Lockdown 2.0 was not totally unexpected but it still didn’t make the announcement any easier. In the run up to Christmas everyone has so much organised and no doubt we all had to cancel things that we’d been looking forward to for months. I’d actually got some things pencilled in that were the ‘light at the end of the first lockdown tunnel’ – inc. a spa weekend with my mum and celebrating G and I’s 6-year anniversary. Anyway, I suppose the main thing is that hopefully these further measures will keep us all safe and is in the interest of everyone’s health. To keep my spirits up I decided to make a ‘lockdown bucket list’ of things to fill my weekends. Making almond & vanilla nougat was one of the first things on there…

I’m not really sure why I picked out nougat as something I desperately wanted to make, I’ve never really eaten much of it before. However, I always imagine it being delicious as I have a super sweet tooth. Also, because we are now in the run up to Christmas I felt like it would be something festive to make. My other top favourite festive bake is ‘Salted Caramel Yule Log’ – and I promise you won’t regret making it.

I suppose the other reason I fancied making almond & vanilla nougat was because I’m always making banana bread and thought it would be fun to try something a little different!

Other things on my bucket list included playing a game of Monopoly, having a cocktail night, making macarons, doing an ab workout, reading a book and writing all my Christmas cards…

I have to admit making almond & vanilla nougat was extremely satisfying, as once you combine the sugar syrup to the egg whites (as pictured above and below), it completely transforms into a glossy, thick and incredibly sticky mixture. It also must be noted that this recipe makes a LOT of nougat so I’d recommend making it for when you have friends around (G and I have a whole tub to get through…!) 

The almond & vanilla flavouring make this pretty scrumptious though and can’t imagine who wouldn’t enjoy this. The addition of whole toasted almonds adds the ideal texture and crunch… and writing about this is making me think I may need to go and get another piece to munch on! 

So, here’s the recipe for almond & vanilla nougat (adapted from The Spruce Eat’s page!) Hope you enjoy making this as much as I did. If you have any other recipes, flavours or ideas for this festive sweet treat, let me know in the comments below…

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Almond & Vanilla Nougat
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare an 8x11 or 9x13 dish with double layered clingfilm (ensure all sides are covered). Spray all over with nonstick cooking spray and place the edible rice paper in a single layer on the bottom - you may need to cut the pieces to fit inside.
  2. Place the egg whites and salt in a large bowl (ensure it is fully cleaned and dried - any grease will prevent the egg whites from whipping properly).
  3. Combine the sugar, honey, liquid glucose and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. The mixture will bubble as it cooks so ensure it is large enough. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Insert a 'sugar thermometre' and cook the syrup, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 143C.
  5. When the syrup reaches 132C, start beating the egg whites using an electric whisk or free standing mixer. They should form soft peaks.
  6. Add the remaining 2 tbsp. of sugar little at a time until the whites are shiny and can hold firm peaks. Ideally this stage should be reached when the sugar syrup reaches 143C, but it the whites are done sooner, stop the mixer so that you don't over-beat the eggs.
  7. When the sugar syrup reaches 143C carefully pour into a large measuring cup with a spout.
  8. Slowly and carefully stream the hot syrup into the egg whites whilst the mixer is on a medium speed. Once all combined increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high and continue to beat for 5 minutes until very thick and shiny.
  9. Add the extracts and beat briefly to incorporate. Add the toasted almonds to the bowl and stir in until well incorporated. It will be very sticky.
  10. Scrape the nougat into the prepared dish and then use a spatula or knife to smooth the top. Cover the top completely with another layer of rice paper.
  11. Place a dish/tray of the same size (or another heavy object) on top of the nougat to weigh it down. Let is sit at room temperature for 3 hours.
  12. To cut the nougat, use a large knife, with nonstick cooking spray. Cut into small squares - you may need to wash the knife a couple of times as it will get sticky.
  13. The almond & vanilla nougat can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
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Enjoy

IH xo