It’s Christmas Eve today! And the first day of my Christmas break.
After weeks of baking hundreds and hundreds (literally) of fruit mince pies, coating dozens and dozens of truffles and making slab after slab of nougat for Christmas at the bakery, the rush is finally over and the baking has stopped (well at work, anyway).
I’m enjoying some time off for the holidays, and am busy baking at home. Shortbread stars are in the oven, my chocolate tart needs to be filled and everyone’s slowly getting ready for dinner this evening.
The nougat I’m sharing with you today is beautiful – it’s soft, chewy, and tastes just like scorched almonds coated in chocolate.
I’ll let you in on a little secret too – I typically hate nougat, but this treat is a new favourite of mine!
It’s perfect for gifting for christmas (and that’s what I’ll be doing!), but due to it’s lack of Christmassy flavours, you can really enjoy this at any time of year.
I wish you all safe and happy holidays, filled with joy and laughter, lots of baked goods, carols and presents, turkey, and maybe even some nougat.
Merry Christmas! X
- 625g sugar
- 125g water
- 525g honey
- 125g glucose (corn) syrup
- 110g egg whites (approx 3 eggs)
- 625g good quality dark chocolate, chopped
- 500g blanched almonds
- Prepare a 43cm cookie tray by spraying it with oil lightly, and lining the base with rice paper, so it fits snugly.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
- In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and water, stirring well. Add the honey and glucose and place over a high heat. Use a candy thermometer to watch the sugar – you want it to reach 135 C (275 F).
- Meanwhile, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Allow it to melt, stirring occasionally. Once it has melted, turn off the heat but leave the chocolate sitting over the pot to keep it warm.
- When the sugar is coming closer to temperature, place the almonds on a tray and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Then open the oven door and leave the almonds inside to keep them warm.
- Place the egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. When the sugar mixture reaches 130 C (265 F) turn the egg whites on high. Once the sugar gets to 135 C (275 F), turn off the heat. The eggs should have formed medium peaks.
- Pour the sugar syrup slowly into the egg whites, as they are still beating, down the inside of the bowl. Once the sugar syrup has all been incorporated, switch off your mixer and change to the paddle attachment.
- Turn it onto low speed and mix until the mixture becomes matte. Then, while the mixer is still on, pour the chocolate in slowly in a steady stream, until incorporated.
- Add the warm almonds and continue to mix on a low speed until well dispersed.
- Working quickly, scoop the nougat out of the bowl and drop it onto the tray. Use your hands (the mixture will be hot!) to spread it out so it is even and flat, being careful not to move the rice paper underneath.
- Cover the top of the nougat evenly with rice paper, smoothing it down.
- Allow to set overnight before cutting.
- Happy baking!
Recipe adapted from Baker D. Chirico.