Nougat: The Chewy Confection

The word “nougat” comes from the Latin phrase “Panis Nucatus” which means ‘nut bread’. Read on to learn more about nougat, its flavor, uses, and much more. 

What Is Nougat?

Nougat is a category of confections prepared with sugar, honey, whipped egg whites, and roasted nuts. The nuts usually include almonds, walnuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts. Additional ingredients like chopped candied fruits especially cranberries are added to nougat for an enhanced taste and a characteristic tang. Nougat looks like a cross between fudge and fruit cake or like a pillowy block of meringue. 

The simplest form of nougat is made up of a sweetener and egg whites, which are whipped together until the mixture is stiff. Some people like to have nougat plain while others like to have other ingredients mixed in. The two most common nougat varieties are white and brown nougat. White, or Persian nougat, is the most ancient variety originating in 15th century Spain, while brown nougat is the second most popular nougat variety (also known as “nougat noir”) and is prepared without egg whites. 

Image Credit: kytrangho from Pixabay 

What Does Nougat Taste Like? 

The sweetness in nougat comes from honey or sugar, which is enhanced with vanilla extract and given a nutty taste from roasted almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts. Nougat is similar to marshmallows in flavor. The texture of nougat varies from hard to soft to fluffy with a hearty crunch coming from the roasted nuts.

Uses of Nougat 

Nougat pieces are best enjoyed alone as a meal-finishing dessert or you can pair them with champagne, Rosé, or any white wine variety for a classic combo. Nougat is often used in candy bars, ice creams, brownies, and puddings. However, we find nougat candy bars the best and most straightforward way to enjoy this delicious confection. 

Nougat in Candy Bars

Nougat is the key ingredient in many popular candy bars especially in the United States and the United Kingdom. There are different recipes for traditional nougat bars. While some utilize hydrolyzed soya, protein, or gelatin while others include milk powder and vegetable fats. Nougat is usually combined with caramel or chocolate to form many popular sweet snacks such as Snickers, Double Decker, Milky Way, and Three Musketeers. The sticky material of nougat’s paste is the main ingredient in the fluffy and sweet Three Musketeers bar. 

Image Credit: Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 

Storage of Nougat 

Try placing nougat pieces in a clean, dry, and air-tight box, separating layers with parchment paper. Nougat will stay fresh for 1-2 weeks if stored in a cool and dry place. Nougat can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. 

Feature Image: S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay 

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