Montelimar is a city in France where this confection started appearing in the 18th century. This version has dried figs instead of the usual cherries and apricots. Feel free to substitute the dried fruits and nuts with anything you have in your pantry.
For this recipe, you will need a scale and a candy thermometer.
10g dried egg whites
30g granulated sugar
50g fresh egg whites
380g granulated sugar
120g glucose syrup (or corn syrup)
1 tbsp vanilla paste (or extract)
50g cocoa butter, melted
350g walnuts, whole & toasted
100g pistachios, shelled roasted
150g dried figs, loosely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 250F.
- In an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, combine the dried egg whites, 30g of sugar, and fresh egg whites in the mixer bowl. Do not start mixing, but set everything up and allow the dried egg whites to rehydrate.
- While the egg whites are soaking, measure and prep all the other ingredients. Pour the honey in a small saucepan. Combine the remaining sugar, glucose syrup, water, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. In a small glass bowl, melt the cocoa butter in the microwave. Combine the dried fruits and nuts in a large stainless steel pan.
- Place the dried fruits and nuts in the oven to keep warm.
- Cook the honey to 226F. When the honey hits this temperature, start the mixer on high and beat the eggs. Continue to cook the honey. Adjust the temperature of your stove to gradually increase the temperature.
- When the honey reaches 248F, start heating the sugar mixture in the medium saucepan on medium-high heat.
- While the whites are still whipping, pour the hot honey slowly into the mixer. The whites will gain volume as you pour the honey in.
- Once the honey is in, continue whipping on high. Return to the stove to monitor the sugar temperature.
- When the sugar has hit 311F, remove from the stove and pour the mixture into the whipping whites as quickly as possible in a constant stream, without overwhelming the whipping whites and causing collapse. Keep whipping on high for 3 minutes.
- Add the melted cocoa butter. The nougat will separate, so keep whipping. To aid emulsion, you may use a blow torch to heat the sides of the mixer bowl (use short bursts). You must work quickly; as the nougat cools, the harder it is on your mixer.
- Once the cocoa butter is mixed in, remove the mixer bowl and evenly stir in the fruits and nuts using a wooden spoon. Again, you'll need to work quickly.
- Pour the nougat onto a large Silpat. Place another large Silpat over the nougat.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the nougat into a 3/4" layer between the Silpats.
- Allow the nougat to cool completely overnight, about 8-10 hours.
- Cut the nougat into desired bite sizes.