Nougat a wonderful soft, chewy, sweet and decadent treat and the perfect homemade Christmas gift for friends and family.
So, I set about researching for a recipe that is easy enough for a first-time nougat creator and a recipe that does not insist on lots of crazy equipment. I settle on one from Good To Know
So, I set out my ingredients, and at the start everything is going well. I follow the instructions. Bit by bit it becomes apparent that I need 2 more sets of hands. Whilst trying to keep an eye on the temperature of the syrup, I realise the almonds are starting to burn. I quickly whip them out of the oven. Phew, rescuable I just take out the few almonds that are beyond it. Then I start to separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites.
Now, I do not have a standalone mixer, just a hand held…this is where it starts to go terribly wrong. I’m desperately multitasking, trying to watch the syrup and whisk the egg whites. The egg whites are ending up everywhere as I resort to trying to keep whisking whilst holding the thermometer in the syrup. The temperature does not seem to be rising at all, then suddenly its burning…I’m not even sure how, it doesn’t look like its burning but the fire alarm is now going off so it must be! In a last ditched attempt to rescue the situation I try to gently and slowly pour the syrup into the egg whites…whilst whisking. I definitely do not have enough hands I can’t hold the heavy syrup pan and whisk…it’s not physically possible. I am spilling boiling sugar everywhere! EVERYWHERE! I give in and try to do it in batches. A last minute hopefulness takes over as it seems the mixture is setting. It’s quite brown though…that’s not right…. Anyway, I pour the mix into the trays line with rice paper (oh, yes, forgot to mention I miss-clicked and ended up with a garish green rice paper rather than the pale green Christmas colour I had hopped for).
The mix sort of sets, we try it. It is horrible, genuinely I have never baked anything that tastes more like the scrapings of a fire place. It goes in the bin.
I try again… because I am mad. I haven’t yet gotten the sugar syrup off the benches!
The second attempt is mildly less manic and terrifying, helped by enlisting Mr Elf. This time however, the mix just stays like a rather melty ice cream looking smuch between garish green paper. It tastes good this time, which is something…. I think. In any case, it too goes in the bin and I make shortbread instead.
I recommend buying your nougat at the supermarket and enjoying as a treat that does not leave you wondering how you got egg whites in the toaster!