Italian nougat

Neil Perry
Italian nougat.
Italian nougat. Photo: William Meppem

Neil Perry's Italian nougat.


60g whole blanched almonds

2 cups caster sugar

1 cup liquid glucose

½ cup honey

¼ tsp salt

¼ 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.