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I thought making nougat would be really hard. Ecuadorians love nougat, and I thought it might be a good seller, especially around the holidays. But making nougat is not that hard, and selling it may even be easier. I even managed to make it at 9,000 feet and still get a great texture. I adapted this recipe from Greweling´s Chocolates and Confections:
30 g Sugar
70 g Fresh Egg Whites
380 g sugar
120 g Glucose Syrup
100 g Water
230 g Honey
50 g Cocoa Butter Melted
200 g Almonds, Toasted, Chopped
200 g Candied Orange Peels, Chopped
200 g Macadamias, Toasted, Chopped
Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl on a 5-7 qt. planetary mixer (kitchenaid works fine), with a whip attachement. Do not mix.
Prepare all inclusions. Nuts may be left whole or lightly chopped. Use your imagination, you can add dried fruit mix, dried chopped apricots, mango, papaya, pineapple, pistachios, walnuts, whatever you like. Places the inclusions on a sheet pan and keep warm in a 250F degree oven.
Combine the 380 g sugar, glucose syrup, and water. You may add a scraped vanilla bean or vanilla powder as well.
Cook the honey to 226F/108C. Turn the mixer on high speed, and start beating the whites. Add the first 30 g of sugar to begin forming a merengue. Continue cooking the honey to 248F/120C.
When the honey hits 248F/120C, immediately begin cooking the sugar with water, glucose syrup, and vanilla bean, and cook on the highest heat.
Pour the hot honey into the whipping whites. Your whites should look like this once the honey has been incorporated.
Try to pour the syrup down the side of the bowl so that it doesn’t hit the whisk as it’s entering.Otherwise you will have the honey flicked off the whisk and much of it will end up stuck to the sides of your mixing bowl. Continue whipping on high speed as the sugars cook.
Some say these aren’t accurate enough for sugar work since they only measure the surface temperature, but I’ve never had a problem. Pour the hot sugar mixture into the whites
(again, trying to pour just down the side of the bow so that the mixture does not hit the moving whisk as it’s entering the bowl, not as shown in the photo!) as rapidly as they will accept it without collapsing. Continue whipping on high speed for 3 minutes. (I have broken several whisk wires doing this and making marshmallows, as it’s a pretty heavy mix for the whisk, just a warning).
Remove the tray of inclusions from the oven and scrape the hot nougat onto it. Using a wooden spoon or a gloved hand, mix the inclusions into the nougat. Here’s how your nougat should look before it’s been spread.
It will be sticky and warm, sort of like melted marshmallows, but firmer.
Using a full size Silpat, place the warm nougat onto it between your confectionery rulers, arranged so that they can be adjusted as needed.
Place another Silpat on top of the nougat. First using your hands, then the rolling pin, work the nougat so that it is evenly spread out to fill the space between your confectionery rulers. You should end up with an even rectangle.
Allow to cool at least 30 minutes, remove silpats, and trim the edges if necessary.
Using a serrated knife or chef’s knife, cut into 1″ strips and then cut each into 4″ bars, or as desired.
To prevent from sticking, you can dust pieces in a mixture of 50% cornstarch and 50% powdered sugar, and wrap in caramel wrappers.
Have fun, and don’t burn yourself with the hot sugar mixes!