French Almond Nougat

This beautiful French almond nougat is a lighter and chewier type of nougat. Although it’s called an “almond” nougat, it is a classic recipe which can have extra fruit, peel or other nuts added to it for variety.
This nougat is a recipe from Provence where they use honey to give it perfection, rather than add liquid glucose.
In theory this looks like a fairly easy thing to make, but it is important to get your temperatures right. Because the chemistry in the heating of the sugar and honey is important, invest in a candy thermometer.

20 x 28 cm slice tray
3 pieces of edible rice paper (one each for top and bottom, then the other for filling in the gaps around edges of tin).
500g almonds
50g pistachios
100g dried cranberries
260g honey
2 egg whites
½ tsp vanilla
200g sugar
250g honey
60g icing sugar
Edible rose petals and lavender flowers for topping

Put baking paper into bottom of slice tray, then layer with rice paper.
Lightly roast almonds, pistachios and cranberries.
In a double boiler, bottom pan a third filled with water, heat the honey, stirring constantly.
In another pan heat the sugar. I found it was more successful to use a frying pan and just toss it around. I burnt sugar too many times by stirring it. Aim to heat the sugar to somewhere between 120 and 130 degrees. When it reaches the required temperature, add sugar to the honey and patiently stir the mixture till it reaches 140 degrees. This will take some time.
In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites till peaks form, then slowly add the sugar and honey mixture till thick. It will take about 8 minutes and become quite thick and sticky. This is where you’re beating the fluffy chewiness into the nougat.
Turn off the beaters and add the icing sugar, fruit and nuts, blending by hand.
Spread onto the rice paper and smooth it fairly quickly because it is quite messy to deal with. Place the last piece of rice paper on top, then leave it in the fridge overnight to set.
Before slicing it, spread lavender and rose petals over the top and either wrap the pieces in cellophane, or leave in a tin till ready to eat.
Because it is a soft style of nougat, keep it refrigerated and cool if giving away as a gift for Christmas.

Find this recipe and more at Jeanne D’Moore

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