Soft and Chewy Nougat

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HOMEMADE NOUGAT

I love Italian style soft and chewy nougat. Most of the time all I can find is the hard kind and so I decided to try making it myself. Not too bad for you either as desserts go since it starts with egg white and includes nuts and dried fruit. There's quite a bit of sugar and honey, but I actually cut that back a bit and now I can have this special treat without much guilt. Feel free to make it your own by adding chocolate, dried fruits, or even citrus peel. I tried it with chocolate and it actually melted in, made cool looking swirls, and was really good. Let me know what you try. 

You are supposed to use edible rice paper on both sides of this sticky treat. If you plan on packaging the nougat and giving it out to friends or storing it for a while, it would be wise to find some. I just used parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray and for serving in our house it was more than fine.

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 10Servings

Ingredients

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 cup nuts (I used whole almonds)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 large egg white, room temperature
  • pinch kosher salt
  • ¾ cup dried fruit (I used dried cherries)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare an 8- x 8-inch baking pan with rice paper or parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray. 

2. Spread nuts on baking sheet and toast for about 10 minutes at 350°F.  Set aside to cool.

3. Combine sugar, honey, and water in a small, deep heavy saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Increase heat and boil until thermometer registers 280°F, about 3 to 5 minutes.

4. At the same time, beat egg white and salt in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until soft peaks form. With the mixer running slowly, very carefully stream hot syrup into egg whites. Beat until meringue is thick and has cooled slightly, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add dried fruit and toasted nuts, or even chocolate chips, to meringue; mix nougat with a rubber spatula to distribute evenly.

5. Place nougat on the prepared pan, spreading in an even layer. Top with second sheet of rice paper or sprayed parchment. Use spatula to press the nougat into an even layer. Let nougat set at room temperature for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.

6. Cut with a knife and store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days. Nougat can also be kept in freezer for a month.