Hello everyone, I hope you are all well.
Christmas is literally just around the corner… The sun is shining where I live, and the temperatures are milder than the average December.
Christmas is a lovely time for baking, maybe with some lovely Christmas music playing in the background… I bake all year round, though, and I do all the holiday baking on December 24. I want everything to be freshly baked for the big day… What about you?
Today I want to share the recipe for French nougat, which is perfect for Christmas.
It’s so good it’s almost like magic…
This type of nougat originally comes from the area around the Mediterranean, where nuts have always been used more than we’re used to in Scandinavia. These goodies are in fact full of different nuts in addition to dried cranberries.
The process may seem complicated, but if you read the recipe carefully before you start, and you have all the equipment and ingredients at hand, French nougat is not hard to make.
Use any nuts you like here.
French holiday nougat
- 5 1/3 oz. (150 g) hazelnuts, skinned
- 10 ½ oz. (300 g) almonds
- 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 cup (330 g) runny honey
- 1 ¾ cup (370 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (170 g) light corn syrup or liquid glucose
- ½ cup (125 ml) water
- 3 ½ oz. (100 g) dried cranberries
- 5 ¼ oz. (150 g) pistachios
Read the recipe closely before you start, make sure you have all the ingredients and equipment at hand. You will need a standing mixer and a candy thermometer.
Place the hazelnuts and almonds on a baking tray and toast in a 265ºF (130ºC) oven for about 12 minutes. Turn off the oven leaving the nuts and tray in the oven.
The oven I use is Italian, you can get it here. (Swedish link.)
Pour the egg whites into a mixing bowl.
Bring out two small saucepans. Pour the honey into one of the pans.
Then combine the sugar, light corn syrup or liquid glucose and water in the other.
Place the pan with the honey over medium heat and bring to boil. Start whisking the egg whites in the mixing bowl. Continue boiling the honey until the temperature reaches 252ºF (122ºC).
Place the pan with the sugar mixture over medium heat and bring to a boil. Continue boiling until the syrup reaches 295ºF (146ºC).
When the honey has reached the required temperature, pour directly over the egg whites with the mixer running. Pour in a thin, steady stream avoiding the whisk and the sides of the bowl.
I’m using this stand mixer here. (Norwegian link.)
Continue whisking for 2-3 minutes, and then change the whisk to a beater blade.
When the sugar syrup has reached the required temperature, pour directly over the egg whites with the mixer running.
Pour in a thin, steady stream avoiding the beater blade and the sides of the bowl.
Continue beating on medium speed for a few more minutes.
Blow heat on the mix (not too close) using a torch or a hair blow dryer. This will make the mixture a bit drier.
It will take about 15 minutes with a blow torch or 25 minutes with a hair drier.
The nougat is ready when you can pinch off a small amount and shape it into a ball without it sticking to your fingers.
Stop the mixer.
Add the toasted nuts and dried cranberries. Mix well with a greased rubber spatula.
Grease a 16 x 19-inch (40 x 50 cm) pan with non-stick baking spray or line with parchment paper.
Scrape in the mixture.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on top and smooth the surface.
Leave to set in a cool place for a couple of hours and then cut into squares with a greased knife.
Roll in some powdered sugar and wrap in waxed paper.
French nougat keeps well for weeks if stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
The perfect gift – spread some holiday cheer!
I hope you are tempted.
Happy holidays dear readers, take care of yourselves and the ones around you.
Hugs from me to you.