Here comes another nougat recipe! I was hoping to make nougat with dark brown sugar and dried longan during Chinese New Year and it took me three trials to finalize my recipe. I already have a pretty solid base nougat recipe (sort of) so each time I wanna create another flavor, I just change the add-ins. I replaced cane sugar with dark brown sugar for the very first time and I found that the peanuts I added were too overpowering and I couldn’t taste any dark brown sugar or longan at all! To make the dark brown sugar flavor stronger, I used a mixture of cooking molasses and white corn syrup. And guess what. I scorched my pot. I also found that I didn’t really like the smell of molasses anyways. On my third trial I went back to my initial plan and used dark brown sugar and white corn syrup only but switched to roasted almonds and unsweetened longan. I also increased the amount of dried longan. I like the result as I could finally taste the natural sweetness of the dried longan pieces. I wish I could make the dark brown sugar taste more pronounced, but given that increasing the sugar proportion would also increase the sweetness level, I am not going to modify my recipe further.
再來牛軋糖食譜！過年前EC嘗試用桂圓肉和黑糖做黑糖味牛軋糖。EC本已有一個(自覺)不錯的基本牛軋糖配方，滿心以為只是改變一下配料便可成為新口味，結果試了三次才成功。 第一次試做時EC用黑糖代替原蔗糖和使用價格較經濟的花生，但花生實在太香太搶味了，EC一點也嚐不到桂圓和黑糖的味道。第二次EC試用黑糖蜜和粟膠各半藉此加強黑糖味道，結果嘛…一不小心便把糖煮焦了， 接著亦發覺自己不太喜歡黑糖蜜的氣味。第三次試驗時回到基本步並使用烤香的杏仁和無糖桂圓乾，同時也再增加桂圓的比例，卒之吃到龍眼肉的幽香了！EC本來打算再嘗試令黑糖味道更濃郁一些，但鑑於添加黑糖比例間接令牛軋糖增甜，取捨之下唯有放棄這個想法。
Please note that the pictures below were taken during my first trial in which peanuts and sweetened dried longan were used. Sweetened longan is bigger in size so I need to cut each in half before use. The pieces were pretty sticky so I tossed them with milk powder to keep them apart. Try to buy unsweetened dried longan if possible as they are less sweet and more fragrant. It won’t stick to each other as well. For the choice of ingredients along with other detailed information regarding how to make nougat, please refer to my other blog post, Nougat with Mixed Nuts.
Dark Brown Sugar Nougat with Almonds and Dried Longan
Makes approximately 75 pieces (1 cm x 4.5 cm)
約75塊份量(1 cm x 4.5 cm)
1-1/2 cups almonds, unsalted
1 cup dried longan, unsweetened
40 g unsalted butter
100 g dark brown sugar
300 g light corn syrup
A pinch of salt
40 g water
3 Tbsp (27 g) meringue powder
35 g water
160 g whole milk powder
蛋白霜粉 3湯匙 (27克)
To roast the almonds, spread almonds evenly over a baking tray and roast in a 325 °F/165 °C preheated oven for 8 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Place dried longan, almonds and butter separately in large oven-safe bowls. Place bowls in a 200 °F/95 °C preheated oven to keep them warm.
把桂圓肉，杏仁和牛油分别放在焗爐適用的碗中，放進焗爐以200 °F/95 °C保溫備用。
Combine corn syrup, brown sugar, salt and 40 g of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Clip on a candy or instant-read thermometer and continue to cook over medium heat without stirring.
When the sugar syrup is cooking, mix meringue powder and 35 g of water in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium high speed until it holds firm peaks. Set aside.
When the sugar syrup reaches 285℉/140℃, immediately remove the pan from heat and rest pan on a wet cloth to stop the heating process. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually pour the hot syrup into the meringue (without touching the beaters or the sides of the bowl) in a thin, steady stream. 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 until incorporated. (**Place a wet towel underneath the mixing bowl to prevent it from moving during mixing)
Beat in half of the milk powder. Place the 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 and the mixture is pliable. Remove from heat.
Scrap mixture onto a silicon mat and flatten slightly with a spatula. Sprinkle warm almonds and dried longan on top (do it in several batches if necessary). 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.
Transfer mixture into a large ziploc bag. With the help of a rolling pin, roll the nougat into a ¾” thick rectangle. Let nougat cool in room temperature for a few hours or even overnight in order for the milk powder to thoroughly blend into the nougat dough.
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.
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