Thursday, December 21, 2006
Montelimar Nougat, (well, this girl's version), Holiday Candy Making Experiment , No Rain Today!
I fell in love with this candy when we made it in my chocolate and showpieces class back in 1999. I haven't made it since then, and I figured what better time to make it than now? I found this site which gives a bit more information about Montelimar Nougat if you are interested in checking it out. I remember it being wonderfully chewy, full of almonds and pistachios and (this is not a traditional ingredient, from what I know) candied orange peel. It was wonderful. We even dipped some in chocolate, and if it's possible, it was more heavenly. I just wanted to try out this candy again, to know that I am still able to make it. And what better excuse to use for my experimental holiday baking time in search of something to make next year to ship out. As my cookies have already been sent, it's the only excuse I can think of (not that I really need an excuse, but I might as well have one handy). This is ooey, chewy honey goodness at it's best. It may seem a bit tricky, but once you get over the fear of hot sugar, it's really not too bad. This candy is quite sensitive to humidity. You want it to be dryer outside when you make it, or it will be too ooey gooey (although maybe suitable for ice cream topping?). Anyway, if you are feeling up to a little challenge, I can think of none better to recommend.
Montelimar Nougat: (Makes a good amount of Nougat, it would fill a cookie sheet pan if you wanted it to. Please note, that I did use the metric measurements when I made this, as my lovely scale swings both ways)
8 ounces (200g) water (H2O)
1 pound 6 ounces (600g) sugar
10 ounces (250g) glucose (well, I use corn syrup for this, but if you can get glucose, go for it)
12 ounces (350g) honey (lavendar honey if you are going to be authentic, I just have lotus blossom honey on hand at this time, and if you don't like honey, or have an allergy, you can sub more glucose/corn syrup for the honey, it will just have a bit less depth of flavor)
4 1/2 ounces (120g) egg whites
4 ounces (100g) sugar
14 ounces (400g) roasted almonds (roasting the almonds on a sheet pan at 350f for 8 to 10 minutes really adds depth of flavor, not to mention an incredible smell in your home. I also roasted the pistachios for about 5 minutes)
8 ounces (200g) pistachios (just plain old unsalted pistachios out of their shells)
8 ounces (200g) candied orange peel, diced
-In a heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring sugar, water and glucose to a boil. Add the honey and bring to 296f (147C). While you are boiling the sugar to 296f, whip the egg whites and 4 ounces of sugar to medium peaks (start out with just the whites, and whip them till foamy, then slowly add the sugar two tablespoons at a time, then whip till the egg white mixture forms soft peaks that stay upright) and mix on low speed to keep the whites moving until the sugar syrup reaches 296f.
-Once the syrup reaches its temperature, slowly add the syrup mixture to the egg white mix with the mixer on medium (just let it flow down the side of the bowl into the whites). The mixture will come up considerably when you are adding the hot syrup, and will come down a bit once it starts to thicken and cool.
Whip until the mixture begins to stiffen, add the nuts and orange peel and whip a bit more. Once the mixture is very thick(it will still be very warm), pour (who am I kidding? I had to scrape this out with a bowl scraper and a bit of muscle) onto a surface that has been sifted liberally with powdered sugar. Sift a bit of powdered sugar over the top, and roll out to about 1 inch thick (I remember in class we had some metal bars that were 1" that we rolled the goo out between to ensure even thickness, I don't have these at home, so I just winged it), the mixture may continue to try to ooze a bit (it is a slow mover though, if it is actually spreading itself out too much, then you didn't beat it quite enough) so you may want to push it back into place. Let the mixture sit out overnight, and then slice the next day. Coat in chocolate if you desire.
Take a bite of chewy nutty gooey Montelimar Nougat!
Happy Holidays! (I'll be posting pictures of the finished cut Montelimar as soon as it is set up (well, probably tomorrow) so stay tuned!