This is one delightful treat you just can't help but eat. Makes 1 x 20cm square
500g white sugar (not caster sugar)
250ml liquid glucose
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
3 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
60g almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
60g pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
50g chopped glace ginger (optional)
Grease a 20cm square pan and line the base and sides with baking paper. Place the sugar, glucose, honey and water into a medium sized heavy based saucepan. Cook stirring over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Put a confectionery thermometer in the saucepan and simmer mixture, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 121C. This takes approximately 7 minutes. Remove saucepan from the heat.
Place the egg whites and salt into the mixing bowl or copper bowl. Attach the wire whisk to the stand mixer.
Pour a ¼ of the sugar syrup into a heat resistant glass jug. Turn the mixer to speed 10 and slowly add the sugar syrup, beating constantly until the meringue is very thick and holds its shape when the mixer head is tilted. Scape down the sides of the bowl.
Return the saucepan to a medium low heat and simmer until the syrup reaches 145C on the thermometer. Turn the mixer to speed 8 and slowly add the syrup to the meringue. Add the vanilla and butter and continue to beat for 5 minutes.
Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer. Quickly fold through the nuts and ginger with a large metal spoon or firm spatula, working quickly as the nougat will begin to set.
Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate for 3 hours or until firm. Remove the nougat from the pan and cut into small pieces with a sharp knife. Wrap each piece in cellophane or separate the pieces with strips of baking paper and serve.
- The texture of nougat is effected by humidity and heat. The end result can vary from day to day.
- The nougat is very hard if served straight from the fridge allow to stand for 5 minutes before cutting.
- Homemade nougat must be stored in the refrigerator or it will quickly become too soft and sticky.
- Be sure to beat the meringue to a very firm consistency and for the time specified in the recipe.
- Thermometers are available from specialty cookware shops or good hardware stores and are very important to the success of this recipe.
- Very hot water will dissolve the sugar syrup on the saucepan and thermometer. Very hot soapy water with remove the nougat from the mixing bowl.
- Store the nougat in a sealed container in the refrigerator.