Another dreamy layer in Martin Picard’s sugar shack chocolate bars. Be sure to make your maple sugar the day before you tackle these.
200g (1.5 cups) whole almonds, not blanched
462.5 mL (2 cups) maple syrup
270 g (3/4 cup) glucose syrup
or 195 mL (1/2 & 1/3 cups) light corn syrup
2 egg whites (60g)
25 g (2 & 1.2 tbsp) granulated maple sugar
In a saucepan over high heat, heat the maple syrup and 180g (1/2 cup) of the glucose syrup to 150 C (300 F). When it reaches 130 C (265 F), the syrup will darken at the sides of the pan. To avoid burning the syrup, scrape the sides with a spatula and stir the syrup towards the centre. Continue until the syrup mixture reaches the specified temperature. Remove the saucepan from the ehat and stir in the remaining glucose syrup. Return to the burner and heat until the mixture reaches 140 C (285 F).
While the syrup heats for the second time, beat the egg whites to soft peaks in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. While beating, slowly sprinkle the maple sugar into the egg whites.
With the mixer running, pour the 140 C (285 F) glucose and syrup mixture onto the beaten egg whites in the mixer bowl.
Beat at medium speed for 30 seconds. Transfer the nougat mixture to the saucepan used to heat the syrup. Any traces of syrup left in the pan will melt into the nougat mixture.
Return the saucepan to the stove over medium heat, stirring for about 2 minutes. This final cooking stage will help dry the nougat. It will darken in colour and no longer stick to the sides of the pan.
Remove from the heat and pour from a height of 3 cm ( 1 & 1/4 in) onto an oiled 20 x 28-cm (8 x 11-in) metal tray lined with rice paper (I lined the tray with parchment and this worked fine). Spread nougat with palette knife to cover tray.
Let harden overnight at room temperature.
Remove the nougat from the metal frame and cut into six 2.5 x 10-cm (1 x 4-in) rectangles. To cut the nougat, saw quickly back and forth along its entire length while applying pressure; if you saw too slowly, the knife will get stuck. Place the 6 rectangles on a baking sheet ready for assembly into chocolate bars.
Adapted from Au Pied de Cochon Sugar Shack, by Martin Picard.
Note: If you’re making the nougat alone, you can stir 1.5 cups toasted almonds into the hot nougat before pouring into the tin to set and press it between two layers of rice paper cut to the size of the tin.