Making Classic Nougat at Home
Look at this image – a perfect mosaic made from sugar and nuts. The combination of chewy nougat and crunchy nuts is a classic combo and easier to make a to home than you might imagine, as long as you have a reliable candy thermometer. Pay heed to the temperatures and you will be successful. Take care when slicing as your nice, even cuts will make or break the look of the nougat, which is part of its charm. This recipe is from A la Mere de Famille: Recipes from the Beloved Parisian Confectioner, a book about a historically rich confectionery shop in Paris. (Also read our full book review). Note that there is no headnote from the author. If you enjoy French candies, be sure to check out the Calissons as well.
Excerpted from A la Mere de Famille: Recipes from the Beloved Parisian Confectioner, by Julien Merceron, published by Chronicle Books, 2014. Photographs by Jean Cazals.
PREPARATION TIME 30 MINUTES RESTING TIME OVERNIGHT
- ½ cup plus 2 tbsp honey
- 1⅓ cups plus 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp light corn syrup
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 egg white
- 1½ cups unblanched almonds, toasted
- ¼ cup pistachios
- MAKING THE NOUGAT: Line a 9-by-4-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan, warm the honey over medium-high heat until it registers 255°F on a candy thermometer. In a separate medium saucepan, combine the 1⅓ cups sugar, corn syrup, and water and cook over medium-high heat until the mixture registers 285°F, swirling occasionally. Meanwhile, in the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer, whip the egg white and remaining 1 tbsp sugar on low speed with the whisk attachment until foamy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in the warm honey, followed by the hot sugar syrup. Continue beating on low speed for 5 minutes more, until the mixture is lukewarm. Meanwhile, heat the almonds and pistachios in a medium frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until warm to the touch. To check if the nougat is ready, scoop up a small amount with a spoon and dip it into cold water; it should form a firm ball. Add the warm nuts to the nougat and fold with a spatula until well combined.
- FINISHING: Spoon the nougat into the prepared loaf pan, cover, and allow to cool overnight at room temperature. The next day, remove the nougat from the pan and, with a serrated knife, cut it lengthwise into 6 slices. Wrap each slice in plastic wrap to protect it from humidity. (Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.)