Pistachio and dried cranberry nougat

Pistachio and dried cranberry nougat
Pistachio and dried cranberry nougat

The process of making nougat is actually very similar to marshmallows, but in this case you are taking your sugar syrup to a higher temperature.

When making marshmallows, we peaked at 118C whereas nougat goes up to 130C for a chewy nougat or 150C for a harder nougat.

I’ve done up the table below which summarises candy temperatures as well as some commonly used terminology:

  • 103-113C = Thread
  • 113-116C = Soft ball (will form a soft, sticky ball that can be flattened. Used for caramels, fudge, pralines, fondant)
  • 118-121C = Firm ball (will form a firm but pliable, sticky ball that holds it shape briefly. Used for caramels, nougat, marshmallow, Italian meringue, toffee and gummies)
  • 121-129C = Hard ball (will form a hard, sticky ball that holds its shape. Used for caramels, nougat, toffees)
  • 132-143C = Soft crack (will form strands that are firm yet pliable. Used for butterscotch, firm nougat and taffy)
  • 149-154C = Hard crack (will form threads that are stiff and break easily. Used for brittles, toffees, pulled/spin sugar, hard candy).
  • 160-177C = Caramel (becomes transparent and will change colour ranging from light golden brown to dark amber. Used for pralines, brittles and nougatine).

The other major difference is the absence of gelatin.

I like the colour and flavour of pistachios, although other nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts are just as good. I also wanted to add an extra element so included a small proportion of dried cranberries.

Pistachio and dried cranberry nougat

2 cups caster sugar
1 ½ cup liquid glucose
1 tbsp honey
2 eggwhites
1 ½ cup pistacshio nuts
½ cup dried cranberries

Heat the sugar, liquid glucose and honey over a medium heat to 120C (using a candy thermometer).

In a mixer, start whisking the eggs whites.

Continue heating the syrup until 140C then remove from the heat and cool for a few seconds in a bath of cold water.

Pour into the whisking egg whites in a steady stream.

Add the nuts and cranberries and continue to whisk for three minutes until smooth and glossy.

Pour onto a silicon mat, then cool for approximately 4-6 hours.

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