I’ve finally come up with this sugar-free version of nougat successfully and I’m so excited to share this recipe with my readers! It is a popular snack called 雪花酥 or 雪Q餅 that I would just translate as Snowflake Nougat for now. Snowflake Nougat, from my understanding, is basically just Taiwanese nougat with nuts, dried fruits and crackers added. It is thicker than nougat candy and is cut into cubes. The addition of crackers has made the nougat texture very crunchy and extra tasty.
There are two methods of making snowflake nougat, one with marshmallow and the other one involves boiling sugar syrup. Mine is of the latter type. When I first experimented with sugar-free nougat I used oligo syrup and erythritol to replace corn syrup and granulated sugar respectively. The result was no good at all as the nougat texture was very crumbly and it did not have that chewiness that typical nougat would have. Recalling that some sugar-free candies and sugar art such as pulled sugar, blown sugar and sugar sculptures could be created with isomalt, I switched to isomalt instead on my subsequent trials. The nougat was too soft at first so I cooked the syrup to a higher temperature later on for a firmer texture. One thing to pay attention to when purchasing isomalt is that there are two kinds of isomalt available: raw and cooked. Here, raw isomalt must be used as we need to boil the granules to a proper temperature to achieve a certain hardness (the higher the temperature, the harder the candy will be). So do take a look at the package before buying. The granular one that looks like tiny white pebbles or coarse salt is the proper one.
It is crucial to use only sugar-free or unsweetened ingredients when making sugar-free treats at home. Read the package label and make sure that the ingredients do not contain any sugar, glucose, corn syrup and so on. I use unsweetened raisins and sugar-free biscuits that are made with maltitol here in my recipe. In fact, I have visited several grocery stores in order to get a pack of sugar-free biscuits. Note that “sugar-free” or “no sugar added” doesn’t mean carbohydrate-free. All it means is that it doesn’t contain sugar that would cause a quick spike in your blood sugar. Dried fruits, biscuits and milk powder do contain carbohydrates. Almonds, though do not contain much carbohydrates, are high in fats. Therefore even though these lovely treats are diabetic-friendly, they should still be consumed in moderation.
Sugar-Free Snowflake Nougat 無糖雪花酥
Makes 24-28 pieces
1 cup almonds, unsalted
1/2 cup unsweetened raisins
1-1/2 cups sugar-free crackers or biscuits
30 g unsalted butter
135 g oligo corn syrup
45 g raw isomalt
A pinch of salt
30 g egg white
6 g erythritol
100 g whole milk powder, plus extra for dusting
Spread almonds evenly over a baking tray and roast in a 325 °F/165 °C preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Transfer to an oven-safe bowl.
Place raisins in an oven-safe bowl and toss in 1 teaspoon of milk powder until the raisins are coated (this prevents the raisins from sticking together when being warmed in the oven). Place crackers and butter separately in oven-safe bowls. Place the bowls of almonds, raisins, crackers and butter into a 200 °F/95 °C preheated oven to keep them warm.
把提子乾放在焗爐適用的碗中加入一茶匙奶粉撈勻(可防止提子乾加熱後黏在一起)，餅乾和牛油各自放在焗爐適用的碗中，把盛有杏仁，提子乾，餅乾和牛油的碗一同放進焗爐以200 °F/95 °C 保溫備用。
Combine oligo syrup, isomalt crystals and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. When the mixture starts to boil, clip on a candy or instant-read thermometer and continue to cook without stirring.
When the sugar syrup has reached 265 °F/130 °C, start beating the egg white with an electric mixer on medium speed until frothy. Add erythritol and keep beating until it holds firm peaks.
當糖漿煮至265 °F/130 °C時開始打發蛋白，用電動打蛋器中高速打發蛋白至泡沫細密後加入赤藻糖醇繼續中速打發至蛋白霜企身備用。
When the sugar syrup reaches 300 °F/150 °C, immediately remove from heat and rest saucepan on a wet cloth to terminate any heating (try to manipulate the beating process so that the meringue reaches firm peaks while the syrup is almost ready). 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 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. Beat in milk powder on low speed. (**Place a wet towel underneath the mixing bowl to prevent it from moving during mixing)
糖漿煮至300 °F/150 °C後立刻離火並放在濕毛巾上停止升溫(請盡量配合時間以致蛋白霜打發時間和煮糖完成時間相若)，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，加入奶粉用打蛋器低速打勻。 (**在攪拌盆下墊濕毛巾可防止它在攪拌途中移動)
Place mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Add warm almonds and raisins and fold with a silicone spatula until evenly distributed. Keep warming and folding the mixture until the mixture is pliable. Remove from heat.
Scrap mixture onto a silicon mat and flatten slightly with a spatula. Sprinkle warm biscuits 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 add-ins are well distributed throughout. Do it very gently so as not to break the biscuits.
Transfer mixture into a plastic-wrap-lined 8 x 5” food container. With the help of a rolling pin or a fondant smoother, roll or press the nougat into a rectangle with an even layer (cover surface with a piece of plastic wrap before rolling). Dust surface with milk powder and cover with plastic wrap again. Let cool at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours.
把糖糰放進已墊保鮮紙的8 x 5”食物盒中，隔着保鮮紙用擀麵棍或翻糖抹平器把糖糰壓平壓實，在表面平均洒上一層奶粉，用保鮮紙蓋好室溫冷卻至少三小時。
Remove from container and dust the other side with milk powder. Trim all sides with a knife then cut nougat into 1″x1″ rectangles. Place individual pieces into mini cupcake liners or wrap with wax paper or candy wrappers. Store in an airtight container.
I use this oligo syrup that is made from corn. Make sure it has the word “oligo” on the bottle or else it is just regular corn syrup that contains sugar.
These sugar-free biscuits are a bit too big and I need to cut them into chunks before mixing into the nougat dough.
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