I had to get a Nougat…

…since my old Gat went bad.

Get it?

Nou-Gat

New-Gat

Old-Gat…

 

That’s primo stuff right there.  I had to think long and hard for that horrible pun.  Feel free to use it WHENEVER nougat comes up.

It might be harder to craft a pun for nougat’s other name…  Torrone.

(BTW…  I just sat here for 5 minutes saying “torrrrrrrone,  tear-oooni, tore-wonie, torrone, torrone, torrone, torrone, torrone, tear on knee, hair-on-me, torrone… I got nothing.  If you know a really good pun involving terrone leave it in the comments.  I’m not sure it’s possible.)

Nougat or Terrone is the soft pillowy stuff usually found in the middle of candy bars.  Snickers has it, Payday does too.  Big Hunk was one flat over cooked torrone.

Torrone is a treat that goes back centuries, and it’s usually popular during Christmas months, stuffed full of anything from almonds and pistachios to dried fruit. I’ll admit that I’m a bit obsessed with it. Nougat is the stuff dreams are made of.  It’s like eating a cloud that has fallen from Mt. Olympus… or something.

I know, I’m laying it on thick but I love that it’s not sickly sweet, it’s soft AND crunchy at the same time, and it has wafer paper stuck on it!  Yeah, you get to EAT THE WRAPPER! (well, sorta)

How fun is that???

Now usually traditional Torrone is stuffed with almonds or some kind of nut mix.  Traditionally.

I’m not what anyone would call “traditional”…

Yeah…  I like to think I’m the Vladimir Putin riding a ritz cracker of food blogs.  It’s really strange but fun to watch.

So, I’ll just go ahead and admit that I put Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into my nougat.

Yes.

Yes I did… ( and if saying “I put Flamin’ Hot Cheetos into my nougat” made you giggle a bit then we can be friends.)

I feel like a lot of my blog is me saying “Just go with me for a second…”

…and I LOVE that!  I want to make you question everything about how you think about food.

Nougat and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos aren’t supposed to be together, but it works.  It works magically.

If you ask me, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos don’t taste like cheese at all so why not put them in nougat? What other justification would you need?  I made some with peanuts too… but I prefer the Cheeto Torrone better.

Now that I’ve let the weird out of the bag, here’s how I did it. I feel like I should tell you to avoid making this on a humid day…  but in reality, it was about 90% humidity when I made this batch and it was fine. Sugar is hygroscopic, and will happily absorb all the humidity it can get. The primary point of cooking to a certain temperature is to control the water-to-sugar ratio and thus the hardness of the candy. On a humid day, you can cook until it’s perfect, but as soon as you take it off the heat, the sugar will absorb humidity from the air, and undo all your hard work. Just work fast.  The wafer paper saves the day with this recipe.

Get everything ready.  Get the pan ready, get the wafer paper ready.  Get the egg whites ready to whip. Get cho “mise en place” together…

I used this silicone mold because… well… because I needed to justify buying it.

(I neeeeeeeded this! One of my mentors, Aaron from Man versus Cake calls this a “pony”. See Aaron?  I used it!)

OK, so the silicone mold ✨was✨ a teeny tiny smidge too big… by about 3 inches… and it made the torrone a bit thin, but, it’s my torrone so I WANTED IT to be thin anyway.

shut up Aaron.

Add your honey and sugar together in a heavy bottom pan.  The heavy bottom will distribute the heat so you don’t get any scorchy hot spots.

…and get comfortable.  You will be stirring this over low heat for 30 minutes.

yup.  30 minutes.

It will look lighter in color and be almost creamy looking.

Stir it up real good, move it off the heat and QUICKLY beat the egg whites with the salt to soft peaks.  Add the 3 tablespoons of sugar and whisk to incorporate.  Don’t overmix.  Move the honey/sugar mixture back onto the low heat.

Using the whisk, transfer whiskfulls of the egg into the honey mixture and whisk quickly to fully incorporate it.

Whisk fast… or else you whisk cooking your egg whites. (snicker snicker)

Keep adding whiskfulls at a time till it’s all incorporated.

Get comfy.

Turn on some music.

Call your mom.

You are going to be whisking this time for about 40 minutes.

Make. It. Burn.

ummm, the whisking arm muscle… not the nougat. That should still be on low heat.

As you whisk it you will see it thicken and lighten in color.  The faster and harder you whisk the lighter and more airy it will be.

Ribbons will start to form when you pull the whisk out and let it drizzle back in.  You are watching for those ribbons to stay on top and be distinct for 3-4 seconds before they blob back in.  Mine took 35 minutes to reach the 4-second ribbon stage.  Yours might take 40 minutes, or 45 minutes or 30 minutes…  I’m sure there’s a lot of scientific variables that go on…  just watch for a 3-4 second ribbon.

This was my 4 second ribbon. I took a picture of it for some reason, so you must believe me.  It’s got nice structure all right.

Here they go!  Add anything you want in.  I added Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and a little bit of vanilla because clearly I’m insane. Stir it all in quickly because as soon as it begins to cool it’s done moving.  It’s a sticky, none moving block of goo.  Stir it up and pour it out onto the wafer paper lined pan.  Spread it as best as you can, and top with another piece of wafer.  Gently press on the wafer to even it out and spread it.

I used this meat pounder/tenderizer to coax mine into a flat shape.  Just be gentle.  You will crack the wafer…  but that’s ok.

Let this sit for about an hour so it can cool and set up.

Slice it up into whatever size you want.  I found that long slicing across cuts much cleaner than straight down with a cleaver.

Store them as air tight as you can get them…  try not to eat half a pan of them (like I may or may not have done.)

What other flavors can you imagine?  Maybe coconut?  Maybe Twix Bar!

OoOoOoOoOoOo…  candied bacon?

Tell me your thoughts!

 

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