Nougat with Nuts 果仁牛軋糖

I’ve been working on Asian style nougats these two weeks. I played with glucose syrup, corn syrup, honey and liquid maltose and have almost ruined my saucepan when I carelessly burnt my maltose and honey. After 5 to 6 trials I was finally able to make a batch that was of my favorite texture and flavor. This is truly a recipe that fits my own personal taste. I love chewy nougats with with lots of add-ins. My mom prefers soft nougats and less nuts. My picky son even said he only wanted the candy, preferably chocolate flavor, and no nuts at all (well just eat your candy and toss out the nuts then). So by making the nougats yourself at home you can satisfy everyone’s need. Below I’m going to share with you my discoveries of how the texture of nougat is affected by varying the main ingredient, namely sugar.
這兩星期都在認真地研究中式牛軋糖。 當中試驗了粟膠,葡萄糖漿,蜜糖和麥芽糖,煮麥芽糖時更大意地把糖燒焦幾乎連鍋子也毀掉。做了五,六次後總算找出自己喜歡的味道和軟硬度。都説口味是很個人化的,EC偏愛含大量果仁又不太甜的牛軋糖,但媽媽卻喜歡軟身和果仁不多的,兒子更說不要果仁只要糖(那你自己把果仁吐出來吧),而且最好是朱古力味…因此在家中自製牛軋糖就能隨時滿足各人的要求了!以下EC將分享經驗,解釋如何用主材料–即糖類–去控製牛軋糖的軟硬度。

Making nougats is not that intimidating at all. A crucial tip is to pay extra attention to the cooking temperature of the sugar solution. I found that my nougats are the best when I boil my sugar solution to 285℉/140℃. The nougat won’t get stuck in between your teeth and a dent would be left only when you press the nougat really hard with your fingers. You will need to be extra careful while working with this just-boiled hot syrup as it is, well, hot, super hot. I never let my kids enter the kitchen area while I am working with boiling sugar solution. Kids are little curious creatures who wanna see and assist with everything you know (at least mine are like that). You absolutely don’t want any accident. Other than the syrup temperature, it is also important to make sure that warm nuts are being incorporated. And it is easier and less messy to do it on a silicon mat than inside a mixing bowl as the nougat dough won’t stick to silicon or plastic. The nuts have to be warn since the nougat hardens up rather quickly once cooled. Room-temperature nuts decrease the dough temperature dramatically thus making the incorporation process painful if not impossible. The nuts might not stick well to the nougat as well. If for any reason your nougat dough starts to harden up (especially during winter time), place the mixing bowl over a pot of barely simmering water to soften it before further mixing. Same idea can be applied to those hardened sugar syrup that is stuck to your saucepan and thermometer and also those bits of remaining nougat adhering to the sides of the mixing bowl that cannot be scraped off. For the beater attachments I would simply pass that to my son and let him clean it right off lol. Softening them by submerging your pot and mixing bowl in hot water would make cleaning a breeze.
製作牛軋糖不難,秘訣就是要注意煮糖漿的溫度。EC較喜歡把糖漿煮至285℉/140℃的效果,牛軋糖是可以大力用手指按凹的硬度,咀嚼時不會黏牙。 煮糖漿時必須非常小心。剛煮好的糖漿是很熱很熱很熱的!此時EC絶不會讓孩子們走進廚房範圍半步以免發生任何意外,畢竟小孩子都是(起碼自己的是如此)充滿好奇心凡事也想看和幫助的小怪物啊。除了控制煮糖溫度,拌入的果仁也必須要是熱的。把果仁放在矽膠墊上與糖糰混合比在攪拌盆中混合更方便更容易,因為糖糰不會黏著矽膠或塑膠物料。果仁要預先保溫,因為糖糰冷卻後便會開始變硬,室溫果仁會令糖糰迅速降溫變硬增加混合難度,即使勉強混合了果仁亦容易跌出。因此當感到糖糰開始變硬(尤其是冬天時)便可把攪拌盆隔水加熱一下軟化糖糰才繼續進行攪拌。 同樣道理也可應用於那沾滿硬糖漿塊的鍋子和溫度計,還有那被殘餘糖糰牢牢黏着怎樣刮也刮不掉的攪拌盆和打蛋器配件(基本上EC會把打蛋器配件遞給兒子讓他直接用手挖來吃…哈哈)。只要用熱水浸泡一下將殘餘物軟化,清洗頓時會變得十分容易。

As per ingredients, the choice of sugar as well as their ratios do have influence on the nougats’ texture, color, flavor and level of sweetness. Sugar comes in various level of sweetness and according to the list here, table sugar and liquid honey is equally sweet (relative sweetness = 1) and invert sugar is less sweet (relative sweetness = 0.8). Then followed by maple syrup (relative sweetness = 0.6), maltose (relative sweetness = 0.5), trehalose (relative sweetness = 0.5), and dark corn syrup (relative sweetness = 0.3). What that means is that, if we replace one sugar with another for the same recipe, nougats made with invert sugar would be sweeter than those made maltose, And those made with maltose would taste sweeter than the ones with corn syrup. And if you replace part of the white sugar with trehalose your nougats would be even less sweet. In other words, we could reduce the level of sweetness of our candy by playing around with the sugar choices. But note that changing the syrup (even with same amount) will also change the softness (I will talk more about that later). My next goal is to make sugar-free nougats. I will keep you posted whether it is successful or not.
材料方面,糖的配搭和比例對牛軋糖成品的軟硬度,顏色,味道和甜度也有影響。不同糖類的甜度是有差别的,依這裡的列表所說,砂糖和蜜糖(甜度相對指數=1)比轉化糖甜(指數=0.8),然後就是楓糖漿(指數=0.6),麥芽糖(指數=0.5),海藻糖(指數=0.5)和深色粟膠(指數=0.3)。這就是說,若取同一配方但只變化糖的種類,以轉化糖製成的牛軋糖會比麥芽糖的甜,而麥芽糖製的又會比粟膠的甜。又例如說,若以海藻糖取替部份砂糖的話,那麼成品的整體甜度又會再降低一些。換言之只要巧妙地選取食材便能做出甜膩感較低的糖果。但注意轉換糖漿(即使是同等份量)同時會改變成品軟硬度,EC待會兒會提及。EC的下一個目標就是試做無糖牛軋糖,真正成功的話再跟大家分享吧。

For the color and taste of the nougats, the following syrups are colorless and without particular taste: clear liquid maltose from Taiwan and China, mizuame from Japan, mulyeot from Korea, light corn syrup and glucose in the North America. They differ in compositions and manufacturing process and I would not go into further details here. A partial substitution with honey, maple syrup or maltose (the brown one) would enhance flavor and fragrance. I used demerara sugar instead of white sugar as I love the subtle note of cane sugar. But by doing so the nougats are slightly off white due to the brownish color of the demerara sugar.
在牛軋糖的味道和顏色方面,台灣和中國的水麥芽,日本和韓國的水飴,還有北美的粟膠和葡萄糖漿等皆是無色和無特別味道的糖漿。它們的成份和生產各有不同,EC就不在此花時間解釋了。若在配方中換進少量蜜糖,紅麥芽或楓糖糖漿等便能改變味道增添風味。EC以下分享的配方則採用味道較香的原蔗糖取替白砂糖。然而原蔗糖是啡色的,因此成品不如使用砂糖的雪白。

Last but not least, the ratios of sugar. I’ve only experimented with glucose and light corn syrup (the two trials in which I burnt the pot while testing with maltose and honey didn’t count). What I found was that given the same conditions in which the sugar solution is boiled to 285℉/140℃, nougats made with glucose are much harder than ones made with light corn syrup. Moreover, the higher ratio of syrup to granular sugar, the softer the nougat texture. So, say with everything else is held constant recipe 1 contains 250g of corn syrup and 50g of white sugar whereas recipe 2 contains 200g of corn syrup 100g of white sugar. Then the nougats from recipe 1 would be softer than recipe 2. It follows that the texture of nougats could be adjusted through the choice of syrup and the control over its ratio. These are just my general observations and I do not know why that is the case. If you happen to know the reason please leave me a comment.
至於糖的比例,EC只是用過葡萄糖漿和粟膠兩種糖漿作實驗(使用蜜糖和麥芽糖的那兩次都把糖燒焦了失敗了所以不計算在內)。個人經驗是在煮至最終溫度285℉/140℃的相同情況下,添加葡萄糖漿的成品比添加粟膠的口感較硬。此外,添加糖漿的比例越多,成品口感也相對地較軟。 簡單來說,若配方一含粟膠250克和砂糖50克,配方二則含粟膠200克和砂糖100克,其他維持不變,那麼配方一的牛軋糖的口感會比配方二的柔軟。由此可見牛軋糖的脆硬度可從糖漿的選擇和比例中調整。這是觀察結果,EC並不清楚箇中原因。 有誰知道為什麼的請留言告訴EC。


Nougat with Nuts 果仁牛軋糖

Makes about 45 pieces
約45粒份量

Ingredients

1-½ to 2 cups nuts, roasted and unsalted (I used peanuts)
40 g unsalted butter
70 g demerara sugar
200 g light corn syrup
A pinch of salt
40 g water
2 Tbsp meringue powder
2 Tbsp water
100 g whole milk powder

材料

無鹽熟果仁(EC用花生) 1-½至2杯
無鹽牛油 40克
原蔗糖 70克
粟膠 200克
鹽 少許
水 40克
蛋白粉 2湯匙
水 2湯匙
全脂奶粉 100克

Directions 做法

Spread the nuts evenly over a baking tray and place in a 200℉/95℃ preheated oven to keep them warm. Melt butter over a pot of hot water or in the microwave and keep warm. Set aside.
果仁平鋪在烤盤上,放進預熱焗爐以200℉/95℃保溫,牛油隔水加熱或用微波爐加熱融化後保溫,備用。

Combine corn syrup, sugar, salt and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. When the mixture starts to boil, cover the pot with a lid and let boil for 5 minutes to create an internal steam which cleans the sides of the pan thus preventing crystallization. Remove lid, clip on a candy or instant-read thermometer and continue to cook over medium heat without stirring.
小鍋內放粟膠,糖,鹽和水,中火加熱煮滾後蓋上蓋子煮五分鐘讓鍋內的水蒸氣融化鍋邊的糖避免結晶,移除蓋子後放上煮糖溫度計繼續中火熬煮,中途不要攪拌。

When the sugar syrup is cooking, mix meringue powder and 2 tablespoon of water in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium high speed until it holds firm peaks. Set aside.
糖漿在熬煮時,在攪拌盆內放蛋白霜粉和2湯匙水拌勻,用電動打蛋器中高速打發至企身備用。

When the sugar syrup reaches 285℉/140℃, immediately remove the pan from heat and, with the mixer running on low speed, pour the hot syrup into the meringue (without touching the beaters or the sides of the bowl) in a thin, steady stream in four additions. Switch to medium-high speed and beat until the mixture is thick, glossy and a thick ribbon forms when the whisk is lifted from the bowl. Beat in warm butter in batches until incorporated. (**Place a wet towel underneath the mixing bowl to prevent it from moving during mixing)
糖漿煮至285℉/140℃後立刻離火,將煮好的糖漿分四次以線狀沖到蛋白霜內,全程邊倒邊低速攪拌,倒糖漿時不能倒在打蛋器配件上,也不能碰到鋼盆邊,之後轉中高速打發至蛋白霜光澤濃稠,拉起打蛋器後呈緞帶滑落,融化牛油分次加入打勻。 (*在攪拌盆下墊濕毛巾可防止它在攪拌途中移動)

Beat in half of the milk powder on low speed. Place mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Add remaining milk powder and fold with a silicone spatula until incorporated.
加入一半奶粉用打蛋器打勻,加入餘下奶粉後把鋼盆轉放在加了熱水的小鍋上(鋼盆不能接觸熱水),開小火隔水加熱用膠刮拌勻。

Scrap mixture onto a silicon mat and flatten slightly with a spatula. Sprinkle warm nuts on top. Lift up one side of the mat and fold mixture over itself. With the help of the silicon mat, keep turning and folding until the nuts are well distributed throughout.
把糖糰刮出放在矽膠墊上略壓平,鋪上溫暖的果仁,拉起矽膠墊把糖糰摺半並輕壓,繼續隔著矽膠墊反覆摺壓糖糰使果仁平均分佈。

Transfer mixture into a ziploc bag. With the help of a rolling pin (I used a fondant smoother), roll or press the nougat into a rectangle with even layer. Let nougat set at room temperature for about 2 hours to cool.
把糖糰放進食物袋中,用擀麵棍(EC用翻糖抹平器)把糖糰壓平壓實並整形成長方形,室溫冷卻約兩小時。

Remove nougat from the bag and cut with a knife first into strips then into rectangles. Wrap nougat pieces individually with wax paper or candy wrappers and store in an airtight container.
從袋中取出糖塊,用刀切成長條後再切成小塊,用蠟紙或糖紙分別包裝後保存在密封食物盒中。

Here is another batch made with mixed nuts.
這批牛軋糖加入了雜果仁。

Here is another batch made with mixed nuts and chocolate chips that my son liked. I was hoping to create a swirl effect but the chocolate chips almost all got blended in… sigh. For that effect I think I might have to make a plain and then a chocolate nougat dough and then swirl the two together. I will try that again later.
這些牛軋糖加了朱古力粒和果仁,EC兒子最喜歡這味道。EC原意是想製造漩渦花紋,可是朱古力粒甚乎完全被融入糖糰了!製作扭紋效果大概需要做原味和朱古力味糖糰各一份然後再把兩者扭在一起吧!EC會再次嘗試的。

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