Monday, August 26, 2013

Almond and Cranberry Nougat


2 sheets edible rice paper
560g Selati White sugar
80ml water
500g glucose syrup
2 egg whites, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
200g whole blanched almonds, toasted
100g dried cranberries


Line a deep rectangular baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
Lay the rice paper in the baking tray, cutting it to fit snuggly into the pan.
Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan.
Use a wet spoon to spoon the glucose syrup into the pan.
Place the pan over medium-low heat.
Stir with a wooden spoon, brushing down the sides of the pan occasionally with a pastry brush dipped in warm water, until the sugar dissolves (this will take about 10 minutes).
Place a sugar thermometer into the pan and cook the syrup to 140C.
When the sugar syrup reaches 140°C, immediately remove the pan from the heat.
Place the egg whites into the bowl of a mixer and whisk until soft peaks form.
With the beater on medium speed, slowly pour hot syrup into the egg whites in a thin, steady stream.
Don't pour the syrup down side of the bowl or onto the whisk as it may set before being incorporated into egg whites.
Once all the syrup is incorporated, whisk for a further 3 minutes or until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Use a metal spoon to fold the almonds, cranberries and vanilla essence into egg white mixture until well combined.
It is important to work quickly or the nougat will begin to set.
Also make sure the nuts and vanilla essence are at room temperature - if they are cold, the mixture will set too rapidly, making it difficult to transfer to the pan.
Quickly pour the nougat evenly into the lined pan using a spatula to scrape down the side of the bowl.
Use the spatula or the back of a spoon dipped in hot water to spread the nougat evenly into the pan and smooth the surface.
Place the remaining rice paper over the top of the nougat and press down gently.
Set aside in a cool, dry place until set (2 – 4 hours).
Lift the nougat from the pan and place on a cutting board.
Use a serrated knife in a sawing motion to cut the nougat into pieces.
Store nougat in a clean, dry airtight container, separating layers with non-stick baking paper.

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