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Gelato al torrone con pasta di mandorla (Nougat gelato with marzipan biscuits)

An Australian Christmas-ready dessert: gelato for the summer heat; nougat for the festive spirit.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 30 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
  • Print
Gelato al torrone con pasta di mandorla (Nougat gelato with marzipan biscuits)
These recipes, like the previous one, are from the Piedimonte Etneo pasticceria Caffè Calì. The gelato features characteristically Sicilian ingredients: almonds from the town of Avola, pistachios from Bronte, and hazelnuts and citrus from Etna.


  • 60 gm almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 60 gm hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 50 gm pistachios, coarsely chopped
  • 80 gm mixed glacé fruit, such as cherries and oranges, finely diced
  • 50 gm dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), coarsely chopped
  • 1 litre milk (4 cups)
  • 250 gm caster sugar
  • 200 ml pouring cream
  • 150 gm dextrose (see note)
  • Scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean
Marzipan biscuits
  • 250 gm almond meal
  • 200 gm caster sugar
  • 2 eggwhites (from 65gm eggs)
  • Finely grated rind of ½ orange
  • 100 gm pure icing sugar


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180C. Roast nuts separately on oven trays until golden (5-10 minutes), rub skins from hazelnuts, cool, coarsely chop, combine in a bowl with glacé fruit and chocolate and set aside.
  • 2
    Combine milk, caster sugar, cream, dextrose and vanilla seeds in a saucepan over high heat, bring to the boil, place in a bowl over ice and stir occasionally until cool. Freeze in an ice-cream machine, stirring in nut mixture in the last minute of churning. Transfer to a container and freeze until firm (2 hours).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for marzipan biscuits, preheat oven to 190C. Combine almond meal, sugar, eggwhite and orange rind in a bowl and mix to a soft dough. Turn out onto a work surface and roll into a cylinder about 2cm thick. Sieve icing sugar onto work surface, roll dough in icing sugar and cut into 32 pieces. Roll each piece into a thin log, then form into an "S" shape. Place biscuits on trays lined with baking paper and bake until golden (10-15 minutes). Cool on a wire rack. Biscuits will keep stored in an airtight container for 2 days. Serve with scoops of nougat gelato.


Dextrose is available from online home-brew supply shops including Country Brewer and Aussie Brewmakers.