Chewy Nougat (Also, Marshmallow Creme)

NougatI wanted to make nougat mostly just to see how difficult it was, and if it tasted anything like the kind of nougat I’m used to from candy bars. I’m a sucker for almost anything chewy and sweet, and when you make if fluffy and rich, I’m hopeless.

As it turns out, making good nougat isn’t that hard. And it tastes, somehow, even better than store bought. I’ve made two batches, one straight from a cook book, and anther based off it with some tweaks. Since I’m hesitant to just copy recipes out of a book for this blog, any recipe I publish here (and have published so far) I will have made modifications to, either in ingredients or method or both. I wouldn’t feel good just republishing a cookbook someone else put together.

This recipe makes a pretty spectacular soft, chewy vanilla nougat. It’s very good on its own, and can serve as the foundation for any number of varieties by adding stuff to it, such as nuts, jellies and chocolate chips. I used it as the foundation for something quite tasty, which I’m working up to documenting next week.

The base of the nougat recipe is actually marshmallow creme, so this is a two in one. The marshmallow creme recipe can be used on its own, as the base of some other treat, or moved on to becoming nougat.

Marshmallow Creme Recipe

  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (if you’re just making the creme, not the nougat)

Stuff You’ll Need

  • Small (1-quart) heavy saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Candy thermometer
  • Mixer and mixing bowl
  • Pastry brush
  • Ability to separate egg whites

Marshmallow creme in its primordial form.

Marshmallow Creme Directions

Combine the water, corn syrup and sugar in the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon over medium heat periodically, until it comes to a gentle boil. Once it has, wash the sides of the pan down with the wet pastry bush to remove any sugar crystals. Clip on the candy thermometer. You’re going to cook it to 244 degrees.

While the mixture cooks, separate and then beat the two egg whites in a medium or large bowl at high speed until they develop stiff peaks; this takes a few minutes. If you’re not sure when that is, google it or ask someone (me, I had to ask my wife, “are these stiff peaks?” They were.) because I forgot to take a picture of them when they were done. Here they are in progress.Leave the egg whites in the mixing bowl, and monitor the sugar mixture – without stirring -until it’s hit 244 degrees.

When the sugar mixture is ready, turn the mixer on to medium high speed, and pour the hot syrup into the egg whites while the mixer is running. Pour slowly, so it’s added over the course of 15 seconds or so. The syrup is hot enough to cook the egg whites. It’s normal for some of the syrup to cling to the side of the bowl. Do not scrap the sides of the bowl; once the mix has hit it, it’s too cool to be incorporated and will make the texture uneven.

Once all the syrup is added, let the mixer beat it for a minute or two, until it’s thick and fluffy.

Finished marshmallow creme.

This will make three cups of creme, just enough for the nougat. While sweet and fluffy, the creme won’t have much flavor on its own. If you’re just making the marshmallow creme, then mix in one teaspoon of vanilla. That will be enough to give it a good flavor and help it be tasty on its own.

Now to turn it into nougat.

Nougat Recipe

  • The batch of marshmallow creme
  • 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Stuff You’ll Need

  • Medium (2-3 quart) heavy saucepan
  • Candy thermometer
  • Pastry brush
  • Wooden spoon
  • A large mixing bowl
  • A wooden paddle
  • A 9″x9″ glass pan, buttered

Nougat Directions

This will be familiar: combine the water, sugar and corn syrup in the heavy pan, and bring it to a boil over medium heat with occasional stirring. Wash the sides of the pan down when it hits a boil, and cook it to 280 degrees.

While the marshmallow creme was cooked to a lower temperature to make it soft and fluffy, the nougat is chewy rather than soft, thus the higher temperature.

While the syrup is cooking, measure out the marshmallow creme and place it in a large mixing bowl. It should be about three cups. Melt the butter, and get the vanilla out. As with many candy recipes, you won’t have much extra time as you’ll need to mix and pour quickly so the candy does not set up in the bowl; it’s good to have everything ready for the finale.

When the syrup is at 280 degrees, slowly pour it into the marshmallow creme while stirring. You’ll either have to use a mixer, or have someone else help with the pouring or stirring. As before, pour slowly but steady, for about 15-20 seconds while stirring. The mixture will fluff up from the steam as it mixes.

Fluffed up nougat base.

Once combined, pour in the vanilla and butter (if the butter set up at all, nuke it for a few seconds to fully melt). Stir and fold with the wooden paddle until both are fully incorporated. The mixture will fall quite a bit – this is normal. Look at how far down the bowl this batched dropped.

Hot nougat, ready for pouring.

If you’re going to add anything to the nougat – nuts, chocolate, etc. – now is the time to do so. Me, I left it plain for the first batch.

Once it’s fully mixed, pour out into the buttered glass 9″x9″ pan. As before, do not scrape the bowl. At least, not very firmly; you don’t want to pick up any of the hot syrup that is clinging to the sides, as it will have a much stiffer texture than the rest of the nougat. If you scrap it in, the nougat will have an uneven texture. (Specifically, hard parts amidst the chewy.)

As with caramel, this needs to set up over night. If that is just too much for you to resist, then give it at least four hours. But it will be softer and stickier unless it’s set up over night. I covered mine loosely with waxed paper.

Nougat, ready to set up over night.

Once it has set up, loosen the edges with a knife or spatula, and turn the nougat out onto a cutting board. Cut into once inch squares and wrap tightly with waxed paper or candy wrapping.

I made two batches of nougat; the second one was one part of a multi-layer candy. I’ll cover that bit shortly. Here’s some of the plain nougat I set aside for my daughters:

Set up nougat.

All wrapped up...and ready to be unwrapped.

Most of the candy I’ve made, I can pretty much guess about what it tastes like from the recipe. Not so here: the taste of the nougat blew me away. The texture is a perfect mix of fluffy and chewy, and taste is outstanding. Vanilla, with a hint of buttery overtones at the finish. It’s my favorite recipe so far, along side the peanut caramel.

Hmm. Alongside peanut caramel…

~Ben

About these ads
This entry was posted in Recipe. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Chewy Nougat (Also, Marshmallow Creme)

  1. Pingback: Things That Can be Put into Nougat | Boiling Sugar

  2. KJ says:

    Ok, I learned something. I had no idea that REAL marshmallow–as opposed to the Jet-puffed variety–had egg whites. I mean, is there really such a thing as real marshmallow? That would have marshmallow root in it, I guess, which would be going a little far. But non-bagged marshmallow.
    I cannot wait to try this with my meringue-loving kids.
    They’re going to love the gummi bear version, too.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Pingback: Candy Bars | Boiling Sugar

  4. Sara says:

    This turned out so well! I made this two days ago, and cut it into bite sized pieces then dipped the pieces in chocolate coating. They taste and have the same texture as a Charleston Chew! And the marshmallow cream was great…I can’t wait to try it in my fudge. Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Pingback: Hungry? Grab a Snickers! « Bee*s Adventures

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s