Sunday, August 16, 2009

Nougat



I must be the only person on the planet who is quite happy they weren't at Woodstock. Not that I was even born or anything, but you know what I mean. I would be dirty and disgusting and tired. That's not the problem, I have been there many times. More importantly, I would be bored stiff, out of my mind in fact.

I have minimal interest in music. I appreciate songs for their association with personal events, rather than for themselves. It's a genetic quirk because noone in my family likes music much either. We had two albums to our name when I was growing up. One was Aker Bilk, which my Dad played occassionally. And the other was bagpipes from the Edinburgh Military Tattoo which my Mum played once in a blue moon.



What does this have to do with the nougat you see before you? Well, nothing, but I am so tired of people going on and on about Woodstock. If I hear that Marcia Hines (a deadly dull Australian Idol judge) was there ONE more time, my eyes are going to stay permanently rolled at the back of my head!!!!

Breathing...... breathing......okay, rant over. Thanks for listening.



Now, this nougat. I love nougat. Along with honeycomb, it is probably my favourite sweet. I have tried to make it before with no success at all. A big pan of super sticky runny mess.

But when I saw this recipe in a Delicious magazine supplement, I decided to try again. Apparently, the recipe comes from the Chocolat Cafe in Cairns. I have never been there, but I will make a beeline if I ever get to Cairns again.



I was just delighted when it set. The fact that it tasted so good was an added bonus. My favourite nougat combination is pistachio and cranberry. Cranberry cuts through the sweetness to give a delicious sharp tang. It is just yum!

There are a few important things to know when making nougat. You need the motor power of a stand mixer. This mixture is way to thick for a hand mixer. You have to get it into the pan and smoothed out lickety split, because it starts to stiffen almost instantaneously. Do not get your fingers involved in any way until it is well cooled. Do not store in a jar like this - it will all sink down together into one immovable mass. The story I could tell!!



Nougat
(adapted from delicious cafe food supplement)

edible rice paper
1/2 cup honey
1 cup liquid glucose
350gm castor sugar, plus extra 30gm
2 egg whites
45gm copha, melted*
125gm nuts, chopped
60gm candied or dried fruit, chopped

Line a 16cm x 26cm non-stick slab pan with baking paper overhanging on all the edges. Line the base with edible rice paper.

Place honey, glucose, sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook uncovered and without stirring until the mix reaches 120C. Continue boiling the mix.

At this stage, whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer (important!!) to firm peaks. Slowly beat in the 30 gm of extra sugar. Continue beating until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Fill the sink with 5cm of cold water.

Once the sugar mix has reached 140-143C (hard crack stage) remove from the heat, and dip the saucepan base into the cold water for 5 seconds or until the bubbles subside.

With the beater on a medium-slow speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the egg whites in a thin steady stream. Once the syrup is incorporated slowly add the copha. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for 2-3 minutes until thick and glossy.

Working quickly, mix in the nuts and fruit and tip into the lined pan. Smooth the surface, lay over edible rice paper and press gently. (Do not get your fingers involved with the nougat as the mixture will still be very hot and very sticky!!!)

Set aside and leave to cool for six hours. Lift from the pan and cut into pieces.

* Copha is solidified coconut oil. It comes as a white block packaged like butter. When melted it goes clear. Other names include Kremelta or Palmin.

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21 Comments:

At 1:27 am, Anonymous Pizza Blog said...

I really enjoy your blog. Come visit my blog some time or (blogroll us if you like).

 
At 12:46 pm, Blogger Sasha said...

Mm this looks great. I love nougat too.

You don't like music? That is so strange! But to each his own, I suppose...

 
At 1:53 am, Blogger Grace said...

i would've been scared to death at woodstock. so much crazy. as to the nougat, it's something i've never had outside of a candy bar, but it looks and sounds delightful! thanks for the recipe, kj.

 
At 3:24 pm, Blogger fm said...

The nougat looks great, would love to try and make it. However I've never heard of copha. What is it? Where can I get it in the Los Angeles area?
Thanks!

 
At 6:32 pm, Blogger KJ said...

Thanks guys.

FM, copha is solidified coconut oil. Here it is packaged just like a block of butter and is usually found in the dairy section of the supermarket. According to the internet, it is not widely available in the US, but may be found under the name Palmin or Kremelta.

 
At 11:36 pm, Blogger Patricia Scarpin said...

you are so brave for making nougat at home, KJ! Kudos to you!
I love cranberries and pistachios together, too.

Oh, as far as music goes, I love it, but don't like going to concerts - I'd rather listen to it in my comfortable home. :D

 
At 2:50 am, Anonymous Chele said...

These look great! I've got a Donna Hay recipe for nougat I was going to try and attempt for my husbands christmas present last year but chickened out! You've inspired me to give it a try though so thank you. Love your blog btw.

 
At 3:19 am, OpenID oneshotbeyond said...

since I don't have the right mixture (YET) I will just get to enjoy your photos of this one. I bet I would love this creation.

 
At 11:19 am, OpenID ghweiss said...

I don't have the equipment or experience with confections, but that nougat is making me reconsider.

The Woodstock bit was hilarious!

 
At 6:26 am, Blogger Katie said...

Looks wonderful and the cranberries and pistchios go so well together. Such pretty colours

 
At 1:32 pm, Blogger Elle said...

I was born and could have gone to Woodstock (I was even the right age), but huge crowds are not my favortie thing and I'm allergic to marijuana smoke...a real problem at rock concerts. I think they are overdoing the 40 year thing, but thats the Baby Boomers for you :)
The nougat looks delicious. Never thougth to try making it myself. Your flavor combo sounds perfect, too!

 
At 4:33 pm, Blogger Rose&Thorn said...

At last I have found a recipe which uses coconut oil instead of butter! I have everything ready to make the nougat, the only thing missing was a recipe - now I have it all - thank you.

 
At 1:06 pm, Blogger Linda Sue said...

This nougat recipe sounds divine. I think I will try it with dried apricots and pecans. Do you know if the weather affects whether it sets up?

 
At 12:32 am, Blogger Jeff said...

Hey thanks for this recipe. I really enjoyed your recipe as I like candies and cookies very much, so I tried your recipe for making nougat and it was fabulous and after adding the nuts, milk and cream I really don’t have words to express myself hmmm... it was yummy.One thing more i would like to add is that you can take these nougat with Habanos Habanos .these nougat with Habanos becomes more crispy...

 
At 7:23 pm, Blogger David Konecny said...

Hi! I'm trying to learn how to make nougat and I used your recipe for my second attempt to tackle this delicious treat. I was wondering if you have any advice on what I did possibly wrong when nougat keeps melting. After 12 hours it looked reasonably solid so I took it out of the tray and cut couple of cubes out of it only to find these later that day half melted. Should I boil the syrup longer? Your recipe says to boil it until it reaches "140-143C (hard crack stage)" but hard crack stage is 146-154, no? Do you use any particular type of honey? The one I used seems to give it lots of honey aroma and slightly creamy/beige color. In any case I plan to try it again but any advice is highly appreciated. Thanks and have a lovely day, David.

 
At 11:07 pm, Blogger KJ said...

Hi David,

I checked the recipe again, that's the temp it gives. But I think increasing the temp by a few degrees might be the way to go. As for the honey, I just used everyday honey from the supermarket. Hope this is useful.

 
At 4:14 am, Anonymous Mariah said...

In the U.S. you can find solid coconut oil in health food stores, restaurant supply and some grocery stores, it comes in jars and is found in the baking section usually :) I think for a recipe like this you could probably use vegan shortening as well (it's largely palm/coconut oil in solid bars)

Your recipe looks amazing, can't wait to try it!

 
At 7:19 pm, Anonymous Alyssa said...

Wow this looks absolutely good and probably taste delicious. I can’t wait to try this at home.

 
At 12:23 am, Anonymous Wendy said...

Hi,

I like how your nougats look. Remind me of Xmas. :)

I tried making some nougats last week and failed. guess I really need a stand mixer.

 
At 8:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long does this nougat last for. I want to make some for Christmas but so far all recipes state that the shelf life is 1-2 weeks. Any feedback would be appreciated ! cheers jen

 
At 10:14 pm, Blogger KJ said...

Hi Jen, I wish I could help. But I haven't made this in quite a while and the recipe does not say.

 

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