This French nougat looks almost too good to eat! In France it is traditionally made with almonds or pistachios and is as much about the honey used as the ingredients folded through at the end. Adjust the flavours in this recipe to suit your own taste.
440 g (2 cups) caster sugar
200 g glucose syrup
500 g honey
3 egg whites
200 g shelled, unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
200g dried cranberries (craisins), roughly chopped
5 rice paper sheets
185 g (1¼ cups) white chocolate melts, melted
chocolate transfer sheets, to decorate
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place 400 g sugar, glucose and 125 ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and cook for 8 minutes or until mixture reaches 146°C on a sugar thermometer.
Meanwhile, place honey in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Heat for 5 minutes or until honey reaches 130°C.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites to soft peaks. With motor running, gradually add remaining 40 g sugar, ensuring sugar dissolves after each addition.
With motor running, add honey in a thin, steady stream, whisking until combined. Add sugar syrup in a thin, steady stream, whisking until combined. Increase speed to high. Whisk for 6 minutes or until thick and glossy. Fold through pistachios and cranberries.
Line a 21 cm x 31.5 cm x 6 cm-deep slab pan with baking paper. Cover base of pan with rice paper, cutting to fit.
Turkish delight & almond nougat
Follow recipe as above, substituting 250 g chopped Turkish delight, 120 g lightly toasted slivered almonds and 1 tsp rosewater for the pistachios and cranberries in Step 4.
Candied orange & chocolate nougat
To make candied orange, cook julienned rind of 2 oranges in boiling water for 2 minutes or until starting to soften. Drain. Place 1 cup sugar and 125 ml water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar, then bring to the boil. Add rind and cook for 3 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rind to a bowl with ¼ cup white sugar and toss to coat. Follow main nougat recipe above, adding 2 tbsp amaretto after adding sugar syrup in Step 4 and substituting the candied orange and 150 g chopped dark chocolate for the pistachios and cranberries.
Cashew & cardamom nougat
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Combine 40 g melted ghee, 1 cup chopped cashews, 1 tsp ground cardamom and 75 g grated jaggery. Spread on a lined oven tray. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool. Follow main nougat recipe, substituting cashew mixture for pistachios and cranberries in Step 4.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 17, pg56.
Photography by Nicholas Watt