We explain the composition and preparation of hard nougat and the basic ingredients of this typical Christmas sweet on all tables in Spain.
The composition of hard nougat has remained practically the same for many decades. This product, typical of our Christmas, is one of the most appreciated by those of us who like sweets during this time. At Your Spanish Shop we offer you a wide variety of hard nougats, with the typical flavor of these dates.
The basic ingredients of hard nougat
Hard nougat, one of the most traditional and popular sweets during festive times, is mainly composed of basic ingredients that give it its characteristic crunchy texture. These essential ingredients are:
Almonds: Almonds are the base of hard nougat. They are present in a significant proportion and are responsible for the crunchy texture of this sweet. The almonds are lightly toasted before being incorporated into the mixture to enhance their flavor and aroma.
Honey: Honey is another fundamental component in the production of hard nougat. Not only does it add sweetness, but it also acts as a binder, allowing the almonds to adhere and form a solid structure. The honey is heated and mixed with the toasted almonds to create the nougat dough.
Sugar: Although in smaller quantities than almonds and honey, sugar is used to further sweeten the hard nougat. Its presence contributes to the firmness and consistency of the candy.
Egg white (optional): Some hard nougat recipes include egg white, which is beaten and incorporated into the mixture to improve the binding of the ingredients and provide a more compact texture.
These are the basic ingredients of hard nougat, which are carefully combined to create a delicious sweet with an almond flavor and crunchy texture that is enjoyed in many parts of the world during festive celebrations.
Composition of hard nougat
The production of hard nougat is a traditional process that requires attention and care to obtain that delicious sweet with a crunchy texture and a characteristic almond flavor.
Roasting the almonds: The process begins with roasting the almonds. This step is essential to enhance the flavor of the almonds and give them a toasted touch. The almonds are lightly toasted in an oven before being used in the preparation of the nougat.
Preparation of honey and sugar: In a pot, heat the honey and mix with the sugar. Honey acts as a binder and adds sweetness to the nougat, while sugar complements the flavor. This mixture is heated over medium heat until it reaches a specific temperature, usually around 150°C.
Mixing ingredients: Once the honey and sugar have reached the right temperature, add the toasted almonds. The mixture is cooked over low heat while stirring constantly to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated evenly.
Molding and cooling: The resulting mass is poured into molds previously greased or lined with wafer paper. The molds help shape the nougat and maintain its structure. The nougat is pressed firmly to compact it and eliminate air bubbles.
It is then allowed to cool at room temperature for several hours or even days, depending on the recipe and weather conditions.
Cut into portions: Once the nougat has been completely cooled and solidified, it is removed from the mold and cut into individual portions. Cutting is done with sharp knives or specific machines to obtain bars or blocks of the desired size.
Hard nougat is a traditional delicacy that requires precision in temperature and attention in each step of its preparation. Once finished, it offers a unique flavor and crunchy texture that makes it an unmatched treat during the holidays and other special occasions.
Types of hard nougat
There are several types of hard nougat, each with its own characteristics and different flavors.
Alicante Nougat: This is the most classic and recognized hard nougat. It is mainly made with whole roasted almonds, honey and sugar. The mixture is compacted into bars and cut into small pieces. Its texture is crunchy, and its flavor is bittersweet due to honey and sugar.
Jijona nougat: Unlike Alicante nougat, Jijona nougat is characterized by being soft and smooth. It is made with ground almonds, honey and sugar, creating a paste that is pressed into tablets. Its flavor is milder and it has a texture that melts in your mouth.
Toasted yolk nougat: This nougat is differentiated by its sweet flavor and the presence of toasted egg yolk. It is mixed with almonds, honey and sugar to obtain a creamier nougat with a toasted touch in its flavor.
Chocolate nougat: For chocolate lovers, there is hard chocolate nougat. Chocolate pieces are added to the traditional mixture of almonds, honey and sugar, creating a nougat with a delicious cocoa flavor.
Fruit nougat: Some varieties of hard nougat incorporate candied fruits, such as oranges, lemons or cherries, to give it a touch of freshness and a contrast of flavors and textures.
Coconut nougat: This nougat is prepared with grated coconut and almonds, which gives it a tropical flavor and a crunchy texture.
At Your Spanish Shop we offer you a wide variety of hard nougats, which we also ship to international destinations.