Making your own sweets and treats is a labour of love and much appreciated as a gift.
Nougat is a confection made using whipped egg whites and sugar with added nuts and sometimes fruits while honey nougat uses honey in place of sugar. Nougat is relatively easy to make and you can wrap in a handmade package as a gift for friends and family.
YOU WILL NEED
2 cups sugar
1½ cups glucose
¼ cup water
2 egg whites
½ tsp. almond extract
4 tbsp. butter, softened
1 cup toasted hazelnuts
- Use tin foil to line a 19cm heritage dish or baking pan and then cover the entire base with rice paper.
In a large saucepan, mix together the sugar, glucose and water over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and then continue to cook until the syrup reaches hard-ball stage at 130˚C.
GOOD TO KNOW: Use a sugar thermometer to check, or test by dropping a small amount of the sugar syrup into a bowl of cold water and check that it hardens.
While the sugar syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites in large bowl until stiff peaks form.
When the sugar syrup reaches hard-ball stage, remove from the heat and – beating constantly – slowly pour approximately a quarter of the mixture into the stiff egg whites. Continue to beat the egg whites until the mixture holds its shape.
Return the saucepan with the remaining sugar syrup to the stove and continue to cook over medium-high heat until the sugar syrup reaches 145˚C.
Beating constantly, slowly pour the remaining sugar syrup into the egg mixture and continue beating until thick and stiff.
Beat in the almond extract and then the softened butter. Continue to beat until the nougat is very thick and satiny. Add the hazelnuts and stir until mixed through.
Carefully spoon the nougat into the prepared dish or pan, spreading it smoothly and evenly. Cover the top with a layer of rice paper. Leave to set overnight at room temperature. Cut into small squares to serve. Store in the refrigerator, individually wrapped in wax paper or cling film.