Nougat is believed to have originated in ancient Rome, made for special occasions and as an offering to the gods. Traditionally it's a combination of egg whites, honey and almonds, but this recipe adds dark chocolate for all you chocolate lovers!
- 180 g blanched almonds
- 80 g pistachios
- 60 g cornflour/corn starch
- 60 g icing (confectioner's) sugar
- 500 g caster (superfine) sugar (A)
- 110 g liquid glucose
- 270 g water
- 120 g egg whites
- 4 g cream of tartar
- 30 g caster (superfine) sugar (B)
- 300 g honey
- 1.22 kg good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 100 g glace cherries
- 40 g dried cranberries
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.
Cooling time: Approx. 2 hours
You will need a strong stand mixer and a candy thermometer for this recipe.
1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Place almonds on a baking tray and roast for 15 minutes or until they turn a light golden-brown colour. Add in the pistachios and keep warm.
2. Line a 23cm x 23cm slice tin with baking paper. Combine the cornflour and icing sugar together and dust a small amount into the base of the tin (you will use this mixture for dusting later in the recipe, too).
3. Add the water to a medium saucepan. Pour in the caster sugar (A) and glucose, stir, and bring to the boil. Once the sugar mixture reaches 110°C, place the egg white and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer and start whisking. Continue to heat the sugar syrup.
4. Add caster sugar (B) to the egg white mixture and continue to whisk.
5. Place the honey in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. When it reaches 130°C add it to the whisked egg white, ensuring it doesn't hit the whisk.
5. As soon as the sugar syrup mixture reaches 170°C add it to the meringue. Again, be careful that the mixture doesn't hit the whisk as you pour it. Stop the mixer and change the whisk to a paddle attachment. Remove any nougat from the whisk (or later, the paddle) by wetting your hand and sliding the nougat off. As you mix, heat the metal mixing bowl with a hair dryer or blow torch, moving it continuously so it doesn't burn.
Test the mixture in cold water – you want a firm but slightly pliable consistency. Once it reaches this consistency, add the finely chopped dark chocolate, followed by the warm nuts and fruit. Stop mixing as soon as they are combined.
6. Remove the nougat from the mixer and press it into the prepared tin. Dust the surface with the combined cornflour and icing sugar and flatten the top of the nougat. Leave at room temperature until it cools. Cut into individual squares with a serrated-edge knife. Store in an airtight container or wrap individual squares.