Last year I tried a recipe (see below) for torrone from _Martha Stewart Living_. It was such a hit I had to keep making more, and every time, it came out great. The texture was just right--firm but not too hard. So I tried it again this year...and it came out really soft and sticky. I'm certain that I cooked the syrup long enough, and the weather probably wasn't a factor (I live in Seattle, it's *always* rainy and damp in December!) I did do a couple of things different this time, but I didn't expect either to make a difference. But obviously, something did!
First--I had three leftover egg whites that had been in the freezer for a couple of days. Since I couldn't separate out just two, I increased all the other ingredients by 50% to make a batch and a half.
Second--My only complaint last year was that beating the mixture for ten minutes meant that it got really cool and stiff in the bowl, and was difficult to turn out and spread in the pan. So this time, I beat it for only five minutes. I thought that might decrease the volume, but not the firmness.
Any more experienced candy-makers or food chemists want to help me figure out what made the difference?
You can see the whole recipe at http://www.casagordita.com/torrone.htm .