By Renee Shelton
is a French candy made traditionally of almonds and honey. There are
many different versions and alternates that can be found on the basic
recipe, depending on where the candy was formed and the amounts and
proportions of the ingredients. While there are many different versions,
some things differentiate it from, say, classic brittles and other nut
candies: the sugar is cooked with no water, and no salt, cream of tartar
or baking soda is added to the recipe. (Click
here for traditional and unusual brittle recipes.)
According to The Roux Brothers on Patisserie, adding butter
to nougatine "will give the nougatine an extra sheen but is not
Of the different
names it can found under, here are some classic terms:
- Croquant or Croquante is a candy made traditionally of almonds and sometimes
- Italian Croccante is a similar style candy made with almonds, sugar
and a little butter.
- Cracknel is another version of the same thing: candied almonds with sugar and/or
- Nougatine is a caramelized sugar with usually sliced almonds. This is traditionally
used for Pièces
Montées (centerpieces) in pastry making. Below
is a recipe for Nougat from The Epicurean, the classic recipe book
from the famous Delmonico's restaurant, precisely for showpiece work.
may be fabricated several ways after cooking:
out using a heavy heat proof rolling pin and cut while warm
flat onto an oiled or buttered pan or silpat, cooled and broke into
by spoonfuls into desired sized pieces
simply poured onto buttered surface and left to cool, then ground
or chopped as desired.
applications here. Besides a garnish or vessel or centerpiece for other
pastries, such as a bowl for truffles or a structure for croquembouche,
you can use these as a base or bottom for a dessert (when chopped fine
and added with other ingredients), or as a topper for a dessert served
a la minute. Below are different recipes to try of this versatile candy/pastry
from The Good Cook Candy, this recipe cooks all the ingredients together
rather than sugar first.
3/4 c sugar
1 1/4 c chopped almonds
5 T honey, plus more if nesc.
In a heavy
bottomed saucepan, stir the sugar, almonds and honey over medium high heat
until sugar mixture reaches 149°C to 154°C, hard crack stage (300°F
to 310°F) where dropping a sample in ice water will solidify the piece.
Watch the mixture as it reaches temperature and if it gets too thick, add
in another tablespoon of the honey. When done, pour onto an oiled, heat-proof
surface and spread to about 1/4 inch thick with an oiled pin. Before cooling
completely, cut into desired squares.
Nougat with Honey and Thyme (Le Nougat Noir au Miel)
candy contains only honey and nuts, and is flavored with fresh thyme.
2 c honey
1 lb. whole almonds, with skins, dried
about 2 T fresh thyme leaves
Line a heavy
9 inch square baking pan with foil and liberally butter all sides; reserve.
Find a cutting boards or other wooden board that can fit snugly inside the
pan and set aside (this will be placed over the candy when finished to ensure
evenness of the candy as it cools). In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat honey
slowly to hot and add in the almonds and thyme at the same time. Continue
to cook the mixture while stirring until the honey starts to turn dark brown
in color and the almonds begin to crackle, about 25 to 30 minutes. Pour
mixture into reserved pan, and place another piece of foil buttered side
down on top of the candy. Immediately place the cutting board over the candy
and a few canned vegetables or similar items to weigh down the board to
press the candy evenly. Allow the candy to cool several hours, letting it
cool down on its own without placing in a cooler. When completely cooled,
remove board, remove from pan and take off foil. Smash, beat or cut candy
into desired sized pieces.
candy has a bit of butter that is optionally added to make the candy richer.
1 c blanched
and peeled almonds, slivered
1/2 c sugar
2 T butter, optional
Line a 12
inch square baking pan with foil and liberally butter all sides; reserve.
Slowly melt the sugar over low to medium-low heat in a heavy bottomed sauce
pan. When the sugar starts to boil and get bubbly, add in the almonds. If
you want to use butter, add it in at this stage with the almonds. Stirring
the mixture, continue to cook until the sugar mixture reaches a dark cinnamon
color. When finished immediately shock the pan bottom in ice water to stop
the cooking and pour into reserved pan. Using a buttered wooden spoon spread
out the candy evenly. Allow the candy to cool completely, about 2 to 3 hours
or more depending on temperature of the pastry kitchen. Unmold when cooled
and break into desired pieces.
from The Roux Brothers on Patisserie. In the book, under the recipe for
Croquembouche, there is an excellent shaping and assembly preparation that
goes into detail how to create a base for the Croquembouche and other Pièces
Montées. Use only sliced almonds when creating showpiece bases for
the most attractive structures.
4 c sliced
2 3/4 c sugar
1/4 c whole butter, optional
2 1/2 T peanut oil, for oiling the pans and marble
Additional cooked hard crack sugar, to stick nougatine pieces together,
Royal icing, for piped decoration after the piece has set up, optional
On a sheet
pan, lightly toast almonds in a 350°F oven. Do not over bake, the object
is very lightly toasted only. Stir the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan
over low heat until melted and reaches a light golden color. Add in the
almonds and stir over low heat for about a minute. Add in the butter, if
using, then pour the candy onto a lightly oiled sheet pan. Place this pan
near a warmed oven, with the door open to keep the nougatine candy easy
to work with. Alternately, using a sugar lamp will help keep the candy mass
warmed while you are fabricating portions of the nougatine. Working with
only 1 piece at a time, place desired amount to be rolled on a lightly oiled
marble. The work must be done quickly as the candy sets up fast. Roll out
each piece no thicker than a 1/4 inch and quickly cut out shapes with a
cutter or knife. If molding, move quickly so the shape follows the molds,
before it sets up hard. If using a mold (bowl, pastry or flan rings, etc.)
be sure to let the nougatine set up completely before unmolding as if it
is taken off too soon, the candy will fall and lose shape. If any piece
sets up too quickly before you have a chance to finish molding, place back
in the oven to reheat. If connecting or attaching two or more pieces of
nougatine candy together, dip the ends in hot, reserved hard crack sugar
(sugar and water cooked to hard crack stage) and stick together. When piece
is finished, use royal icing to create a classical look if desired.
Brun Pour Pièces Montées
recipe is from The Epicurean, the recipe book from Delmonico's published
in 1894. The recipe has been updated for current times, although the methodology
has been kept.
In a heavy
bottomed saucepan, melt 1 pound of sugar and the juice of a quartered lemon
over medium heat, stirring constantly. When dissolved, add in 1 pound of
chopped almonds that have been kept warm in a low oven. For larger showpieces
and for making a nougat that easier to work with and mold, use six to eight
ounces of nuts for every pound of sugar. Mold cooked nougat in arabesque
molds, tin leaves for forming molding around different sized rings or stick-shapes
for columns. When rolled out to 3/16 of an inch or thinner, cut around cut-out
cardboard designs, such as rounds, ovals, oblongs, triangles, curves, etc.
recipe for the classic version. This recipe can be used with your desired
amount of nuts and sugar: 1 c nuts to 1 c sugar; 2 c nuts to 2 c sugar;
2 1/2 c nuts to 2 1/2 c sugar, etc. Just remember to use equal quantities
of sugar and nuts. Adapted from The Ultimate Candy Book, by Bruce Weinstein.
2 c sugar,
divided into thirds
2 c slivered almonds, chopped fine
Oil, as needed
pieces: oil a foil-lined cookie sheet. For molding bowls: invert desired
bowls and cover with foil. Oil generously. Place over a foil-lined cookie
sheet to catch runoff.
third of the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat and stir
until sugar is melted. Add in another third of the sugar and stir again
constantly until the sugar is melted. Add in the final amount of sugar and
stir until melted and golden in color. Add in the nuts and remove from heat.
Stir until incorporated. Pour onto the oiled sheet and spread with an oiled
offset metal spatula very thin, let cool for a few hours to completely set
up and break into pieces. Alternately, ladle the candy over the inverted
heat proof bowls to create candy dishes. Allow to cool completely, then
lift off bowl. If the candy sticks to the foil, remove the foil/candy from
the bowl and peel the foil from the candy.
© 2004-2010 Renee Shelton.
All Rights Reserved.
Dining Room Production Basics
Confections, Truffles, Candy
Pies, Tarts, Tartlets
Crusts, Shells, Bases
Quick & Yeast Breads
Savory Items for Tea Menus
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