Nougat was brought to Menorca by the Moors, and is now a traditional Christmas sweet on the island.
- 200 g (7 oz) blanched almonds or ground almonds
- 250 g (9 oz) left-over Ensaimadas (see Note), croissants or brioche bread
- 100 g (3½ oz) candied mixed fruit mix (such as pear, pineapple, orange, fig, cherry)
- 100 g (3½ oz) pure icing (confectioners’) sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 50 ml (1¾ fl oz) freshly squeezed orange juice
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- zest of ½ lemon
- 20 g (¾ oz) pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) raisins
- 30 g (1 oz/¼ cup) walnuts, chopped
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.
Chilling time: 2-3 hours
- If using blanched almonds, blitz them in a food processor to a fine crumb. You can skip this step if using ground almonds, just tip it into the food processor. Add the pastries and candied fruit and pulse together to form a paste.
- Place the sugar, honey and orange juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir through the cinnamon and lemon zest.
- With the motor running, gradually pour the orange syrup into the food processor until combined, then add the pine nuts and raisins and pulse to distribute evenly through the mix.
- Place a 35-cm (14-in) square of foil on a work surface and top with a sheet of baking paper the same size. Spoon the nougat mixture along the centre of the paper, then roll up the baking paper and foil into a tight log. Twist the ends to seal, then refrigerate for 2–3 hours to set.
- Slice into 1-cm (½-in) thick discs and serve with a scattering of chopped walnuts.
• Ensaimadas are a Mallorcan spiral pastry. You can make your own using this recipe.
Recipes and images from Islas: Food of the Spanish Islands by Emma Warren, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99