Cranberry & Pistachio Nougat

Serves 30

  • 4 sheets Confectioner’s rice paper (see note)
    1 cup whole blanched almonds
    ½ cup pistachio nuts
    1 cup sweetened dried cranberries (Craisins) or dried sour cherries
    2½ cups Bundaberg White sugar
    1 cup liquid glucose
    1/3 cup honey
    2 egg whites
    3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Line base and sides of a 28cm x 18cm slice cake pan with a double thickness of cling wrap so it overhangs the edges. Line base with half the rice paper. You will need to cut the rice paper to size with scissors.
2. Preheat oven to 180oC. Spread almonds onto a baking tray. Roast until pale golden. Remove from oven and add pistachio nuts and cranberries to tray. Mix to combine and set aside.
3. Place sugar, glucose and honey in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar begins to dissolve. Brush down sides of saucepan with a pastry brush dipped in iced water to remove any sugar crystals. Increase heat and boil, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 1450C on a sugar thermometer (about 7 minutes).
4. Meanwhile, place egg whites in a large heatproof bowl of an electric mixer and beat until firm peaks form. Turn off beater. When sugar syrup reaches the correct temperature, remove from heat and immediately add to egg whites in a thin stream, while beating constantly on a medium-high speed. Be careful, as the syrup will be very hot.
5. Add vanilla and beat for 2 minutes longer or until mixture is very thick. Use a large metal spoon to quickly fold in nut and cranberry mixture. The mixture will be quite stiff, so you will need to work quickly. Spoon mixture into prepared tin. Press evenly into tin with lightly damped hands. Cover with remaining Confectioner’s rice paper and press down firmly.
6. Set aside for 3 hours or until cool and set. Remove from tin and remove cling wrap (do not remove rice paper – it is edible). Cut into squares and serve.

Notes:

- Confectioner’s rice paper is not to be confused with rice paper for making Asian rolls. It is available from specialty cooking stores.

- To make liquid glucose easier to pour, remove lid from jar and microwave on high for about 10 seconds.

- Cut nougat with a serrated knife using a sawing action.

- Store nougat in an airtight container for up to a week. Do not refrigerate.