Nougat is one of my Dad's favourite treats except I've shied away from making it because it seemed difficult. You need a sugar thermometer, the perfect timing, the right amount of beating and not to mention nougat is rather sticky! But, I don't apologize for sharing this recipe; however finicky it may be. In the end, it's very much worth the effort.
2 cups caster sugar
1 cup liquid glucose
1/2 cup honey
2 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
100g almonds, unblanched, (and toasted, if desired)
120g glacé cherries
Prepare a 18 x 28cm baking dish by lining it with baking paper (or simply use a throw-away foil tin). Put the sugar, glucose, honey, water and salt in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar is pretty much dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook for around 8 minutes or until mixture reaches 122 degrees (or 225F) on a sugar thermometer. Correct temperature is important for the mixture to set properly.
Beat the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl with electric beaters until stiff peaks form. Slowly pour 1/4 of the sugar mixture onto the egg whites in a thin stream and beat for up to 5 minutes, or until the mixture holds it shape. Put the remaining syrup over the heat and cook for 2 minutes (watch that it doesn't burn) or until mixture reaches 157 degrees (315F) on a thermometer. Pour slowly onto the meringue mixture with the beaters running and beat until the mixture is very thick.
Add the vanilla and butter and beat for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the almonds and cherries with a metal spoon. Turn the mixture into the tin and smooth the top. Refridgerate for at least 4 hours, or until firm. TUrn onto chopping board and cut into pieces (using a hot knife may help). Keep in fridgerator. If you want softer nougat, leave your serving of nougat to sit at room temperature before eating.