About Me

My photo
What can I say?? I just love to bake!! Ever since I would go to Grandma's house as a little girl and bake highlight cakes or help Ninny make her famous vanilla cookies, I've been obsessed with baking! Not only from recipe books, but freestyle too! With a father as a chef, i suppose it is in my genes! Some of my favourite memories from growing up were those moments after dinner when my dad would get his sweet tooth pang and have me help him whip up a batch of toffee fruit kebabs, or irish caramels! I used to love how he never followed recipes, he always just knew what ingredients worked with one another and how to play with quantities. So, from an early age, i had learnt from the master and i was well on my way to bake on my own! When i was 7 years old, i used to bake chocoloate cakes to sell to the mothers of my friends when they came to watch our Saturday morning minkey hockey games! Before i knew it, i was being commissioned from my school teachers to bake cakes for them at $2 a pop! This blog holds just a few of my favourite tried and tested recipes which I've thoroughly enjoyed both baking and eating! So enjoy!!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Almond Nougat

Number 3 of the Christmas series had to none other than..... Almond Nougat!  Need I say more??  Nougat is one of my all time favourite sweeties and I actually can't beleive I hadn't attempted to make this sooner!  I think I was put off by people telling me how hard it is to perfect, but honestly, if you have all your ingredients prepared and ready; a candy thermometer and some rice paper to hand, then this recipe is easy peasy.  Honest!  Just follow these simple steps and have a little Christmas faith!

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time:  20 mins + 6 hours to set
Serves:  Makes around 40 pieces.

 - 4 sheets of edible rice paper (cut to the size of your baking tray - 15.5 x 23.5cm)
 - 200g blanched almonds
 - 560g (2 1/2 cups) sugar
 - 80ml (1/3cup) water
 - 1 500g jar of glucose syrup
 - 2 eggs whites, at room temperature
 - 1tsp vanilla essence

1)  Preheat oven to 170'C.

2)  Line your baking tray with baking paper, allowing it to overhang at the sides.  Then lay 2 sheets of rice paper in the base of your prepared tray. 

3)  Spread the almonds evenly over the rice paper and toast in your preheated oven for 7-10mins, or until light golden.  Leave them to cool slightly for 5mins then chop roughly and set aside.

4)  Using a free standing mixer, beat your egg whites until firm peaks form.  Leave in the bowl, ready for later use.

5)  Fill your sink with roughly 10cm of cold water.

6)  Place the sugar, water and glucose syrup in a medium sized saucepan and put the pan over a medium-low heat.  Stir with a wooden spoon, brushing down the sides of the pan occassionaly with a pastry brush dipped in water, until the sugar dissolves.  This should take about 10 mins.

7)  Increase heat to high and bring the sugar mixture to the boil.  As soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium-high and boil, uncovered, without stirring.  You will need to place your candy thermomiter in the saucepan and keep an eye on the temperature.  As soon as the syrup reaches about 140'C, immediately remove the saucepan from the heat and place gently into the sink of cold water to cool the mixture rapidly.  This will take about 5 seconds, or until the bubbles subside.

8)  With your egg white mixture on medium speed, slowly pour in the hot syrup, in a thin, steady stream.  Don't pour the syrup down the side of the bowl or onto the whisk beaters as it may set before being incorporated into the egg whites.

9)  Once all the syrup is incorporated, whisk for a further 3 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and glossy.

10)  Use a wooden spoon to stir in your chopped almonds and vanilla essence.  It is important to move quickly or the nougat will begin to set.

11)  Quickly pour the mixture into your rice paper lined baking tray, using a wet spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl and also to spread the mixture evenly into your pan.

12)  Place your remaining sheets of rice paper ontop of the nougat, pressing gently.

13)  Set aside to cool for about 6 hours, or until it's set!

14)  Lift the nougat from the pan and place on a cutting board.  Remove all the baking paper (but keep the rice paper on, as it's edible).  Use a serated knife in a sawing motion to cut the nougat crossways into 3cm wide pieces.

NOTES:  Nougat can be stored in airtight containers in a cool, dry place for up to 1-2 weeks, or in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.  If storing in the fridge, be sure to let the nougat come to room temperature before serving.


No comments:

Post a Comment