Daring Bakers: Almond Nougat, a Candy Castastrophe

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!

nougat2

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.

nougat1

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.

nougat3

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!

 

8 thoughts on “Daring Bakers: Almond Nougat, a Candy Castastrophe”

  1. Well! I, for one, have a whole lot of admiration for a cook in the blogosphere who’s comfortable admitting when things don’t work out! Can’t help you with what went wrong, but you went to the top of my list of good food bloggers for this, lol.

    The only things I can think is that the sugar had other stuff in it, or the temperature was wrong….

  2. Hi, Carrie! This month’s challenge was quite difficult for me, too. I really feel the same way as it comes to making candy. But a challenge is a challenge, and I think you did great. After all, it’s the taste that counts.

  3. Thanks, Julia :) Your nougat looks amazing! What kind of thermometer did you buy? I think I may need a replacement.

  4. Thanks so much, Cate! I’m all for admitting my mistakes! We all make them, after all. It doesn’t help anyone if we pretend to be perfect. I’m planning to buy a new thermometer and try the nougat again. I’m hoping for a better end result next time!

  5. I bough a simple digital thermometer and so far it’s working well. I really think that the temperature of the sugar is vital for this recipe.

  6. I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you. I’ve got a simple thermometer and my texture was right. Hope the next time yours will be to!

  7. Thanks for trying the nougat! Too bad that it came out so soft, but don’t give up! Try testing the thermometer in boiling water to make sure it reads 212F/100C and make sure you’re measuring the temperature of the liquid and not the bottom of the pot. If your thermometer is off, just adjust the temperature you’re cooking the syrup by the same amount that it’s off in the water and you should be fine. You might be able to dry out your too-soft nougat in a really low oven overnight the same way that meringues are made.

  8. Thanks for the advice on the thermometer! I’ll have to try that. And thanks for the tips on making use of the soft nougat! Unfortunately I already tossed most of it :(

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