Easiest Nougatine Recipe
This kind of wet, Autumnal weather in Paris calls for salted caramel. And while the world is going nuts, let’s add that too.
While I love making batches of warmed salted caramel sauce to pour on crêpes, cakes, ice cream, meringues and all sorts of creamy and apple desserts, there comes a time when we need a real crunch, something to bite our teeth into (and without breaking them). Le Crunch from this easiest nougatine recipe gives desserts like chocolate tartlets and rice pudding that extra special texture that can take it to another level, and it takes no time to prepare.
I say rice pudding, as a respectful nod goes to Stéphane Jégo, chef at the popular Parisian restaurant, l’Ami Jean in the 7th (rue Malar). While his dishes are all fabulous, he’s particularly renowned for his addictively creamy rice pudding. It’s the kind of dessert many people shy away from after a big meal. “I can’t go for rice pudding – that will be far too much after all I’ve eaten.” Think again. It comes in a sharing bowl with a separate pot of salted caramel cream and a salted nougatine like this one with added peanuts. Last time we couldn’t finish it, Antoine asked for a doggy bag and we were still enjoying it the next day!
An Easy Method to Make Caramel
What I love about this nougatine is how easy (in case you didn’t hear me say it yet) and quick it is: the caramel is made by heating the BUTTER FIRST WITH THE SUGAR directly and stirring. It’s quick too. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly and also toast the nuts lightly beforehand to bring out the flavours.
The crunch came when I made some double chocolate tarts from my book, Teatime in Paris. If you don’t have the book, then try this sample recipe of these tartlets (along with a review of the book) at Farmersgirl Kitchen.
I also played around with another recipe in the Eclair chapter and piped out some pistachio pastry cream on top. Chocolate, check. Pistachio, check. Add a chocolate macaron to finish off, or top with this easiest nougatine recipe!
Et voilà! Plonk a bit of this French nougatine on top of tartlets and you’ll find good reason to use it on many other desserts. Except if you have daughters like mine, who help themselves to the addictive nougatine from its jar and just nibble on it on its own. You may just find one batch isn’t quite enough …