Is there anything more Christmassy than nougat?? Well, Christmas nougat for sure! Packed full of festive nuts and fruit, its chewy, sticky and so fancy!
Nougat is something I grew up loving in chocolate bars like Mars or Milky Way…though having nougat as an adult I’m not sure how authentic that kind of ‘nougat’ really is! But having nougat how its meant to be, filled with fruit and nuts, has always felt SO fancy to me! And yet, nougat is surprisingly simple to make! You do need a sugar thermometer, but don’t let that put you off because its so worth making!
Key Ingredients You’ll Need
- Liquid Glucose – Glucose might sound sciency and a strange ingredient to add, but glucose is just sugar in liquid form. You can buy it from most supermarkets now, and actually even in pharmacies! Glucose helps to control the formation of sugar crystals which keeps your bakes tender and soft! This helps with nougat, so we have a chewy sweet rather than rock hard!
- Honey – Honey is a combination of free glucose and free fructose, so it is generally classed as an invert sugar. What that means for us, is that it retains moisture and gives a smooth texture to your bake. Again, helpful for nougat making!
- Egg White – Making nougat is similar to making a meringue, and for that we need egg white! Whenever you’re making something with whipped egg whites, you have to make sure your bowl is completely grease free. Otherwise you may not be able to achieve the fullest volume.
How to make Christmas nougat
I love making sweets like caramel and marshmallow, but I know that they can be intimidating. And nougat is another of those. You do need a sugar thermometer for this recipe, but that doesn’t mean the recipe is tricky or scary. So long as you read the whole recipe first, and have all your ingredients prepped you will be absolutely fine. And to be honest, I abide by that rule for any recipe – easy or hard! So let’s get to it.
Prepping your ingredients
The festive mix-ins for the Christmas nougat is the first step you need to prepare, as they can then sit to the side until you’re ready to include them. You’ll need to roughly chop pistachios, hazelnuts and glace cherries. Of course you could switch the nuts up if you don’t like those, but just keep the measurements the same. Add the chopped fruit and nuts to a bowl, and add in your flaked almonds. Give it a quick stir to mix, and then set aside.
Next, place your caster sugar and liquid glucose into a clean straight-sided pan and add just enough water to cover both sugars. I used a 6.5inch saucepan, and needed 125ml water to cover. Then set this aside too. Next, measure out your honey and keep it in a small bowl. Finally, place your egg white into a large bowl.
That’s all your ingredients prepped and ready. The last step is to prepare your baking tin, as you’ll need to move quickly once the nougat is ready. Now traditionally nougat is sandwiched between two pieces of edible rice paper. I haven’t included this in my recipe as its quite hard to find outside of professional cake shops, and the key to making edible gifts is keeping them simple! So for these we’ll be sandwiching them between greaseproof baking paper. But if you want to use edible paper, go for it!
Choose a 8×10 inch baking tray that has sides, and lay a sheet of clingfilm down, and then place a sheet of greaseproof baking paper on top. The clingfilm is just to make it easier to remove the nougat once its set. Dust the baking paper with icing sugar, and then set aside. Have another sheet of baking paper ready to place on top of the cooked nougat.
Making the nougat
Now you have everything prepped, you are ready to go! The first step is to place the saucepan of caster sugar, glucose and water over a medium-high heat. Without stirring, heat the mixture until it reaches 135C on a sugar thermometer – you can swirl the whole pan, just don’t stir! Then pour in the honey, and continue cooking until it reaches 145C.
While the sugar mixture is cooking, you can begin to whip the egg white either in a stand mixer or with a hand-held electric whisk. Its totally up to you, but I wouldn’t advise doing this with a manual whisk!
Then, as if you were making an italian meringue, pour the hot sugar syrup down the side of the egg white bowl while the the mixer/whisk is still running. You want to turn the speed down a little at this point, so you don’t splash yourself with the hot syrup. Then once its all added, you can crank up the speed and whisk on high for at least 5 minutes. The mixture will be super thick and glossy when its ready!
At this point you want to work quickly, to stir in all the nuts and fruit as it will begin to get tricky to work with. Then pour into your prepared tin. Don’t worry too much about what it looks like, as you can press the mixture evenly into the tin once it’s in. Your main goal is to get it all out of the bowl as quickly as possible!
Once the mixture is in the tin, place the remaining sheet of baking paper on top and use this to evenly spread the nougat out. You want a nice even layer, you can even use a rolling pin to help here. Then you can set it aside at room temperature to cool completely.
Slicing the nougat
Once the nougat is completely cool – you can leave it overnight! – you can begin slicing to create your edible gifts. You should be able to peel the top sheet of baking paper off easily, though the surface of the nougat will be sticky. Sprinkle some more icing sugar over the top. Then take a sharp knife and cut into 24 pieces. If the nougat is really sticky, spritz your knife with spray oil between cuts.
You can then either place the nougat pieces into little bags, or wrap them in foil wrappers! Either way they’ll look so cute and festive! And the nougat will last up to one month, so the perfect make-ahead gift!
These pieces of nougat aren’t really thick, as I personally really like them that way. But, you can really easily double the recipe if you’d like a thicker slice of nougat, it will just need a little longer to set.
Tips & Tricks
This could be because the sugar wasn’t heated to the correct temperature. Try using a digital thermometer for better accuracy.
Don’t waste time scrubbing your bowl or spatula. Just leave it to soak in warm water and the sugar will easily dissolve away. So much easier than scrubbing!
Yes! Nougat will keep well in an air-tight container for up to one month.
I love how the Christmas nougat turned out. Such cute, sweet and super festive gifts to share this holiday period! And I lovee how long they last! Your gift can be the one that sees your friends and family into the new year! And its fancy! They’re chewy, sweet and packed with crunchy nuts and sticky glace cherries. I really hope you love it too!
You may also like:
Edible Christmas Gifts: Christmas Nougat
- 65 g hazelnuts
- 20 g pistachios shelled
- 50 g glace cherries
- 75 g flaked almonds
- 210 g caster sugar
- 50 g liquid glucose
- 65 g clear runny honey
- 1 large egg white
- icing sugar for dusting
- To prep: Firstly, roughly chop the hazelnuts, pistachios and glace cherries. Then place into a small bowl with the flaked almonds, and stir to combine. Then set aside until needed. Next, prepare an 8×10 inch baking tray by first lining with cling film, then a sheet of baking paper and a dusting of icing sugar. Then set aside.
- Place 200g of the caster sugar into a straight-sided pan (approx. 6.5inches wide), along with the liquid glucose. Then pour in enough water to just cover the ingredients (I used 125ml) and stir to combine. Measure out your honey and set aside, and finally place the egg white and remaining 10g of sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer or into a large heat-proof bowl.
- For the nougat: Place the saucepan over a medium-high heat and have a sugar thermometer to hand. Cook the sugar until it reaches 135C, and then pour in the honey. Continue cooking until it reaches 145C. Meanwhile, begin whipping the egg white and sugar together (with either the whisk attachment on the stand mixer or an electric hand-whisk). You want the egg white to be at stiff peaks by the time the sugar syrup reaches 145C. Then remove the sugar syrup from the heat.
- Turn the speed on the mixer down to medium, and steadily pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl. Make sure the hot syrup is being incorporated into the egg white with every turn of the whisk. Once all the syrup has been added, turn up the speed on the mixer and whisk for a further 5 minutes until thick and glossy. Then fold in the prepped nuts and fruit by hand, and working quickly, pour into your prepared tin.
- Dust icing sugar over the top of the nougat, and then place another sheet of baking paper on top. Use this to spread the nougat out with your hands into an even layer. Then leave to set, (you can leave it overnight at this point). Then slice into 24 pieces, spritzing a knife with spray oil if it gets too sticky!