So a couple weeks ago I found this recipe for Crispy Candy Bars and I thought to myself, My husband would absolutely love this! I decided to make the interesting confection that appears to be a combination of Milky Ways and Little Debbie Star Crunches, both of which Grant deeply enjoys. Unfortunately, the whole affair was a complete disaster.
I had never made nougat before, but this recipe seemed simple enough. Heat the sugar and butter, add the peanut butter and marshmallow cream – ends up in a fantastically fluffy inner layer, right? No. I followed the directions exactly and ended up with a sticky, gooey, sloppy, runny mess. It was not pretty. (Grant still enjoyed the dessert, though, so not all my efforts were futile.)
From that moment, I made it my goal to master the art of nougat making. I did some research, bought a candy-making recipe book and a candy thermometer, and headed for the kitchen.
It was still a sticky, gooey mess, but it actually turned out this time! Real nougat (not the “quick” kind from the recipe I found) is essentially just a mixture of cooked sugar and corn syrup and whipped egg whites. While it is a simple mixture, the tricky part is getting the sugar up to the right temperature so the nougat will have that traditional chewiness we all know and love. If the sugar is not cooked long enough, you will end up with a runny mess like I did the first time.
I used the simple recipe for my nougat and added salted almonds, white chocolate chips, and dried cranberries. This candy is ultra sweet but is a great idea for Christmas gifts. Along with the nougat, I made Lavender Chocolate Truffles, Almond Chocolate Truffles, Almond Roca, and Chocolate Covered Pretzels to be shared with my extended family for our Thanksgiving/Christmas celebrations being celebrated in the upcoming week.
Everyone loves candy, so it makes for the perfect gift! Not to mention I got the Christmas themed tins from Goodwill for super cheap.
Simple Nougat Recipe (from Making Sweets at Home by Claire Ptak)
Oil for greasing
2 scant cups caster sugar
1 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 scant cup water
1/2 cup honey
2 egg whites
1. Grease 9 x 9 cake pan liberally. Whip egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Leave to rest.
2. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a pan. Cook until the mixture reaches 280 F. Warm the honey in a separate pan until just boiling and add it to the sugar syrup. Bring the mixture up to 290 F. This process will take around 20 to 30 minutes, so be patient!
3. Turn the electric mixer on and drizzle sugar mixture into the whipped egg whites in a steady stream. Keep mixing until the nougat thickens (around 2 to 3 minutes). Pour mixture into greased pan and press down. It will be sticky, so I recommend greasing your fingers as well. Cover and leave to set for a couple of hours in the fridge.
4. For add-ins (like my salted almonds, white chocolate chips, and dried cranberries), either fold in before adding to the pan or add half the mixture, smooth down, add layer of add-ins, and pour the rest of nougat on top. I folded in the almonds and added the rest to the middle layer.