Until making homemade nougat, nougat was a mystery to me. Nougat was the alien chewy substance found in my least favorite candy bars. A request to make Milky Way cupcakes (more on that in a future post) prompted me to research nougat and ultimately to make some myself.
I learned that while nougat traditionally is a candy prepared with nuts (per Wikipedia: “The word nougat comes from Occitan pan nogat (Occitan pronunciation: [panuˈɣat]), which means nutbread.”), the nougat in Milky Way contains no nuts – it’s a chocolate malt nougat. It’s made with egg whites (like a meringue), but with the addition of sugar, corn syrup, malted milk powder, and chocolate.
Despite my distaste for Milky Way bars (even before I became a chocolate snob, I didn’t like ultra-sweet candy bars), I bought one for research purposes. Like a teen buying condoms, I hoped that I wasn’t spotted by anyone who knew me. Very often, foods that I don’t like become magically delicious when I make them myself. This was not the case with nougat. My homemade nougat was a spot-on match for Milky Way’s nougat – sticky and sickeningly sweet. Do you like Milky Way bars? You’ll love this stuff!
Does this mean that I didn’t like the Milky Way cupcakes? Nope. When I mixed the nougat into chocolate malt cupcake batter, the candy’s sweetness harmoniously balanced the not-so-sweet batter. I was thrilled with the results. Give me nougat in a cupcake over nougat on its own any day!
I got the malted milk nougat recipe from Elizabeth LaBau at About.com. I am reprinting it below with a few minor changes and my notes.