Nougat is a classic treat that’s traditionally served on its own with nuts and dried fruit mixed into it. But that nougat is not this nougat. This softer version is the kind that many staple candy bars (your Snickers, your Milky Ways, your Three Muskateers and Baby Ruths) are based on. It’s not difficult to make, particularly if you’ve had experience making candy syrups or buttercreams (the real ones). You’ll need a digital candy thermometer like a Thermapen and a stand mixture to make it happen.
3 cups (1 lb. 5 ounces) sugar
3/4 cup (8 ounces) light corn syrup
about 1/2 cup (4 ounces) water
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup and water (the amount doesn’t matter too much since we’re going to cook almost all the water out anyway). Cook the mixture over medium-high heat to 270 degrees Fahrenheit.
While that’s happening, place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip. Whip the whites on high for about 30 seconds or so, until they start to foam. At that point add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar (this will give your foam stability). Keep whipping to stiff peaks as the syrup mixture comes to temperature.
Turn the mixer down to medium, and gently pour in the sugar and corn syrup mixture, dribbling it down the side of the bowl to keep it from splattering all over the place. Keep whipping well after all the syrup has been added, about another 15 minutes, until the bowl is cool enough that you can comfortably place your hand on it. At that point it’s ready to be poured into a well-greased form of some sort…but that will depend on the kind of candy bar you’re making, since different bars have different thicknesses of nougat. We’ll worry about that later.
Oh, and you can also add this or that to make your nougat more interesting. For instance, to make a chocolate nougat, whip in 3 ounces of a good quality milk or dark chocolate at the end.