Vanilla Bean Soft Nougat

February  9, 2022
2 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg. Food stylist: Lauren Lapenna. Prop stylist: Alya Hameedi.
  • Prep time 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • makes about 200 pieces (makes one 12x12 in/30x30 cm slab)
Author Notes

Nougat falls into the category of aerated confections, which means it’s made by whipping to a full volume. Professional candy makers often use frames to create even slabs of candy that can be cut into perfect portions. You can snag your own metal frames at a hardware store, which is a fun investment if you plan on making candy regularly. But you can also just draw a square on a piece of parchment paper to use as a guide for a slightly less perfect (but no less delicious!) slab instead. Nougat is delicious alone or dipped in chocolate. Or, try mixing toasted nuts into the nougat after mixing it to full volume for a delicious textural and flavor addition. Well wrapped and stored in an airtight container, pieces of nougat will keep for up to 3 months. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

Bake It Up a Notch is a column by Resident Baking BFF Erin Jeanne McDowell. Each month, she'll help take our baking game to the next level, teaching us all the need-to-know tips and techniques and pointing out all the mistakes to avoid along the way. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Vanilla Bean Soft Nougat
  • Meringue Base
  • 2 large (70 grams) egg whites
  • 1/4 cup (85 grams) corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • Sugar Syrup & Finishing
  • 1/3 cup (43 grams) dry milk powder
  • 1/4 cup (28 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups (510 grams) corn syrup
  • 2 1/3 cups (454 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) water
  • 1 pound (454 grams) tempered dark or milk chocolate (optional)
  1. Prepare your candy frame on a parchment lined baking sheet (see headnote), or draw a 12x12 in/30x30 cm square on a piece of parchment paper. Place the parchment paper—ink-side down—on a baking sheet. Lightly grease the parchment with nonstick spray.
  2. Make the meringue base: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the egg whites, corn syrup, and vanilla paste.
  3. Prepare the remaining ingredients: In a small bowl, sift the milk powder and confectioners’ sugar to combine.
  4. In a medium pot, layer the corn syrup, granulated sugar, and water (in that order). Stir the mixture with the probe of your digital thermometer (or the handle of a wooden spoon) to break up any dry pockets or clumps of granulated sugar, but the goal is to only stir enough to evenly combine the ingredients, and no more.
  5. Cook this mixture over medium heat (not stirring) until the mixture reads 233°F/112°C on a thermometer.
  6. When the mixture in the pot reaches 233°F/112°C, begin whipping the egg white mixture on high speed. Continue cooking the sugar syrup until it reaches 250°F/121°C.
  7. Remove the pot from the heat, and slowly stream the sugar mixture into the egg white mixture (with the mixer running). Whip for 8 minutes on high speed.
  8. Remove the mixer bowl from the mixer, and fold in the sifted dry milk and confectioners sugar with a silicone spatula until fully incorporated.
  9. Scoop the mixture into the center of the prepared frame, and spread/press into an even layer (about ½ in/1 cm thick). Let set overnight before cutting.
  10. Cut into squares with a sharp knife. If desired, dip the squares of nougat in the tempered chocolate to coat, or wrap each piece individually in cellophane or wax paper. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

1 Review

Bchalmer February 13, 2022
This recipe is well written and super easy to follow. I modified the recipe to add matcha powder and everything came out beautifully!
When making it I did almost have the sugar boil over, so I recommend using a three quart sauce pan just in case.