So now let's turn to baking, or freezing in my case. I've been making so many ice creams lately that I think I'll put that on hold, at least for a little while. Too much of one thing is not good, right? So what do I replace my usual custard-making and churning with? Something chewy, nutty and sweet... Nougat!
Nougat is one of those things I always buy just a piece or two of, just to satisfy my nougat-craving. I never end up buying a huge bag of them and that's exactly how much we were left with after making this recipe! A whole lotta nougat! Thank god most of them stayed with my boyfriend at his house :)
Anyways this recipe is not very hard to make but you have to keep an eye on the honey and corn syrup mixtures while they are heating... and this requires the use of 2 thermometers!
Adapted from The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts
Makes 30 to 45 squares
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
240g light corn syrup
cornstarch for dusting
Preheat oven to 220 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts and pistachios on the baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 15 minutes, turning frequently. Keep the nuts warm while preparing the nougat base (keep them in the oven with the oven turned off and the door slightly opened).
Place egg whites in a mixer bowl fitted with whip attachment. Combine honey with 40g of the corn syrup in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a boil (candy thermometer 1).
While waiting for the honey mixture to boil, combine remaining corn syrup, sugar and 75ml cold water in a medium saucepan over low heat and bring to a boil (candy thermometer 2).
When honey mixture comes to a boil, start whipping egg whites. When the honey mixture reaches 130 degrees C (266 degrees F), pour it over the egg whites (don't stop beating). Try to pour it on the side of the bowl and not directly on top of the beaters or else this can form hardened candy on the beaters.
Continue to whip until sugar mixture has reached 139 degrees C (282 degrees F) and pour it over the egg whites (keep beating).
When the meringue begins to stiffen, switch the whip attachment for the paddle attachment. Continue to beat on low and add the nuts, mixing just to blend.
Place a silicone mat on a large pan. Lightly dust it with cornstarch and pour the hot nougat on top. Dust the top of the nougat with cornstarch and place another silicone mat on top of it. Roll the nougat to 1.3 cm (1/2-inch) thick with rolling pin.
Allow to cool for a couple of hours and cut into 2.5 cm (1-inch) squares. Use a brush if you want to dust off the excess cornstarch and enjoy!