Fluffy Vanilla Nougat

Fluffy Vanilla Nougat Recipe

To make great nougat, you really need to have a plan. You have to be legit focused. And(!), consider yourself warned, there are going to be a few minutes when you can't answer the front door, or even look at your phone - boiling hot sugar is no joke. I'm going to show you how to make a fluffy, cloud-like, vanilla nougat candy. Because if you're going to eat candy now and then, it might as well be homemade. You need to read through the recipe in its entirety before starting, so you have a sense of where you're headed. You'll also need a candy thermometer.

Vanilla Nougat Recipe

To the billowy, sweet, nougat base you can add all manner of flavors and spices. Or, stir in as many seeds, nuts, and dried fruit as the nougat will hold. The version you see pictured has vanilla bean, streaks of saffron, and a medley of nuts and seeds. The version in the video is slightly different. Part of the fun is experimenting with all the different ingredients you can add. A memorable favorite - lavender with loads of toasted white and black sesame seeds.

Vanilla Nougat Recipe

Vanilla Nougat Recipe

A few notes about this nougat recipe. A lot of nougat recipes use large amounts of corn syrup. The goal here was to get rid of as much corn syrup as possible, and preferably eliminate it altogether (I'm going to give variations with it, and without below). The version with a small splash of corn syrup is, quite honestly, less temperamental. But you can make nougat without it. What you see pictured here is a nougat made from honey, sugar, egg whites, and water as the base. Then there's vanilla bean, and lots of nuts and seeds beyond that.

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Fluffy Vanilla Nougat

The key here is getting your sugar and honey mixtures to the right temperatures at the right time. Start with all your ingredients measured and on the counter in front of you. If you need clarification of the technique here, watch the 2 minute video up above. The corn syrup here is optional, but the texture of the nougat is incrementally better, and the whole process is less temperamental when you use it. Variations: pinch of saffron diluted in 1 teaspoon gin or vodka added just before any nuts

2 egg whites, room temperature
2 3/4 cup granulated sugar (500 g), plus 2 tablespoons
1 cup / 12 ounces (by weight) honey
1/3 cup / 80 ml water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (optional)
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from inside (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups add-ins (toasted nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc)

special equipment: candy thermometer, pastry brush

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside.

Use a clean, dry stand mixer to whip the egg whites to stiff peaks with 2 tablespoons of the sugar. In the mean time, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the honey to 250F on a candy thermometer. Also, at the same time, in a medium saucepan, combine the remaining 2 3/4 cups sugar, water, and corn syrup (if using). Over medium heat, bring this mixture to 300F on a candy thermometer. Carefully and gently swirl the mixtures in their pans now and then, use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush any sugar from the sides of the pan. You want the honey to hit its temp first, followed by the sugar shortly thereafter. With the mixer running, slowly pour the 250F honey down the side of the bowl into the egg whites. Let the mixer keep running, and as soon as your sugar mixture hits 300F, slowly pour the sugar mixture into the bowl as well, using the same technique (down the side of the bowl). Continue mixing for five minutes or so, until the temperature of the nougat is no longer hot. At this point, stir in the vanilla bean seeds and extract. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in the nuts and seeds by hand.

Transfer the nougat onto the parchment-line baking sheet, cover with another sheet of parchment and allow to cool completely. Cut into desired shapes (the cleaner you can keep your knife the cleaner your cuts will be), and wrap in squares of parchment paper, or candy wrappers. Store in an air-tight container.


Prep time: 5 min - Cook time: 10 min

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I send an email roughly once a week, sharing new recipes and cooking inspiration. - xo heidi

Comments

Sweet dreams are made of THIS. I think I'm in trouble :)

Rachel @Clean Eating for the Non-Hippie

Heidi, can you estimate quantity for this recipe? How many 1" squares, say, or what is the dimension of your batons, and how many did it make? Thank you!

HS: A small mountain. I wrote the recipe to make just about as much nougat as a standard kitchen maker can hold....my thought being, if you're going to go ahead and make homemade candy, you might as well make a bunch ;)

Pam

Can I use raw, or unrefined sugar in this recipe? Thank you.

HS: Hi Allison, this is one of the very few recipes where I use standard granulated sugar.

Allison

Definitely adding this to my holiday food plan!

Erin

The add-ins in the video appear to be peeled almonds and pine nuts. Is that correct? It looks so yummy! Also the way you show the finished product at the end of every video with a slight twist is your signature. I love it!!

HS: Hi Tasha - they were these limoncello shelled almonds we had around, and pine nuts. And, thank you! xx!

Tasha

Is the honey amount measured as liquid or solid? I'm thinking it must be solid (weight) as a cup of liquid equals eight ounces, not twelve. Thanks for clarifying! -

HS: Hi Nancy - it's by weight.

Nancy

Have you ever tried inverted sugar made with sugar and lemon juice (such as the kind in Patricia Wells' My Master Recipe book) to take the place of corn syrup? She says it's a good substitute.

HS: Hi Dana, no - I haven't. Brilliant! - huge thanks for the heads up.

Dana

This looks great, but . . . i don't have a stand mixer. Judging from the recipe, it doesn't seem possible to do the mixing by hand, since there is a long period of mixing required. Would you advise that I even try the recipe by hand?

HS: Any chance you have a hand blender - like with "egg beaters"? I think that would be my plan b!

shl

Hi! Could this go vegan with aquafaba? Love your site! Have been a fan for years!

HS: Hi Samantha et al - I haven't tested the aquafaba version yet. If you beat me to it please report back. Seems quite promising!

Samantha

There’s just something about pouring hot syrup into beaten egg whites that is so exciting. I wonder if I could substitute some of the honey or sugar syrup with molasses. Thanks for the great video.

Marjie Watson

i love nougat and torrone!

after i saw this post, i did a search looking for a source for that thin rice paper to gild the lily... and found out you can run sheets of it thru a printer with edible ink!!! (old news to many, but i don't get out much...)

i teach art to K/12 special ed students, and a whole new world of decorated nougat and edibles is on the horizon using their creations.

i am always so inspired by your recipes! thank you!!!

jennifer farcas

I’ve had terrible luck with candy thermometers - do you have one you’d recommend?

Allison Campbell

Do you know how long the nougat will keep in the wrappers? I'm thinking of making batches for holiday gifts but not sure if they would stay fresh long enough. Thanks!

HS: Quite a while Britt - keep them in an air-tight container.

Britt

Okay, I made this recipe as written the other day. I used a digital scale and digital instant-read thermometer. I think I may not have mixed it long enough after adding the syrups because it never got firm enough to cut neatly. Also it stuck like nobody’s business to the parchment paper.

I let it sit for a couple of days sneaking nibbles from the edges. I just couldn’t bring myself to ditch it. Then I had an epiphany. Dusting with powdered sugar, I rolled it into balls. I tempered some gorgeous bittersweet chocolate and got to work dipping. I ended up with the most fantastic chocolates filled with a super creamy nougat.

HS: Hi Marjie! Brilliant recovery :) Sounds amazing. A couple suggestions for next time. My guess is that your nougat didn't quite get hot enough. I always use a candy thermometer (not a digital one), for better accuracy here. And, I never have trouble with parchment paper (waxed is another story)...double check on that front. But, my bet is that if you let the temperature come up some, you're going to be in great shape the next time around.

Marjie

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