This Easter just past, I made this sweet, sticky chocolate nougat as gifts for family, friends and co-workers. There is a bit of a process to making nougat and it is worth reading through the recipe before attempting it.

Confectionary making is good fun, pretty messy but gets really impressive results.

I would recommend never making any kind of confectionary on a humid or hot day as the atmosphere prevents sweets from setting and often they start to sweat.

It is worth having 2 sugar thermometers to make this, but you could also do it by leaving the thermometer in the honey first and when it reaches temperature, remove the thermometer and place it in the sugar syrup pot. Put the sugar syrup on a slightly lower heat, though it will take longer than the honey to reach desired temperature.

This makes about 16 gift worthy pieces which last a couple of months.

They’re lovely wrapped in cellophane so that your recipients can see your hard work.

Ingredients

500g caster sugar
500g honey
100ml water
3 egg whites
200g freshly roasted almonds
100g finely chopped dark chocolate (preferably 70%)
3 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder

An additional 150g dark chocolate (preferable 70%)
2 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder

Equipment

Baking pan about 30 x 20 cm and 5cm in depth

Baking paper

2 sugar thermometers

2 small saucepans

Electric beaters or stand mixer with whisk attachment

Method

  1. Take a baking pan and fully line with baking paper.
  2. Take 2 small saucepans. In one, place the sugar and water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Use a wet pastry brush and brush down the inside of the pot to make sure there is so sugar stuck to the side. This prevents crystallisation. In the second pot, add the honey.
  3. Place both pots on medium-high heat. Place one sugar thermometer in each pot.
  4. In a large glass or metal bowl, or the bowl of stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks.
  5. You want the sugar mixture to reach 150 degrees Celcius on the thermometer and the honey needs to reach 120 degrees Celcius. Watch the temperatures as they may not achieve these temps at the same time
  6. When the sugar has reached 120 degrees Celcius, slowly pour the hot honey into the egg whites while beating the eggs, using the stand mixer or electric beaters. The mixture will start to increase in size and become pale.
  7. When the sugar syrup has reached 150 degrees Celcius, slowly pour it into the egg and honey mixture while beating. It will begin to firm up and look quite airy and silky. Allow to mix for 5 minutes before adding the almonds, cocoa and chocolate. Beat for an additional minute and then quickly scrape and spread into the lined baking tray. Smooth the top and allow to cool overnight. Do not put it in the fridge and do not cover. As the mixture cools it needs to release the heat and it will not dry out properly if it is covered.
  8. When cool and firm the next day, melt half of the additional chocolate. Spread melted chocolate over the surface of the nougat and spread thin with a palette knife. Dust with cocoa powder and allow to cool and harden.
  9. When the chocolate has hardened, removed the nougat from the pan and the baking paper. Melt the rest of the chocolate and spread it over the bottom side and dust with cocoa powder. Allow to cool.
  10. Cut nougat into strips about 3cm wide and then cut these strips in half. You should get about 16 pieces. This stuff is pretty sweet, so your nougat gifts need not be huge in size
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