Annies Home a place where I love to share tips, recipes and wonderful products that I find for our family along the way.
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Easter Inspired Nougats
National Nougat Day is a day to take a look at that soft and chewy or hard and crunchy candies. The date is March 26th and it happens each and every year. Candy bars often are packed inside with a chewy nougat center. There are three basic kinds of nougat. The first is the most common and it is a white nougat made from beaten egg whites and honey. Italy was the first to create such a goodie with Spain and France quickly following. The second is brown nougat made without egg whites creates a firmer crunchy texture. The third is a German nougat that is quite like praline.
Nougat is made by whipping egg whites together and adding honey or sugar, roasted nuts and at times candied fruit. Nougat can be enjoyed as a candy on its own or paired with chocolate or other flavors. This sweet treat of nougat is considered delicious. Traditional recipes mix nougat with almonds and honey or citrus. Italians call the sweet treat torrone. Spain has given the treat the name of turron. In the U.S. one of the most popular nougat is called divinity
History has shown that nougat has been enjoyed since ancient Rome. Today with Easter tommorow I thought it might be fun to share an Easter inspired nougat recipe
8 ounces, or about 1-1/3 cup, chopped chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 lb white candy coating
Pink and brown chocolate-covered sunflower seeds or other small candies
1/4 cup miniature marshmallows
2 tbsp chocolate chips
1. The first step is to prepare the ganache for the truffles that will form the Easter bunny heads. Place the chopped chocolate in a large heatproof bowl, and put the cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. When the cream comes to a simmer (small bubbles appear around the sides of the pan) pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit a moment to soften and melt the chocolate, then begin to gently whisk the cream and chocolate together.
This is your "ganache." Mix until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth and shiny. Press a piece of cling wrap to the top and refrigerate it until it is firm enough to roll, but not so hard that it cannot be formed into a ball. This should take about 90 minutes.
3. When the ganache is firm enough to scoop and roll, use a teaspoon or candy scoop to form it into balls. Roll the balls between your palms until they are ovular, then place them on a foil- or waxed paper-lined baking sheet. These are your bunny heads. If the ganache starts to stick to your palms, dust them periodically with cocoa powder. If the bunny heads are soft, refrigerate them again briefly until they are firm enough to dip.
4. While the truffles are firming up, cut the miniature marshmallows in half widthwise and set them aside for now.
5. When you are ready to dip your truffles, melt the white candy coating in the microwave until it is smooth and free of lumps. Make sure your decorating accessories (the almonds, marshmallows, and miniature candies) are nearby.
6. Use forks or dipping tools to dip a truffle completely in the white candy coating. Remove it from the coating and tap the fork gently against the side of the bowl so excess coating drips back into the bowl.
7. Set the truffle back on the baking sheet and quickly, while the coating is still wet, add the decorations. Place two marshmallow halves side by side at the bottom of the truffle to represent the bunny cheeks. Add a pink candy right above them to be the nose, and place two brown candies above that for the eyes. Finally, gently press two sliced almonds in the top of the truffle to represent the bunny's ears. If you have questions, you can always refer to the Easter Bunny Truffles photo tutorial page. Repeat until all of the truffles have been dipped and decorated.
8. As a finishing touch, melt the chocolate chips and dip a toothpick in the melted chocolate. Draw thin lines on the miniature marshmallows to represent the bunny's whiskers. Let the truffles sit at room temperature until the candy coating is completely set.
9. Your Easter Bunny Truffles are now finished and ready to enjoy! Their almond ears make them somewhat delicate, so be careful when you package them or store them. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, and for best taste and texture, bring them to room temperature before serving. If you make these truffles with another material, like fondant or marzipan, they can be stored at room temperature instead.