And sweets... I like the french nougat. Thought about to make it at home and I did it this year for christmas.
This is really tricky and I don't know if it is wise to post it, because there is a high risk it will never turn out good. For southern france christmas it is one of the 13 desserts / delights to be served on christmas eve.
|Sweet treat: pieces of white nougat just cut into bite-sized cubes|
150 g sugar
2 tablespoons honey (orange blossom honey but common honey will do while adding a little orange oil - see below)
1 tablespoon glucose
50 ml water
1 large egg white
200 g mixed nuts (skinned and not skinned almonds: toasted - more tradional almonds, pistachios and pine nuts)
almond oil, orange oil, only a few drops
candied cherries, opitional- I think this adds a nice colour
Add a few drops almond oil to the cherries and let sit an hour.
Skin the almonds or let the skin on or both and toast - 1 minute at scale 900 W in the microwave will do, covered. Beat the egg white to a stiff snow (adding a little salt is good too) add a few drops of orange oil when neary done.
Add sugar, honey, glucose, water into a pot and boil while scraping the sugar crystalls forming at the pot sides down into the sugar mixture until the solution reaches 130 degree Celsius, hard ball stage for sugar cooking. During this time stir well (I use a wooden spatule), don't burn the sugar, don't let it turn too dark. This is tricky. Forget all the handy manuals about dripping a small amount of the solution into cold water for testing the right hard ball sugar stage. This will not do. Use a sugar thermometer too!
Whisk the hot sugar sirupe into the stiff egg white, let the engine run during this time on high speed and further on for at least 2 minutes. Change from balloon whisk to paddle and let the engine run 5 more minutes, add the nuts during the last minute. Whisk in the cherries by hand. The mixture should be somewhat firmer but elastic, very sticky. Spread the mixture into a small rectangle baking tin layered by parchment paper. Cover with parchment paper and make it even, layer some weight on top. After a few hours the candies can be cut and wrapped up. It is much better to use a layer of thin starchy flatbreads (wheat only wafers) instead of parchment paper if you can buy such. Sadly they were sold out. But is is fine to use parchment paper, just wrap the sweets into clingfilm they are a little soft and sticky...