A few weeks ago I announced that the “I Made It” challenge for October would be nougat. This is something that I have always wanted to try, especially when I see images of perfect slabs of nougat online or fresh nougat bars in the shops. So when Tandy over at Lavender and Lime asked me to host the challenge this month I knew this was my chance to challenge myself to master this classic sweet.
Making nougat wasn’t as difficult or time consuming as I thought, although admittedly it’s probably not something I’d make regularly – just for special occasions. I started by referring to my sugar cookery notes from college for some inspiration, did a few tests, and through trial and error created this final recipe. I have successfully made nougat a few times using the formula below – I hope you’ll also have good results using it!
You could attempt this recipe without a sugar thermometer, but ideally you should have one to ensure that your sugar syrup boils to the right temperature and you don’t end up with toffee-style nougat that won’t set. I hadn’t used my sugar thermometer in a long, long time, and had to dig it out of the cupboard and calibrate it before I started. (It’s probably a good idea to do this if you haven’t used yours for a while either.) Also, be sure to prepare your tray and have all of your ingredients ready and lined up before you start! Making nougat requires your full attention, and I don’t advise you attempt it when you’re likely to be distracted.
One of the hardest parts of this challenge (for me), was deciding what flavour to make! There really are no limits to the things you can include. In the end I decided to keep it simple with a classic flavour combination of nuts and honey. I am rather keen to try chocolate nougat too – but I’ll save that for another day. And I’m sure my dentist will thank me!
PECAN, ALMOND & HONEY NOUGAT
2 sheets rice paper
2 cups castor sugar
1/2 cup glucose
3 tbsp honey
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla paste
50g butter, cubed and softened
1 cup whole raw almonds
1 cup pecan nuts, roughly chopped