I always thought nougat was a food that dropped whole from heaven (neatly wrapped). So imagine my surprise when my calendar (a food one – diabolical indeed) informed me that nougat was made up of ingredients, whipping, and heat.
Three things make it worthy of being part of the Jimmy Bind blog.
1. Liquid Glucose. It is the slowest-moving substance known to man. For this reason, putting the first ingredient into a saucepan takes three hours (six, if you measure it properly). If you’re ever about to be killed by a supervillain, ask to be drowned in liquid glucose. Then you’ll probably either die of old age, or walk away over the top.
2. Humidity changes how it turns out. Another reason to cook it deep inside your multi-level cave lair.
3. General sugary stickiness. Once you’ve made nougat, it’s with you for life – in the mixing bowl, saucepan, jug – on the floor, walls and benches – in your clothes and in your hair. If you want to torture someone, tell them to clean up after you. (Side note: My husband is in the kitchen, washing up, RIGHT NOW. At least now I know he’ll never leave. PS Thanks, sweetheart.)
4. I myself (technically) failed – clearly because of sabotage. (No, I don’t have a sugar thermometer. Why do you ask?) I say technically, because ending up with a sugary, vanilla-y mass is never truly a bad result.
Nutty Vanilla Nougat
1. 1 c liquid glucose. aka sweet flowing DOOM
2. 2.75 c white sugar (not caster)
3. 0.5 c honey
4. .75 c water
5. 2 large egg whites, at room temperature.
6. A pinch of salt.
7. 3 tsp vanilla essence.
8. 100g butter, at room temperature.
9. Stuff to put in (in my case, pistachios and chopped glace cherries. You may prefer to eat the souls of children, fingers of enemies, etc).
A. Grease and line a slice pan. Mix the first four ingedients in a saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Simmer until it’s 121 degrees Celsius on a sugar thermometer. (Also handy for boiling unwelcome visitors.)
B. Pour one-quarter of the syrup into a jug. Set jug and saucepan aside.
C. Put egg whites and salt in a ceramic bowl. Mix on high and gradually add the contents of the jug until mixture is thick and holds its shape.
D. Reheat remaining syrup until it’s 145 degrees, then slowly add it to the meringue. (This is the point at which you removed the bleached bones of your unwelcome visitors and feed any remains to your cat.)
E. Add butter and vanilla, and beat the whole thing for five minutes.
F. Stir in your extra bits with a metal spoon, and pour it all into the pan.
G. Refrigerate for three hours or until firm.
H. Eat the whole darn thing.
I. Throw up.