This homemade nougat tastes like nostalgia with butter, milk, and crispy nuts packed together, which also screams Christmas for me. Not to mention, the candy bars look gorgeous in my flower-printed gift bags, and I’m sure they will make your gift recipients happy!
- 1 How I fall in love with this nougat
- 2 What exactly is nougat?
- 3 Homemade Nougat Ingredients
- 4 More Dessert Recipes for You
- 5 How to make homemade nougat?
- 6 Tips for Homemade Nougat
- 7 FAQs for Homemade Nougat
- 8 Homemade Nougat Recipe
How I fall in love with this nougat
Recently, I have seen many homemade nougat recipes in the cooking groups I joined, and I got curious because they receive many positive feedbacks. Nonetheless, I admit that I was hesitant to try it at first, for it looks like one of those basic candies with a stiff texture and an overly sweet flavor. I’m glad my friends urged me to make this nougat in the end, or I would have missed out on such an amazing treat.
I didn’t expect nougat to be soft and stretchy (at room temperature), scented with butter, and crunchy with roasted nuts. It makes such a perfect combo with warm tea and hot chocolate.
Even though it’s still a mystery to me how nougat is called ‘the happiness candy’ in my country, I can’t deny that it’s such a lovely name! After all, being able to make a pretty and delicious treat for your family and friends is a kind of happiness, right?
What exactly is nougat?
Although nougat started to spread its popularity all over Europe in the 17th century, food historians believe its origin might date a few centuries back, perhaps around the 8th from the land of modern Turkey (1). However, a similar derivative of it also appeared in Syria, Baghdad, Iraq, and parts of Central Asia.
The Italians address nougat as torrone while it’s called turrón in Spain, but most people consider it a French confection (‘nougat’ means ‘nuts’ in French). Homemade nougat is a treat of the holiday season in Southern Europe, as the host might prepare a plate full of nougat bars or send them in little gift bags. In general, you will find it in two versions – brown and white.
- Brown nougat has no egg in its compound. The base of this variation relies on caramelized sugar or honey, hence the darker color and the brittleness.
- White nougat includes honey, sugar, nuts, and beaten egg whites. As a result, it has a softer texture and a more potent flavor than its twin.
- Viennese nougat (or German nougat) differs from the two types above with rich cocoa flavor and hazelnuts.
About the Americans, they usually use nougat as a primary ingredient in their candy bars rather than a standalone confection. Since you can pretty much count the ingredients with one hand, it’s incredibly easy to have your own flavor of homemade nougat by making minor changes. Once you have tried it, you will it holds little to no resemblance to the commercial products.
An example is the snickers bars. When you look at the component list, the main ingredients for nougat occupy a very small percentage. What does it mean? Artificial flavoring, hydrogenated soybean oil, and soy lecithin are what you are going to get. Certainly, anyone who tasted the real deal wouldn’t be satisfied with the candy bars infused with nougat.
Homemade Nougat Ingredients
- Nuts – numerous options: Not only do baked nuts taste better, but they are also easier to mix with the thick paste if they are warm.
- Fat – unsalted butter and milk powder: I stick to no-flavor butter and full-cream powdered milk for control over the taste of the final product. For the best result, don’t reduce the suggested amount or replace the supply randomly!
- Rice paper – or water paper: It’s an edible wrapper in Asia, easily found in gourmet stores or online shops. You would need it to serve and store the sticky nougat bars, though parchment paper and nonstick spray will do the trick as well.
- Mold – specialty: The specialty mold makes my adventure with homemade nougat so much easier. It has the size I’m looking for as well as prominent edges that neatly divide the large nougat sheet into even bars.
If there is one thing I love most about nougat, it must be how versatile it is. Stick to the principle and change the supplies up a bit, you will have a whole new flavor.
- Combine fruits and nuts. For example, red cranberries and green pistachios would look fabulous together, or the sourness of cherries that cut through the sweetness.
- Use green tea or milk tea powder for an interesting twist with your nougat! As a matter of fact, the colors will vary too.
- Rose scent isn’t a must in this recipe, yet you shouldn’t leave it out of the scene. In my country, the most commonly found food fragrances are strawberry, orange, or vanilla. My mom once made nougat with ginger jam and orange skin jam, and I love it too!
More Dessert Recipes for You
Let’s entertain yourself with the fun and relaxing process of making nougat at home!
How to make homemade nougat?
If you are not in the best condition for watching videos, don’t worry! I have step-by-step instructions and a printable recipe included in this article!
1. Melt everything. Start with butter and marshmallow. Keep them on low heat until they melt and blend before adding milk powder to thicken the mixture.
2. Mix. Toss the creamy paste with nuts and fruits evenly.
3. Mold. Pour the thick mixture in and roll the surface flat.
4. Let it cool for an hour before cutting the nougat plate according to the outline left by the mold and wrapping the pieces in rice paper.
Tips for Homemade Nougat
- You might think the weather is irrelevant, but too much humidity will make your nougat softer than desired. The solution is either waiting for a cool, dry day or adjusting the mixture temperature.
- Although the process is extremely simple, you need to do it quickly. So, place the ingredients within your reach and set up the tools (stove, pan, mold) before starting.
- Butter, milk powder, and marshmallow are what create our homemade nougat. Therefore, feel free to alternate between the brands but try not to exclude any of them.
- Be careful if you want to add food coloring. I don’t recommend it though, as the natural shade of milk and butter is beautiful enough for me. Don’t use too much of it or the homemade nougat will end up overly wet.
- Keep the butter and the marshmallows simmering on low heat and stir constantly so they can mingle well. Too much heat will easily burn the mixture.
- You should toast the nuts in advance since they also taste great that way!
- Here comes my ultimate secret: The mass of nuts and fruits should be equal with the amount of butter and marshmallows for the balance in flavor – not too sweet, not too cloying.
FAQs for Homemade Nougat
What can I use instead of rice paper?
As mentioned, if rice paper is hard to find where you live, there are still various substitutes (1):
- Leaves are a low-calorie, fiber-rich alternative. Grape leaves are the closest to rice wrappers.
- Seaweed paper provides vitamin A & C and iron. It has a thin texture, not very crispy, and a distinctive salty taste.
- Wonton wrapper is a better choice for nutrients compared to rice paper. You can steam or bake instead of frying it to keep your meal healthy.
Does homemade nougat expire?
Humidity will be your biggest enemy when it comes to preserving nougat. If you seal the bags well like I do and freeze them in an airtight container, the candy might survive several months.
Is nougat sticky?
The product is not, but the semi-product might be kind of messy. A spatula or a metal spoon will solve your problem. If you have to pause for some reason, place the tools on rice paper or baking paper, which you can dispose of later!Print
Homemade Nougat Recipe
A candy bar that feels both stretchy and crunchy between your teeth, a confection that looks pretty in transparent wrappers, and a treat of nostalgia.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Category: Dessert, Candy
- Method: Heating & Mixing
- 25g chestnut
- 40g raisin
- 20g blueberry
- 30g apricot
- 50g almond
- 30g cashew
- 30g pumpkin seed
- 80g butter
- 170g marshmallow
- 160g milk powder (full cream)
- Rice paper
- Dried rose petals
- Optional but recommended: Line a baking tray with wax paper and heat your nuts in the oven for 5 minutes. Afterward, you should be able to catch the pleasant smell of the baked nuts. If you don’t have an oven, dry-roast them with your stove.
- Placate another sheet of wax paper in the specialty mold for later use.
- In a nonstick pan, melt the butter and the marshmallows until they form a smooth mixture. Next, thicken the paste by adding milk powder. The key is to stir slowly but persistently, it helps to blend the ingredients and prevent them from burning.
- Once the mixture is ready, toss in the nuts and fruits then mix them well. We don’t want a bar full of nuts and another not having enough of them. At this step, the creamy paste might feel fairly heavy and sticky. Hence, the folding technique usually used in kneading cake dough will work best.
- Turn off the stove when your candy mix starts to separate from the pan and quickly pour it into the mold. Cover the surface with wax paper to avoid sticking and use a rolling pin to flatten it.
- Crush the dry roses into tiny crumbs and scatter them over the surface. I believe it is sticky enough to keep the petals glued, but you might roll it once more for assurance.
- The mold divides the homemade nougat with its segments, allowing me to cut it into equal-sized bars. However, even without the outline, you can still slice it well with enough caution.
- Wrap your nougat bars in rice paper for a funny texture or serve them as they are. I put my candies in plastic bags and seal them. As you can see, they look lovely as a gift!
- Better chill the nougats overnight before you serve them (if you don’t eat them immediately, of course). The low temperature will ease the strong scent and the stickiness off, making the candies much more delicious.
- Make sure your knife is sharp, or you will find the nougat a nuisance when it comes to the cutting step.
- Always prepare a spot to rest your nougat-coated utensils. Cover it with a strip of baking paper or rice paper.
- The high speed of an electric mixer might give you a glossy, tender texture. If the struggle with stiffness overwhelms you and you don’t mind a softer nougat, feel free to lessen the workload with your mixture!
- You need to be very agile with this recipe. As soon as the milk powder melts and mingles with the buttered marshmallows, switch the stove off and mix in the toasted nuts.
- Be decisive. The nougat will be very stiff when you pour it into the mold, which inevitably requires a lot of effort from you to scrape it off the pan and shape it nicely, but it will pay off!
- Serving Size: Bars
- Calories: 94kcal
- Sugar: 6.8g
- Sodium: 20mg
- Fat: 5.5g
- Saturated Fat: 2.5
- Carbohydrates: 9.7g
- Fiber: 0.4g
- Protein: 2.3g
- Cholesterol: 6mg
Keywords: homemade nougat candy
I hope you enjoy the journey with one of the most festive treats this season! If you have given some of these homemade nougat bars to your friends and they love it, don’t hesitate to share this recipe with them as well as subscribe to the channel for new cooking tips every day!