You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that I’m right into Christmas baking. I love to have little treats on hand to give away as gifts or serve to visitors.
For those of you Sydneysiders, that have been to Seans Panoroma in Bondi and tried this outstanding nougat, you’ll know just how incredible it is. I’ve used pistachios and dried cranberries for a Christmassy touch but you can add any fruit and/or nut combination you like.
Even though it may look hard, it’s not that difficult to make nougat. Just make sure you have a sugar thermometer and all your ingredients prepped and ready to go. And, if possible engage your children in an activity outside of the kitchen so you can concentrate without interruption (yeah right).
Merry Christmas x
* this recipe is adapted from Sean Moran’s – Let it Simmer
- 1 packet of dried cranberries
- 150g shelled pistachios
- 200g good quality white chocolate
- 125g unsalted butter
- 4 large sprigs rosemary
- 4 sheets rice paper (available form gourmet food stores)
- 440g castor sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup liquid glucose
- 2 egg whites (at room temperature)
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 vanilla bean
Pre-heat oven to 100C and roast pistachios on a baking tray for 30 minutes.
Cut white chocolate into small chunks and place in the freezer.
Dice butter and strip the leaves from the rosemary sprigs and chop finely.
Line the base of a 20cm x 30cm but 4cm deep rectangle baking tray with 2 sheets of rice paper. I use a little egg white to fuse the two sheets together only slightly overlapping with the sides coming up the edges of the tray.
Divide the castor sugar, honey and glucose evenly between 2 heavy based saucepans and add 30ml of water to each. Stir a little and place the sugar thermometer in 1 saucepan. Bring both syrups to the boil.
Meanwhile, whisk egg whites in a mixer with salt until it reaches soft peaks. Now, get back to your syrup and when the saucepan with the thermometer reaches 125C, drizzle it nice and slowly into the egg whites, while beating simultaneously. Transfer the thermometer to the remaining saucepan and when it reaches 155C take it off the heat without delay and slowly pour it into the egg white mix. Gradually whisk in butter until absorbed into the mix.
Fold in the pistachios, cranberries, white chocolate, rosemary and vanilla bean seeds. Pour mixture into the prepared tray, pressing down the remaining 2 sheets of rice paper on top, firmly. Refrigerate for a few hours before cutting but store the nougat in an airtight container at room temperature.