turrón at iruña
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Turrón at Iruña
Gwen Ashley Walters
September, 2011, Page 179
If you’ve ever tasted the sweet Spanish nougat candy turrón, you’ll recognize the flavors in Iruña’s honey and almond parfait by the same name.
“I wanted to do something with almonds, and this idea just stuck in my head,” says Anthony Patafio, the veteran chef behind the desserts at Iruña, Mabel’s on Main and The Lodge in Old Town Scottsdale. (Patafio is also the chef/manager at The Lodge.)
Irunã’s turrón ($6) consists of just a few ingredients – the same ones in the candy it’s named after: egg whites, honey and almonds.
Patafio starts with an Italian meringue base, but instead of whipping boiling sugar into egg whites, he uses boiling honey to concentrate the honey flavor. Then he folds in toasted, chopped Spanish marcona almonds and soft whipped cream; the former lends crunch and the latter delivers cloudlike creaminess.
He pipes the mixture into silicone muffin molds and tops them with a sliver of vanilla sponge cake before freezing them.
The frozen parfait is placed cake-side down (so it doesn’t slide), surrounded by sugared, sliced marcona almonds and drizzled with local desert honey that has been reduced to a thick syrup with a vanilla bean and a spritz of lemon for brightness.
Cool, creamy, crunchy, honeyed sweetness – a perfect ending to our still sweltering summer nights.
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