This Covid-19 is driving us nuts! We are literally craving all sorts of food. Today we were reminiscing summer days and we remembered about the famous nougat (qubbajd), sold at village festas during the summer season.

INGREDIENTS

  • 800 g sugar
  • 300 g roasted almonds or hazelnuts ( or you can use sesame seeds)
  • 1 tsp freshly powdered cinnamon

HOW TO PREPARE

  • Oil a shallow baking tray and line first with grease-proof, then a sheet of rice paper.
  • Dissolve the sugar in 250 ml water over low heat in a heavy saucepan, shaking but not stirring, boil to 154 c.
  • Lightly grease a marble or other slab with a little oil mixed with water and spread the nuts over it, sprinkle the cinnamon, then pour the hot syrup turn and work the mixture with two spatulas.
  • When it starts to harden, spoon it into the rice paper case and leave to cool.
  • Remove the grease-proof and leave the edible paper

A different recipe would be that of the pistachio nougat. The recipe is for this variant is the one that follows:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1½ cups light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon pistachio flavour oil
  • green food colouring
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1½ cups toasted pistachio

HOW TO PREPARE

  • Prepare an 8 x 8 inch pan by covering it with non-stick aluminium foil or potato starch wafer both at the bottom and on top.
  • Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and water in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and continue to cook until mixture reaches hard-ball stage, 120°C.
  • While mixture is cooking, place egg whites in large bowl of stand mixer and whisk until they hold stiff peaks. When sugar syrup has reached 120 degrees, remove from heat and slowly pour one quarter of the mixture into the stiff egg whites, with the mixer running constantly. Continue beating until the egg whites hold its shape.
  • Return the saucepan with the remaining syrup to the stove and continue to cook over medium high heat until the mixture reaches 150 degrees, or hard-crack stage.
  • With the mixer running, pour the remaining sugar syrup slowly into the egg mixture and continue beating until mixture is thick and stiff.
  • Add the flavouring and a few drops of food colouring gel or paste to tint the nougat a delicate green. Add the softened butter and beat until the candy is very thick and satiny. Add the nuts last and stir until combined.
  • Spoon the nougat into the prepared pan and press it smooth and evenly. Allow to set to room temperature and cut into small squares to serve.