Toasted Hazelnut Nougat

Toasted hazelnuts, dark chocolate, and homemade vanilla nougat come together for a gourmet candy bar.
Toasted Hazelnut Nougat recipe from

Through your acute powers of observation, you may have noticed that this recipe is for toasted hazelnut nougat. Those of you with acute psychic powers as well will know that this was meant to be a post on orange honey nougat. [Sounds nice, right? We'll let you know if we can ever make it work. --B.]

Here's what happened: Butchie and I were in the process of making nougat when I realized that somehow I was out of the powdered sugar that our recipe called for. I was also out of confectioners sugar, and castor sugar, and basically all the forms of sugar I would reasonably replace powdered sugar with. I just had plain old white sugar. But nougat is a whipped sugar syrup, right? The texture of the sugar shouldn't make all that much of a difference once it's dissolved, right? Hint: this is where you should start laughing.

In the words of one blogger, when you're dealing with finicky things like sugar type and volume and candy-making, just "go to the store." It's time. Just do it. [Wise, wise blogger. I'd like to make it clear that I pointed out the hazard of switching sugars. But I was also too lazy to press the point and go to the store myself. So being right means nothing, effectively.--B.]

The sugar did not melt down, even at 248 degrees. It dissolved, sorta, but didn't melt. After we whipped it with egg white and let it set up, the goo in the pan was some form of...something gross. It looked like nougat. It smelled like nougat. But when you took a bite it tasted like an orange popsicle melted on the beach, and then you decided to lick the sand. Lovely, right?

So. Since Butchie and I are geniuses, we went to the store, got powdered sugar, and picked out a new recipe. Of course, we didn't read it closely, and ended up with a recipe that required plain white sugar. Who feels smart? [WE DO! --B.]

So what's the difference? Corn syrup. VERY important. [Yes, it is an environmental and nutritional demon. But it also has a handy way of keeping sugar from crystallizing. No more sand popsicles. --B.] If you're going to use granulated sugar, you absolutely must have corn syrup.

Mmmm ooey- goowey lovely nougat. My only regret is that I realized only after the nougat was setting in the pan that I have hazelnut extract marinating in my fridge. Not that I mind using my homemade vanilla extract, but I haven't really played with the hazelnut extract yet, and I'd really like to.

Either way, we hope you enjoy these little candy "bars." Another word of warning, in case all the ones above aren't enough: Do not unknowingly undercook the nougat. We learned that results in nougat that is just too soft. Don't worry, we're buying a new candy thermometer.


Toasted Hazelnut Nougat

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted
½ cup water
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put the sugar, syrup, and water into a small sauce pan and put over a medium heat. Stir
until the sugar is melted.

Turn heat to high and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 248°, or until it forms a firm ball when dropped into cold water. While the syrup is cooking, beat the egg
whites until they form stiff peaks.

Slowly pour the hot syrup into the beaten whites of eggs. Beat the mixture constantly while pouring the syrup into the whites, and keep beating until the candy
begins to stiffen. Fold in the hazelnuts and vanilla.

Turn the candy onto a buttered slab or platter. Allow to cool and cut
into squares.

Optional: pour one cup melted chocolate and extra crushed hazelnuts onto the top of the nougat.