If nougat was a love language, especially browned butter vanilla nougat, would be one of mine. It's fluffy with a light and chewy bite that's slightly denser than a marshmallow. This nougat is finished off with browned butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. It's a perfect layer in your candy bars or as a stand alone confection.
What is nougat?
Nougat is an amazing confection that is very popular outside of the United States, but really has only gained popularity as a candy bar layer in the US. I'm here to change that. Making nougat is similar to making meringues or macarons. Once you do it, you'll be amazed at how easy it is.
Nougat is broken down into three parts when cooking:
- Egg white meringue
- Syrup Slurry
- Finishers: Fats, Flavors if using, Graining agents
This sounds more complicated that it is. All you are doing is whipping egg whites and streaming hot syrup into them, and then adding powdered sugar and a liquid fat at the end. Don't let this scare you off- the end result is worth it!
Nougat definitely doesn't get enough love in the United States. Learn a little more about nougat here!
Why browned butter?
You are really looking for warmth in this recipe, and the browned butter is apart of that. If you need help with how to brown butter, I love Barley and Sage's instructions. The browned butter should be done prior to starting the sugar cooking.
Prep your ingredients - browned butter vanilla nougat
Having your ingredients weighed out and divide into meringue, slurry, and ending flavors and finishers will move throughout the nougat making process with ease.
Egg white meringue: corn syrup, vanilla, egg whites. You'll combine these in the bowl of a 5 quart planetary mixer.
Syrup slurry: sugar, corn syrup, water
Finishers: vanilla, browned butter, powdered sugar
Steps for browned butter vanilla nougat making.
1. Combine your egg whites in corn syrup in the mixing bowl. Mix gently but do not begin to whip.
2. Start cooking the syrup (water, sugar, syrup). At 232F, turn your mixer to high speed and continue cooking the syrup.
3. At 252F, stop cooking the syrup and slowly stream slurry into egg whites. I mean SLOWLY stream the hot syrup into the whipping egg whites. Don't go too fast- you don't want to collapse your meringue.
4. Mix for 4 more minutes once all the syrup has been added, mix for four more minutes on high speed. After 4 minutes, turn the mixer to low speed.
5. Add in melted browned butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Mix for 30 more seconds on high to bring nougat back together.
6. Spread on greased parchment
7. Top with an additional sheet of greased parchment.
Nougat must sit, undisturbed, for 12 hours before cutting. Nougat must sit before cutting to get the sugar to grain and the texture to shorten. If you were to cut it before this, the bars would lose their shape and flow. Allowing it to cool and grain makes for easy cutting and dipping.
Cutting and wrapping:
You have to wait overnight to cut these after making the nougat because the nougat needs to set up and grain. "Graining" means that the sugar is absorbing all of the extra moisture and the texture is becoming short and tender. A short texture will allow the nougat to hold it's shape when cut instead of flowing out of place. It also keeps the bite very soft and easy to chew.
What size do I cut browned butter vanilla nougat?
Totally up to you! If you are cutting and wrapping just the nougat, I recommend 0.75" wide by 1.25" long. To wrap them I use cello candy wrappers that are precut in size, but you can use parchment or wax paper that you cut at home. Cello candy wrappers can be found at any craft store that has a baking/candy making section, or on Amazon. Make sure they are at least 5" x 5" in size to allow enough space to wrap the candy.
Storage and shelf life of nougat:
This candy should be kept at room temperature. It does not need to be refrigerated or frozen. It should be kept away from extreme heat. Shelf life is approximately 6-9 months.
Browned Butter Vanilla Nougat
- 5 qt. planetary mixer
- 9 x 13 sheet pan (with sweet potato caramel or lined with parchment paper if making separately)
Egg White Meringue
- 2 large egg whites
- 100 grams corn syrup
- 6 grams vanilla
- 580 grams Sugar
- 670 grams Corn Syrup
- 180 grams water
- 150 grams Powdered Sugar
- 6 grams vanilla extract
- 150 grams unsalted butter
- Add the butter to pan and melt over medium heat. Once melted stir frequently and watch closely for the formation of brown specs on the bottom of the pan.
- Once you see the brown specs, remove from the heat and immediately pour into a separate heat-proof bowl. Scrape bottom of pan to get all brown specs. Set aside.
Egg White Meringue
- In a 5 quart planetary mixer bowl, combine egg whites, corn syrup, and vanilla. Mix until combined but do not start mixing. Have bowl on mixer stand ready to go.
Syrup Slurry & Nougat Making
- In a thick bottomed, heavy duty pan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and water.
- Slowly stirring, cook over high heat until syrup reaches 234F. When syrup hits 234F, turn your mixture on high to start whipping egg whites but continue cooking syrup.
- Slowly stirring, cook syrup until 252F. Turn off heat.
- Slowly stream hot syrup into whipping egg whites. This needs to be done slowly so you do not collapse egg white meringue.
- Once all the syrup is added, continue whipping on high for four minutes.
- Turn mixer to low and add browned butter and vanilla.
- Add in powdered sugar.
- Mix on high for 30 seconds to incorporate all ingredients.
- Let cool to touch. Cover lightly and rest overnight, or for a minimum of 12 hours, before cutting.
- Store cut pieces in an airtight container at room temperature.