The March 2014 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Rebecca of BakeNQuilt. She challenged us to learn to make classic nougat and to make it our own with our choice of flavors and add-ins.
Every Daring Bakers challenge is revealed at the beginning of the month. I saw that the challenge was nougat back at the beginning of March, yet I let March 27th sneak up on me and the 25th was the day I remembered that I needed to complete the challenge! Thankfully I had everything I needed for this delectable almond nougat and was able to get it done in time. Whew!
I used a recipe from Martha Stewart for French Almond Nougat. The recipe included with the challenge called for cocoa butter, which I did not have, and Martha’s called for butter, which I always have in abundance.
This is something I probably would never have made without the push from Daring Bakers. I know I’ve said the same thing before. Candy can be hard, messy and often not worth the time and effort. But sometimes it can be amazing! Unfortunately I bombed this candy challenge and ended up with some sweet and delicious puddles of nougat instead of the lovely bars I was hoping for.
My problem could’ve been one of two things. Either I didn’t cook the sugar to the correct stage (although the thermometer said the temp was right, maybe my thermometer is off), or I didn’t let it harden enough before taking it out of the pan. After taking it out and as I began to cut the nougat into strips I could tell it was going to start oozing. I tried to form the long strips back into bars, occasionally going into the kitchen and pressing them back together from their puddling state, but after a while I admitted failure and let them ooze. They never actually hardened anymore which leads me to believe that my temperatures must have been off when cooking the sugar. Anyone have a great recommendation for a candy thermometer? The one I have I bought at the grocery store and cost be $2…
This is another view of what my cubes of nougat turned into as time passed. It’s really pretty humorous. They did taste good, but the texture was way off.
I refuse to count this challenge as a total loss since I did try something new, and am already planning to try it again and redeem myself. Thanks for getting me to try my hand at nougat, Rebecca!