This is a soft chocolate nougat, similar to what’s found in some well-known candy bars, except this one has more chocolate flavor. It’s the fourth musketeer, the one with attitude, the one the others were jealous of, and you make it in your own kitchen! The nougat becomes more tender a day or two after it is made.–Peter P. Greweling
Chocolate Nougat Recipe
Hands-On Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes, not including cooling | Makes about 4 dozen candies
- Canola oil, for slicking the baking pan
- For the meringue
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- For the syrup
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
- For the nougat
- 3/4 cup milk powder
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted unsweetened chocolate
- For the chocolate coating
- 1 1/2 pounds dark chocolate, melted and tempered (click for tempering technique)
- Prep the meringue
- 1. Lightly oil a 9-by-13–inch baking pan.
- 2. Place the egg whites, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in the large bowl of a standing mixer fit with a whip attachment. Do not begin whipping yet.
- Make the syrup and the meringue
- 3. Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup for the syrup in a 2-quart saucepan. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Boil covered for 3 minutes, remove the lid, insert a thermometer, and continue to cook over high heat without stirring. When the syrup reaches 233°F (112°C), begin whipping the egg whites on high speed.
- 4. When the syrup reaches 257°F (125°C), immediately remove it from the heat and quickly pour the hot syrup into the whipping whites mixture in a constant stream. Continue whipping on high speed for 8 minutes.
- Make the nougat
- 5. Sift together the milk powder, cocoa powder, and confectioners’ sugar. Turn off the mixer, add the sifted dry nougat ingredients, and mix on low speed just until combined.
- 6. Add the unsweetened chocolate and mix on low speed just until combined. If white streaks remain, gently fold in the chocolate by hand with a rubber spatula until the streaks disappear and the meringue is homogeneously chocolatey in appearance.
- 7. Press the nougat into the prepared baking pan in an even layer. Allow the nougat to cool completely to room temperature, about 2 hours or you can let it rest overnight. When the nougat is cool, cut it into 1 1/2-inch squares.
- Coat the nougat
- 8. Dip the nougat in the tempered chocolate (see Dipping Master Techniques, below). Mark the tops of the chocolate nougat with waves, if desired (see Making Waves, below). You know what to do from here.
- Dipping Master Techniques
- Set up your work station from left to right with undipped nougat squares, tempered chocolate for dipping, and a pan lined with parchment for the dipped nougat. (Left-handed workers may set the station to flow in the opposite direction.) Rest the bowl of tempered chocolate in a pan or other container so that it can be tilted toward you.
- Place a square of nougat upside down in the tempered chocolate.
- Place the tines of a dipping fork on top of the nougat and gently push the nougat into the chocolate to submerge it. With a swift J motion, invert the dipped nougat onto the dipping fork and lift it out of the chocolate. (When lifting the nougat, try to allow one side of the dipped nougat to extend past the end of the fork. This will make it easier to put it down.)
- Lower the fork so that the bottom of the dipped nougat touches the surface of the tempered chocolate. Do this 6 to 8 times.
- Glide the bottom of the dipped nougat across the edge of the bowl to remove any excess chocolate. This will prevent a foot from forming when the nougat is put down.
- Place the dipped nougat on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Making Waves
- After dipping the nougat, wait for a minute or two until the chocolate begins to set very slightly.
- Place your dipping fork on the chocolate, flat on the top of the piece. Pick the fork up slowly, pulling a little of the chocolate up with it. As you pick up the fork, move it slightly forward to create a wave pattern in the chocolate. When done at the correct moment, the wave will be smooth and relatively well defined. If applied after the chocolate has set too much, the wave will look more like a scar. A little bit of practice will help you to know the right moment to make the wave.
- Keys to success
- Sugar cooking temperature is always critical. Use an accurate thermometer to cook your sugar.
- If you want slightly firmer nougat, cook the sugar mixture to a temperature 3° to 4°F higher. For softer nougat, cook the sugar mixture to a temperature 3° to 4°F lower.
- Make certain that the bowl is free of fat and that the egg whites do not have any yolk in them.
- Whip the egg whites on the mixer’s highest speed to achieve the best aeration.
- Stream the hot syrup down the inside edge of the mixing bowl so that it goes into the whites and not on the whip or bowl.
- Add the hot syrup to the egg whites in a moderate stream, neither very slowly nor in one gush.
- Do not mix the nougat for a long time after the chocolate has been added. Mix only until incorporated.
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Chocolate Nougat Recipe © 2009 Peter P. Greweling. Photo © 2009 Ben Fink. All rights reserved.