Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 86: National Nougat Day

Imagine your favorite store bought food, whether sweet or savory. Do you ever wonder what it would be like to try one fresh, "hot off the press", right after they come down the factory line? I enjoy watching t.v. shows that take you inside the food factories to see how many different brands and types of foods are made, and I am always jealous of the host guy standing there that gets to try a fresh one. It just makes my mouth water! If something is so good after being on the shelf for a few weeks or months, imagine what it would taste like fresh!!

Well, today I feel like I sort of experienced that.  It was all on accident of course. When I was searching for a recipe for today for National Nougat Day, I came across a recipe for Malted Milk Chocolate Nougat. It jumped out at me and I knew I wanted to try it. I was really not sure how it would turn out at all - I have never made nougat before. It was relatively simple to make with few ingredients; however, it was very messy!

After the nougat had set for a couple of hours, I was ready to sample it. It was very sticky to handle and I had to run my knife under hot water after each cut. I took my first bite and it just melted in my mouth! I believe this was the freshest nougat I had ever tasted. Immediately, I knew if I dipped the nougat squares in chocolate, that it would taste just like a 3 Musketeers bar that was "hot off the press". Besides, the nougat was too sticky to handle on its own and the chocolate would give it that protective coating. So, tonight in the Ashcraft home, homemade 3 Musketeers copycat bars were created!! I don't think I will ever look at a store bought 3 Musketeers the same!!

Malted Milk Chocolate Nougat
Yield: 8" x 8" pan

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 egg whites, room temp.
  • 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/3 cup malted milk powder (chocolate or original flavor)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  1. Prepare an 8" x 8" pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat and stir until sugar dissolves. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, then insert a candy thermometer. Cook without stirring until the temperature reaches 260 degrees. While you wait, proceed to prepare the rest of the recipe.
  3. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds to prevent overheating. Stir until completely smooth, then set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Place the egg whites in the clean bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the syrup reaches 250 degrees, begin to beat the egg whites on medium speed.
  5. Once the sugar syrup reaches 260 degrees, remove the pan from the heat. I recommend that you pour the hot syrup into a large measuring cup with a spout or small pitcher to make pouring it easier.
  6. Turn the mixer to high speed and slowly stream the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl. Continue beating on high speed for about 5 minutes, until the egg whites are shiny, white and stiff. Turn the mixer down and add the melted chocolate, salt and malted milk powder. Mix until well combined and smooth. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl very well.
  7. Spoon the nougat into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Allow to cool at room temperature until completely set, then cut into small squares to serve. Nougat may be dipped in melted chocolate, if desired. Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

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