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    Pistachio and orange blossom nougat

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    Pistachio and orange blossom nougat

    This classic Italian treat will go down a storm alongside after-dinner coffee. Keep the nougat whole right up until you want to wrap it, as otherwise it may lose its shape.

    • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus cooling
    • Cooking time: 25 minutes
    • Total time: 50 minutes, plus cooling

    Makes: 20 squares

    Ingredients

    unsalted butter, for greasing
    150g pistachio nuts
    150g blanched or skin-on almonds
    2 egg whites
    325g caster sugar
    120g clear orange blossom honey
    100g liquid glucose
    ¼-½ tsp orange blossom water
    icing sugar, for dusting

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C, gas mark 4. Lightly grease a 20cm square baking tin and line the base and sides with 2 layers of baking parchment. Roast all the nuts on a baking tray in the oven for 10 minutes, then allow to cool and roughly chop.

    2. Make sure you have all the ingredients ready before you continue. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, adding 1 tbsp caster sugar and a pinch of salt. Tip the remaining sugar, the honey and glucose into a pan. Add 100ml water and set over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally. Put a sugar thermometer into the pan, bring to the boil and continue to cook until the syrup reaches 125˚C.

    3. Once the syrup reaches 125˚C, whisk the egg whites on a low-medium speed until stiff peaks form. Meanwhile, continue to cook the syrup until it reaches 146˚C, then, with the mixer on a low speed, gradually pour the hot syrup into the egg whites in a slow, steady stream. Increase the speed and whisk for 4-5 minutes, until very thick and glossy. You will need to work quite quickly from this point.

    4. Using a large metal spoon, add the nuts and orange blossom water; stir quickly to combine (it will stiffen quite fast). Spoon into the prepared tin and level the top by pressing into the corners with your fingers (dip them in icing sugar first to prevent sticking). Cover the mixture with another sheet of parchment, place a slightly smaller tin on top, then weigh it down with a couple of cans of food. Leave to cool completely, remove the cans, then store for up to a week in an airtight container, between layers of baking parchment, until you’re ready to serve or give away. The nougat is best stored whole and sliced just before serving or wrapping. Eat within 2 weeks of making. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, November 2019 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue

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