Honey Nougat with nuts & cranberries

So Monday morning I sat with my coffee and was just looking only for over an hour trying to find some sort of inspiration! And then one of my close baker friends Yvonne, ended up asking if i’ve ever made nougat before, and of course I hadent, so she said now is the time to try! So here is it guys! Honey Nougat with Pistachio, Almond, and Cranberries! I wont lie, this take patience, but also requires you to work fast! Once its made, it hardens very quickly, so its very important to have everything laid out and ready. It does get sticky, so make sure you don’t have kids, cats, dogs, random things around, because it can get everywhere! (Talking from experience here lol!)

Either way, do try to make it because its very very tasty! And a perfect little treat with some coffee or tea in the evenings! Here are a few tips & tricks before you get stuck into baking the Nougat, if you’ve got time, do have a read through before going into baking it, it will help! 🙂

Tips & Tricks – 

Use rice paper – so if you can find rice paper it definitely helps! As the nougat is extremely sticky, and although you can grease you baking paper and use that, for aesthetics reasons, using rice paper makes it super white and visible,rather than having it hidden away in baking paper. Also, it helps with it not being sticky, and easier to handle once its ready.

Be patient! – The beginning instructions require you to be patient, boiling up the sugar/glucose/honey mixture, it takes time,and its meant to! Once it reaches the correct temperature, it goes fast! Which leads me to my next tip!

Work fast! – Although the sugar syrup takes time and you need to be patient, once it’s ready you need to work Super Fast! Bringing it off the heat as fast as you can and pouring it into the egg whites. The sugar syrup heats up very very quickly and can burn once it has the reached the correct temperature. So it’s vital you try to work as fast as you can so you don’t have re-do the syrup part. Also working fast once the nougat mixture is ready, as it hardens quickly.

Preparation – Make sure that you have greased and prepared you pan/dish what ever you are using and the nuts are roasted and ready.

Toasting the nuts – Toast your nuts for 10 min at 100C and then lower the oven temp to 50 or just turn it off, just depends on your oven. The meaning is basically that your nuts are still warm (not hot!, but just warm to touch), when you put them into the nougat  mixture.

Stand Mixer/Hand Whisk – If you have a stand mixer that’s the best! There is a lot of mixing in this, and requires the highest speed fro a long period. If you have a hand held mixer that works too, but just requires you to keep holding it until its ready.

Thermometer – Its very important that you have a candy thermometer for this, its vital with getting the sugar syrup to the exact temperature and not over, otherwise it can burn and you need to start over.

 Here’s how you bake it!

INGREDIENTS:  

  • 150g each blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 100g skinned pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 100g dreid creandberries
  • 225g granulated sugar
  • 140g clear honey (if you cant find clear honey, just find the lightest golden one you can*)
  • 110ml water
  • 3/4 cup liquid glucose (from the baking aisle of large supermarkets)
  • 2 large free-range egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1.  Heat the oven to 100°C. Put the nuts on a baking tray lined with baking paper and keep warm in the oven.
  2. Line a 20cm square tin with rice paper (see tips). Put the sugar, honey, liquid glucose and water in a heavy-based saucepan and stir over a very low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Once it’s fully melted, turn up the heat and boil rapidly. Keep monitoring the temperature.
  3. When the boiling sugar reaches 150°C, whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer until they reach the soft peak stage (peaks formed by removing the whisk will droop).
  4. When the sugar syrup reaches 160°C (known as the hard-crack stage), slowly but steadily, whisking all the time, pour the hot sugar syrup into the whisked egg whites, making sure it doesn’t touch the sides of the bowl or the beaters.
  5. Once all the syrup has been added, keep whisking until the mixture is extremely thick. When it feels like your mixer is about to give up the ghost, add the warm chopped nuts, cranberries, and the vanilla extract, then manually stir them through – I used a spatula because it was easier to scrap off the excess nougat from it back into the bowl.
  6. Spoon the mix into the prepared tin, scraping it out with a spatula or metal spoon, then press a second piece of rice paper on top and flatten it out. Put a board on top, weigh it down with tins of tomatoes or bags of rice, then cool completely. Turn out and cut into squares or rectangle.

And Voila! Your Honey Nougat is ready to be devoured! 🙂

Enjoy!

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