Soft coffee and chocolate nougat



The cult of the dead is one of the most deeply-rooted traditions in Italy, especially in the south of the country where every region is home to a wide range of traditions, many of which are culinary. The curious motivation behind preparing sweet treats for this occasion lies in the need to lighten the moment we commemorate those we’ve lost by seeking comfort in these delicacies, which are usually very tasty and often spiced or rich in chocolate. Some examples include pan dei morti, a type of chocolate cookie with dried or candied fruit popular in Lombardy, and rame di Napoli, another kind of chocolate cookie with a dark chocolate coating that’s typical in Sicily. Today, however, we’d like to take you straight to Naples, where the cult of the dead is particularly popular, and, to brighten up the religious commemoration, it’s customary to serve torrone dei mortisoft coffee and chocolate nougat. Various types of this soft nougat can be found at the stands set up all over the city: with candied fruits, strawberries, pistachios, as well as the one we’re sharing with you today, coffee nougat of the dead. This is a rich, flavorsome sweet that takes some effort to prepare, although the result is totally satisfying. The final product will be worth the effort! And since we love cooking and don’t want you to miss out on anything, we’ve decided to make a tasty homemade coffee paste, which you can otherwise buy from specialty stores. You’ll be able to use this paste to flavor different sweet dishes such as Bavarian cream or pastry cream, although we’re curious to find out how you’ll use it. Now we’ll wait and see whether you like this soft coffee and chocolate nougat – we’ve gone mad for it!


Ingredients for a 2¼ lb (1 kg) mold
Dark chocolate 1 lb (400 g)
White chocolate 1 lb (425 g)
Spreadable hazelnut cream 1 cup (325 g)
Whole peeled hazelnuts 2 cups (200 g)
Water ⅓ cup (80 g)
For the coffee paste
Instant coffee ½ cup (50 g)
Water 3 tbsp (40 g)
Sugar ¾ cup (10 g)

How to prepare Soft coffee and chocolate nougat

To make the soft coffee and chocolate nougat, start with the coffee paste. Add 3 tbsp (40 g) of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil 1. Pour the instant coffee and sugar into a bowl 2. As soon as the water is boiling, pour it into the bowl as well 3.

Stir well with a spatula and cover with plastic wrap and leave to cool in the fridge for around an hour 4. Now move on to the chocolate coating for the mold. Chop up 7 oz (200 g) of dark chocolate 5 and place in a bain-marie to melt it over medium heat, stirring every now and then 6.

Once melted, brush the inside of the mold with this chocolate 7 and then leave in the fridge to cool for 10 minutes 8. After this time, it will have hardened 9,

so remove it from the fridge and brush again with the remaining melted chocolate, using the brush to distribute it well (10-11). Place it back in the fridge and continue with the rest. Toast the hazelnuts in a nonstick pan for a few minutes, stirring often to keep them from burning; set aside once toasted 12.

Now move on to the cream: finely chop the white chocolate 13, pour it into a bain-marie and let it melt 14, stirring every now and then 15.

In the meantime, go back to the coffee paste, take 1¾ oz (50 g) and add to a saucepan. Add the water 16 to the saucepan as well, stir, and heat until boiling 17. As soon as the white chocolate has melted and the coffee paste is boiling, you can turn off the heat. Add the spreadable hazelnut cream to the saucepan with the coffee paste and stir to combine 18.

Next, transfer the coffee paste and hazelnut cream mixture to the pan with the white chocolate, pouring in one third at a time 19. This will help to incorporate the different ingredients. Stir vigorously with a whisk because at first the mixture will thicken 20. Don’t worry, it’s normal, so continue by adding the second part 21,

and then also the final third 22. Continue to mix well; once the mixture has become smooth and creamy, transfer it to a bowl 23, add the hazelnuts you toasted before and stir 24.

Transfer the mixture to the mold 25. To finish, melt 7 oz (200 g) of dark chocolate in the bain-marie, then use this to cover the base of the mold 26. Level the surface with a spatula 27.

Place everything back in the fridge and allow to set for at least 6 hours. The next day, you’ll just have to hit the mold against a cutting board to get the coffee and chocolate nougat out 28. Now that it’s ready, you only need to slice it and enjoy (29-30).


You can keep the coffee nougat of the dead for one week either in the fridge or at room temperature, as long as it’s in a cool place and covered with a glass cake dome.


If you don’t want to make the coffee paste, you can use coffee-flavored chocolate and choose whether to just make the coating or mix it in with the white chocolate. In this case, it will be necessary to do half white chocolate and half coffee chocolate. Try replacing the whole hazelnuts with chopped ones or doing half and half!

For the translation of some texts, artificial intelligence tools may have been used.