My Nougat Problem

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Well, actually - there are two problems.

1) Addiction

2) Inability to make it

Having said that, I've only tried making it once. Ever. Okay - it was twice in the one sitting. I boiled the sugar mixture and it burnt. Then I boiled the sugar mixture again and it par-burnt. I rescued it before it could head in the same charred direction as its predecessor.

I followed the recipe to the letter. I have my candy thermometer and I let it boil, without stirring until it reached 160 degrees Celsuis. At 150 degrees, it was smoking like a chargrilled chicken and almost black. 'Hmm,' I thought, 'Seeing as though nougat is meant to be snowy white, soot black probably isn't the right colour for the syrup.'

I googled different recipes which advised 140 degrees Celsius. 'Printing error in first recipe', I thought. So I tried again and whipped it off the heat part-way through soot black stage (at dangerous amber shade - see toffee below on electric beaters), just a shade under 140 degrees and smelling badly of burnt sugar.

I nonetheless added the mixture to the egg whites and out came this terrible, sticky nougat, jamming its clammy maw around my beautiful shelled pistachios and tangy dried cranberries. Very annoying. I had a piece. It tasted ok if not a little, er... burnt. But the texture was horrid.

Where was the fluff? Where was the lightness and the chewy bounce?

Ach. Advice, anyone?

Note to wannabe nougat makers: purchase a Kitchenaid to make your nougat unless you want boiling toffee spattered across your crappy old electric beaters... and the walls and the kitchen bench and your hands. Yet another clear indication that a Kitchenaid is long overdue in our household (note to Husband).


posiepatchwork said...

OMG, just posted some KitchenAid love on my blog. We use it for cakes of course, but also icecream, pasta, sausages - that is a royal "we" my husband is the one who loves fiddling with all these accessories & flavours, i'd rather be sewing. I hear The Essential Ingredient at Kingston calling you.
As for nougart, yum, i've had a few Honey Nougart Logs (school fundraiser, no calories in charity chocolate) these school holidays. Happy New Year Mrs Fabulous, love Posie

Anonymous said...

no clue what a nougat is? TB

Lupa_Agent#357 said...

Hi, i got the same thing but mine only went a shade of amber that looked dangerous so i took it off. As soon as i started beating the mix it turned to concrete (very not impressed, it used the last of my honey) so if you hear of any clues as to why it doesnt work when heated to 140 degrees, please share them with me :)

Anonymous said...

Thank god I am not the only one who has tried and tried to master the art of not burning the sugar/syrup mix!! I have googled and goggled for help. I have just run out of honey, but I am determined to get this nougat thing right! I will keep you posted on it and give you any tips I may get along the way.

Tania McCartney said...

I haven't dared try this again! Anyone else? The latest Donna Hay mag has a recipe in it... shall try. Maybe. Watch this space.

Shelley Austin said...

Hi all nougat makers. I made some today, it came out very well. A note on my candy thermometer package advised to check the thermometer before making your sugar syryp. They say different altitudes have different boiling points. Mine boiled at 70 celcius. I had to deduct 30 degrees from the 150. Sounds like that was your problem.

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