Candy Bar Nougat Recipe

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.

7 thoughts on “Candy Bar Nougat Recipe”

  1. Hi, Joe,
    I recently discovered marshmallow fluff and Swiss meringue buttercream where you heat the egg whites, sugar, corn syrup in a double boiler until 160* then whip until the mix is cooled and stiff peaks form. (At that point, adding the butter for the SMBC or butter and/or shortening for marshmallow frosting.)
    Is there a reason for not using that technique for nougat? And thus eliminating the danger of splattering boiling sugar when I’m pouring it into the whirring mixing bowl? Because this looks exactly like those recipes to me. What important distinction am I here? Thanks.

    1. Hey Charm!

      There’s nothing at all wrong with that technique for buttercream. I’ve definitely used it, though I think I like the boiling sugar splatter method better, as in my experience the buttercream whips higher (those temperatures tend to cause some of the egg white proteins to ball up prematurely). And while I know there are some easier nougat recipes that call for fluff, I want more control over texture than those methods will give me. For example, I’ll want a high and fluffy nougat for Three Muskateers, but a denser one for a Baby Ruth. So fiddling with syrup temperature will be essential.

      Thanks for a great question!

      Joe

  2. Anything involving hot sugar syrup has always terrified me be it candy or spun sugar, but I adore Snickers. I hope your guidance through this process will help reassure me enough to try it.

    1. Hey Linda!

      I get that for sure. Caramel isn’t called “bakery napalm” for nothing. But with the proper precautions, plus some calm confidence, there really isn’t much risk of burning oneself. I think this will be fun!

      Cheers,

      Joe

  3. Reader Linda mentioned spun sugar. Might I repeat that? I’ve never made spun sugar. Will you be playing with that since we’re living so dangerously anyway?

  4. For anyone in the UK (who struggles to find corn syrup), I just had this work fine with golden syrup. Was a bit worried it would burn, but it was fine.

    Well, except for the bit where I forgot it during the final whip and had to disentangle fluffy blobs from the whisk and press them into the pan using a layer of cling film.

    Now excuse me while I go and crash from sugar overload.

    (P.S. In the past I’ve occasionally been able to find corn syrup in some Chinese supermarkets here in the UK)

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