Hazelnut & Orange Blossom Nougat for Sweet New Zealand
Nougat has been on my list to make for several years after my first attempt failed through an invasion of bees in the kitchen because of the boiling honey, but that’s another story. This time I decided to use sugar and glucose so as not to attract unwanted flying visitors, fortunately I did get a well timed visit from a friend who popped in just at the critical stage of pouring the hot toffee into the meringue and two sets of hands certainly work better than one when you don’t have a stand mixer.
We will call this my practice run for Christmas gifts since I had intended to wrap small bar up to give away but I have managed to pig my way through most of it already, it was so good.
This is also my entry for Sweet New Zealand which is being hosted by Mairi over at Toast this month
Ingredients – makes 2
560g (2 1/2 cups) sugar
80ml (1/3 cup) water
1 500g jar glucose syrup
2 egg whites, at room temperature
2 tbsp orange blossom water
4-6 sheets of rice paper
Preheat oven to 170°C.
Line an 18 x 28cm baking tray with non-stick baking paper allowing it to overhang the sides.
Lay rice paper on top of the baking paper to cover the base and up the sides of the tray.
Place the hazelnuts on another baking tray and toast in oven for 7-10. Set aside.
Place the sugar, water and glucose in a medium saucepan.
Place the pan over a low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Increase to a medium heat and bring to the boil and place a candy thermometre in the pan.
Place the egg whites in a large, clean, dry heatproof bowl.
When the syrup reaches about 120°C, use the whisk attachment on an electric stand beater to whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form. If you don’t have a stand mixer it is easier to get some one to help you.
When the sugar syrup reaches 140°C slowly pour hot syrup into the egg whites in a thin, steady stream while whisking. This produces a soft nougat (like mine in photo). If you want a more brittle nougat you need to take the temperature to 150C.
Don’t pour the syrup down side of the bowl or onto the whisk as it may set before being incorporated into egg whites.
Once all the syrup is combined whisk for a further 3 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Use a wooden spoon to mix in the hazelnuts and orange blossom.
It is important to work quickly or the nougat will begin to set.
Quickly pour the nougat evenly into the lined pan using a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl. Use the spatula or the back of a spoon dipped in hot water to spread the nougat evenly into the pan and smooth the surface.
Place the rice paper over the top of the nougat and press down gently and smooth the top.
Set aside in a cool, dry place until set.
Lift the nougat from the pan and place on a cutting board using a hot serrated knife to cut the nougat.