nougat montelimar

nougat montelimar recipe, originally uploaded by c(h)ristine.

My husband and I love nougat–some of you have seen this presented as a petit four, and some of you have seen this as an individually wrapped candy in Persian stores. It also comes in large bars called “torrone” in Italy. Some of you think that nougat is that stuff inside a Snickers bar (that’s not really nougat).

From a distance, it looks like a white marshmallow dotted with pistachio nuts, but as you bite into one, you know it’s something wholly different: firm and chewy yet with a taste as light as air, sweet and fleeting on the tongue. Depending on the recipe, you may taste a hint of rosewater or bite into a candied cherry, too. It should taste sweet but not too sweet.

That, my friends, is NOT the kind of nougat I made the other night.

nougat cooling

As a believer in “learning from one’s mistakes,” I thought I’d share this experiment with you. Plus, I think it’s always entertaining to watch other people’s cooking mishaps–a good story is one in which something goes wrong (really, when was the last time you watched a soap opera where nothing ever went wrong?). So I hope you’re entertained (and don’t think I’m a total moron for screwing up nougat)!

I think I invented another kind of candy, a result of some hapless alchemy on my part. I was entranced by “The Cook’s Book” and its recipe for nougat montelimar, and made substitutions that I now regret. Instead of clear honey, I put in a brownish wildflower honey. I halved the recipe, too, not measuring the ingredients with much precision (did I add to much honey? I think I did). I added rosewater, because I like rosewater in my nougat (though to my benefit I substituted it for water).

The result: a very gooey, brownish goop that would not solidify, even when placed in the refrigerator overnight.
Its taste is not too off–the honey flavor is strong, but the concoction does resemble nougat…but it ends there. I will try again! I have to trust this recipe, as this cookbook is getting some rave reviews. Candy, like baking, is a precision sport.

(and Hallelujah! An Update on my nougat adventures: successful Persian nougat!)
Recipe follows…

Recipe for Nougat Montelimar (from The Cook’s Book)

Makes about 2.5 pounds (1 kg)


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup clear honey
  • 1 tbsp liquid glucose or light corn syrup
  • 1.5egg whites (precise weight 1.5 oz or 45 g)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped candied cherries
  • 1/2 cup shelled unsalted pistachio nuts (blanched and skinned)
  • 1/3 cup slicked almonds
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds


  1. Dissolve the sugar in the water in a pot then bring rapidly to a boil. Boil until the syrup reaches 224F (107C). The water will have evaporated by this stage, and the hot, liquid sugar will have begun a series of changes that thicken and eventually color it. At this point, it should not show any sign of caramelization.
  2. Add the honey and glucose, and boil until the syrup reaches 275F (135C). Beat the egg white to stiff peaks. Remove the syrup from the heat and spoon the egg white on top, beating constantly. This is best done with a portable electric mixer at maximum speed.
  3. Warm the cherries and nuts, then stir into the mixture. Line a shallow pan with rice paper (or plastic wrap). Pour the nougat into the pan and spread evenly, then cover with more rice paper. Press the surface with a weighted flat board and let cool overnight. To serve, cut the nougat into small rectangles with a knife dipped in hot water.

p.s. the following picture is the nougat I was TRYING to make when I made the mess above. I was adapting the nougat montelimar recipe to make persian pistachio rosewater nougat that I think is heavenly:

mrmmm persian nougat!

9 responses to “nougat montelimar

  1. Wow, it still sounds like it was tasty. Can you rescue it somehow … maybe put it in little chocolate cups?

  2. Oh my gosh – I LOVE nougat! I grew up with the Spanish version (turron) and am always trying to relive that part of my childhood by seeking out good nougat. On a trip to Spain last year, I was confused by all the different types… didn’t realize how many varieties there were for just Spanish turron.

    I’ve never had any rosewater nougat, though, (or Persian versions for that matter) and that just sounds heavenly! Mmmm…

  3. hi! well i did nibble at the thing for awhile–though it was just so goopy (like goopy caramel) that nibbling was a messy affair. i think it *would* be good in ice cream as a sort of gooey dessert topping. but as a nougat? it was a loss.

    i went and bought a package of persian nougat a few weeks later. i was so happy to bite into those pillows of rosewater scented heaven!

    schmoo: they are very different from teh spanish and italian turron and torrone. funny story: in italy, we nabbbed a bunch of torrone thinking, “nougat!” (like the way WE know nougat). we were surprised at how HARD they were!

  4. I recently made montelimar nougat, and while it does run a little at room temperature, it is cuttable and slightly chewy. I think the difference is in the temperature of the sugar syrup – and the recipe I found kept the honey separate from the sugar syrup. Find another recipe and try again!

  5. The mess y got was because the syrup was too hot for the egg to put in. the syrup needs too cool down too itleast 110 degrease before puting the egg white foam in. its best too do with a kitchen aid because u have too beat it until the temp, drops below 80.

  6. nick: I think in hindsight the mess I got was because I never got the sugar hot ENOUGH to the right temperature–fatality before the egg whites were even added. 🙂

    James, I think, is right. 🙂

    btw, I finally experienced success with Persian Nougat a year later:

  7. I went to montellimar and ate alot of nougat. I didnt see “candied cherries” in any of it.

  8. the same thing happened to me.

  9. hey … i tried making persian pistachio nougat nd i blew it (not literally :P) but i think i didnt disolve the sugar syrup well… and now my nougat tastes like sugar… but wats been done is done… i want to find out a way in which i can fix this (if it is possible) cause all of it will go to waste otherwise… pls help if u can

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