantity of sugar paste.

  5. Add one of the pieces of sugar paste to the tin and press it down to form an even layer. Mould the second piece of paste to the shape of the tin and press it evenly on top of the first layer. Top with the third layer of sugar paste.
  6. Bring the surplus clear film lining over the paste to enclose it and then add a weight to compress the moulded mixture evenly. Chill in the refrigerator for 3 days.
  7. Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a small pan of boiling water. Immediately remove from the heat and leave for 5 minutes or until the chocolate has melted, stirring occasionally.

  8. Remove the weight from the mould, unfold the covering, invert it on a board and unwrap it. Thickly spread the melted chocolate over the mould and chill until hard. Serve in thin slices.