Neil Perry's Italian nougat.
Italian nougat. Photo: William Meppem
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60g whole blanched almonds
2 cups caster sugar
1 cup liquid glucose
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g butter, roughly chopped
You'll need a thermometer to make this: they're cheap and very handy if you like baking. The higher the temperature you use to heat the sugar, the harder it sets.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the almonds on an oven tray and bake for about 5 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool.
Put the sugar, liquid glucose, honey, salt and water in a pan and stir over low heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring to boil and cook until the temperature reaches 122°C (use a sugar thermometer) and a small amount of syrup forms a hard ball when dropped in cold water. This should take about 8 minutes.
Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until firm peaks form. Pour a quarter of the hot syrup in a thin stream over the egg whites, beating constantly. Continue beating for 3-5 minutes, until the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape.
Cook the remaining syrup to 157°C for about 5 minutes, until a small amount of syrup forms brittle threads when dropped in cold water. Pour the remainder of the hot syrup over the meringue in a thin stream, beating constantly until the mixture is very thick. Add the vanilla extract and butter and beat for about 5 minutes or until thick again.
Stir in the toasted almonds with a wooden spoon. Turn the mixture into a greased 28cm x 18cm lamington tin, and smooth the top with a spatula. Refrigerate until firm.
Loosen the edges of the nougat all around, turn out in a large block. With a sharp knife, cut the nougat into 4cm x 2.5cm pieces.
Wrap each piece individually in cellulose paper or waxed paper. Store in the fridge.