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Nougat is a traditional sweet dating back centuries. Pronounced NOO-gah, The word nougat is thought to have a Latin origin: panis nucatus meaning ‘nut bread’ with nucatum meaning ‘nutted’ or ‘nutty’). Although traditional nougat always contains nuts, some modern and creative versions really mix up the original concept with interesting flavour combinations. 

There are two basic types of nougat. One is white nougat or Persian nougat made with beaten egg whites and honey that appeared in early 15th century Spain. The second is brown nougat which is made without egg and has a firmer more crunchy texture.

How modern nougat is made

Modern nougat is made with honey, sugar, glucose, sucrose, roasted nuts (usually almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts and more recently macadamia nut) and sometimes dried fruits.

The making of nougat relies heavily on very specific temperatures for the ingredients, especially the sugar and honey to turn out properly and have the right texture. 

How nougat is made: 

  • Sugar, water and glucose are heated until the sugar dissolves
  • Glucose prevents crystallisation and gives nougat the correct texture
  • Egg whites are beaten until firm peaks are formed
  • The syrup is heated to a specific temperature (the exact temperature will affect the texture ranging from very soft to crunchy)
  • The syrup is carefully added to whipped egg whites and mixed until thick and glossy
  • Any flavouring, nuts and fruits are added at this stage
  • The mixure is transferred to a rice paper-lined or greased tray, covered and left to cool in a dry place until set. 
  • Once set the nougat is turned out of the tray and cut

If you’re brave enough to attempt nougat, try this recipe.

Why is Nougat so popular?

Modern nougat is widely popular with a variety of options available. From commercially mass-produced nougat to artisanal varieties with high-quality ingredients and creative combinations, nougat retains a sense of occasion and feels like a special treat. Beautifully packaged nougat makes a wonderful gift as an alternative to chocolates. These locally made nougat houses create delicious confections in lovely packaging as a treat for yourself or someone else. 

Ma Mere

1701 Nougat

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