Nougat is a very traditional and time tested confection that has been made for centuries and centuries in the old country. Although nougat is thought to have originated in southern Europe, it is found around the world – each different region with it’s own distinctive texture and flavor.
Nougat can be flavored in many different ways, however, there are a list of usual suspect ingredients that are always found in this confection. With a texture somewhere in between a marshmallow and a chew (and sometimes a brick!), there are always a plethora of roasted almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and sometimes pine nuts that add to the divine flavor of nougat. In many places, nougat is studded with dried fruits to add a splash of color and a tangy, sweet flavor. The most distinctive characteristic of nougat is the earthy, sweet and caramelized flavor of it’s main ingredient – honey. It is said that nougat traditionally contained “pure honey of the Alps” – to me, that sounds simply amazing.
The nougat that we make is in the style of Montélimar – a nougat with a distinctive soft chew, unlike it’s Italian cousin turrón that is hard and breakable. We caramelize fragrant acacia honey and slowly pour it over whipping egg whites. After the texture has thickened and become elastic and creamy, we fold in lots of roasted nuts and dried fruits. Next, we cast the nougat between pieces of edible rice paper – another traditional touch- and when it is set, we cut it and wrap it into individual pieces. The final product is nutty and fragrant, chewy and soft, with a hearty nut crunch and soft tangy pieces of dried cranberries.