Friday, December 17, 2010

Beth Kimmerle’s Honey Nougat

Although Nougat has a few aliases, it has many admirers. Also known as Nogha, Nougatti, Torrone, or Turron, Nougat is the nutty cousin of marshmallow. Like marshmallow, it can also take the form of a confectionery spread or filling known as, Gianduja.

Most countries or regions produce a specialized version. Some nougat recipes use small pieces of dried fruits along with the nuts. Middle Eastern versions tend to be cooked longer thereby creating a crunchier candy, while others contain chocolate or cocoa powder. In the United States, nougat is highly whipped and added to candy bars to give them heft and height.

Honey nougat is especially satisfying to eat as the candy takes on the distinct notes of the bee's habitat. A wildflower honey nougat made with fresh roasted nuts has incredible flavor. The last time I made a batch of nougat I used a lavender honey; the crowds went crazy.

Nougat is much loved in Southern Europe where most agree it originated. It is also a perennial holiday favorite. The small treats are miniature gifts of snow landscapes; they are perfect for Christmas.

Makes about 75 pieces of Nougat

Ingredients:

½ cup Confectioners Sugar, for dusting

4 cups Almonds, chopped

1 cup Shelled Pistachios, chopped

9 oz. Honey

1 ½ cups Granulated Sugar

¼ cup Water

2 large Egg Whites, room temperature

Pinch of Salt


Equipment:

12x9” Baking Pan

Parchment Paper

Sharp Kitchen Knife or Food Processor

Medium Saucepan

Wooden Spoon or Heatproof Rubber Spatula

Stand Mixer

Candy Thermometer

Cutting Board

Paper Candy Cups or Wax for wrapping

  1. Line baking pan with parchment paper and sprinkle generously with ¼ cup confectioners sugar.
  2. Chop nuts with a sharp kitchen knife or with food processor.
  3. Combine honey, sugar and water in saucepan and using a wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula, stir on medium heat until sugar completely dissolves.
  4. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring. Attach candy thermometer and boil syrup to 238˚F or soft-ball stage.
  5. Meanwhile, using the stand mixer, beat egg whites, with a pinch of salt, until soft peaks form.
  6. Continue to cook sugar mixture to 284˚F or soft-crack stage. Remove from heat with mixer running. Gradually pour hot syrup into egg whites, beating constantly.
  7. Continue beating on high speed until mix is very stiff and lukewarm, about 4-5 minutes.
  8. Remove bowl from stand and, working quickly, stir in nuts with wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
  9. Quickly spread nougat evenly onto prepared pan.
  10. Sprinkle remaining confectioners sugar on top. Let set until cool and firm or for several hours.
  11. Move parchment along with Nougat onto cutting board and cut into 2” squares with sharp knife. Place Nougat pieces in paper candy cups or wrap with wax paper. Store in airtight container up to 3 weeks.

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