Montelimar nougat

Nougat2.jpg

Now, I can’t deny it, nougat is one tricky thing to make. Strictly speaking it’s not actually difficult, but there is a lot of boiling hot sticky liquid and much concurrent multitasking.

I have made nougat a few times before and you can throw any nuts and glacé fruit in, add flavours and colourings, however Montelimar nougat should be almonds and pistachios only and no extra colouring.

As it is homemade and doesn’t include preservatives or other nasties, don’t expect it to last long as it will start to dissolve over time. To counteract this, keep it covered in the fridge. Another tip is that I always place rice paper in my tin and a layer of rice paper on top of the nougat: it seems to help.

Equipment
  • Two medium-large saucepans
  • Electric hand whisk or stand mixer (this will be nigh-on impossible by hand unless you’re Popeye)
  • Sugar thermometer (crucial)
  • Spatula
  • Bowl
  • Cake tin, roughly 20cm x 20cm (smaller and your nougat will be tall, bigger than this and you’ll have only a tiny thickness of nougat)
Ingredients
  • Honey (any) – 200ml
  • Granulated sugar – 250g
  • Liquid glucose – 25g
  • Water – enough to just cover the sugar and glucose
  • Blanched (peeled) whole almonds – 100g
  • Pistachios (unsalted) – 50g
  • Egg white – 1
  • Caster sugar – 1 tablespoon
  • Rice paper (optional, but does help)
Method
  1. Line the cake tin with rice paper, as you would if you were using baking paper. A good tip is to dot butter or margarine on the tin to stick the paper to it. Alternatively you can line with thick cling film (don’t use the cheap stuff or it will melt) – check the box if it can be used for blind baking it can be used here
  2. Cut an extra piece of rice paper, if using, the same shape as the tin base and leave to one side. You will use this to put on the top of the nougat
  3. Whisk the egg white with the tablespoon of caster sugar until stiff peaks, leave accessible to one side
  4. Warm the pistachios and almonds either in a saucepan, the oven or the microwave. They should NOT be toasted, just warmed through (heating them stops the nougat from seizing/hardening too quickly when you add them later)
  5. Heat the honey in one saucepan to 125C
  6. Heat the sugar, glucose and water (without stirring) to 140C
  7. Whisk the heated honey into the egg whites
  8. Now whisk the sugar and glucose mix into the honey too and continue whisking until it is starting to cool and begins to get very thick. This will be about 4-5 minutes (and is why it’s best not to try whisking by hand!)
  9. Now add the nuts and swirl through
  10. Pour the nougat into the tin. It will self-level
  11. Once level, top with the extra piece of rice paper
  12. Leave to cool thoroughly – a minimum of a couple of hours
Extra notes
  • When cutting, it is useful to run a sharp knife under a hot tap and to only lightly dry it – you’ll find cutting the nougat is easier this way
  • If it proves very sticky and goes runny quickly you probably didn’t get the sugar up to the correct temperature. Rolling in a little icing sugar may help
  • Keep the nougat covered and in the fridge. You’ll need to eat it within a couple of days. Usually not a problem, but it does mean that if you are giving as a gift you can’t make it too long in advance
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