Sunday, October 5, 2014

Chocolate Malt Nougat Dex+

Halloween. The father of all sugary holidays. We also have a family birthday on that day. I've been working on how to save this special tradition without giving up on my low-fructose efforts. Sure, it's just one day, but that bag of candy that each child brings home can last over a week, and we also buy bags to pass out, usually nibbling and there are leftovers. I had a plan though. I asked the kids, what is your favorite candy? If I make that Dex+, will you trade me all your fructose-filled candy for what I make instead?

They agreed! The favorites? Twix, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Hot Tamales, and Gummy Worms. With a lot of uncertainty, I started trying my hand at the caramel, chocolate, and nougat. Is it possible to Dex+ a candy recipe? Yes, yes it is!

For several months, I've been rotating through the list, and now the experts (kids) have declared that I am done, and should move on to the gummy candies!
My daughter's friend has asked for the nougat recipe, so I'm posting this one first. 

The funny thing is, I no longer need to make this to keep them from eating the stuff at the store. They don't really even like the fully-sweet stuff any more. I am now making candy so they can enjoy it! Several work friends have sampled this too, and they really like it. If you've experienced trying an old childhood favorite sweet, and finding it overwhelmingly sugary, give this one a try!

This nougat has more chew than the super-fluffed kind in candy bars, while remaining pleasantly soft and very flavorful. We tried one dipped in chocolate, but it is much better by itself!

(Left) Meringue whipped until thick & fluffy, and stiff peaks. (Right) Pouring hot syrup into the meringue while whipping on high. The whisk is totally blurred out in the photo. 

(Left) Continue beating the nougat on high for five minutes. At this point the nougat is pure white and fluffy. (Right) Test for a ribbon; mine had a ribbon at five minutes.
(Left) The candy balled-up in the whisk when the dry ingredients were added. (Right) Dropping the bowl while running on low helped empty the whisk, allowing better mixing.
(Left) Adding the melted chocolate. (Right) The bowl looks like a mess. Stirring in the almonds with a wooden spoon brings it all together after the bowl is removed from the mixer.

I cut the nougat a little early, while still a bit soft. The tops look pillowy, like marshmallows. 
Here are the recipes I started with. One is actually derived from the other, but adds some good info. I added the malt to make it taste more like a 3 Musketeers bar. 

Chocolate Malt Nougat Dex+
This has been called "tasty", "nummy", "kind of like chocolate-ish marshmallows", "good, but hard to describe", and "wow, you should sell this stuff".



  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 81 g (1/4 C) light corn syrup (zero high-fructose)
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Nougat Mix-Ins

  • 3/4 C dry milk powder
  • 40 g (1/2 C) dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 30 g (1/4 C) powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp malt powder
    • 1/8 tsp salt
    • 57 g unsweetened chocolate
    • 2 C raw or blanched almonds, unsalted, if desired


    • 85 g sugar
    • 342 g dextrose
    • 63 g (3/4 c) Benefiber or similar
    • 2/3 C water
    • 486 g (1  1/2 C) light corn syrup (zero high-fructose)


      1. Fill a sink or large bowl with cool water, near the work area, in case of burns. If hot syrup spills on you, immediately plunge into the water and soak for 15 min or so. Read about Candy Burn Prevention and Preparedness.
      2. Lightly oil a 9-by-13–inch baking pan.

      Meringue Prep:

      1. Set up a stand mixer close to the stove, if practical. Place the egg whites, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in the large bowl of a standing mixer fit with a whip attachment. Do not begin whipping yet.

      Mix-Ins prep:

      1. Sift together the milk powder, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, malt and salt.
      2. Break the chocolate into small pieces and melt, taking care not to scorch. An easy way is to microwave it in a ramekin on high 20 sec, stir even if it looks like it doesn’t need to be,  and repeat until smooth.
      3. Toast or roast the almonds in the oven or in a skillet, if desired, to develop a stronger almond flavor, or leave raw. Leave whole or chop coarsely.


      1. Combine the sugar, dextrose, and fiber in a 3 or 4 quart saucepan. Add the water and 486 g corn syrup. Whisk to combine over medium-high heat, bring just to a boil. As the syrup begins to swell with bubbles, reduce/remove from heat to avoid syrup overflowing the sides of the pan.
      2. Once the swelling reduces, return heat to medium-high, while washing any sugar crystals off the sides of the pan with the whisk or a wet pastry brush. No further stirring is needed. Insert a thermometer, and continue to cook over medium-high heat without stirring.
      3. This is where you really could use a helper. When the syrup reaches 233°F (112°C), continue cooking, and begin whipping the egg whites on high speed, stopping when thick & fluffy, and stiff peaks form.
      4. When the syrup reaches 257°F (125°C), immediately remove it from the heat, turn the mixer back on to high, and quickly begin pour the hot syrup into the whipping whites mixture in a constant stream; avoid pouring the syrup onto the bowl or beaters. Do not scrape sides of the syrup pan or of the mixer bowl. Continue whipping on high speed until a ribbon forms; test for this at 5 minutes, may take as much as 8 - 10 min.
      Finish the nougat
      1. Note that the candy is becoming thicker as it cools; work quickly to avoid over-burdening the mixer. Turn the mixer to low, add the sifted dry nougat ingredients, and mix on low speed just until combined. The candy may ball-up in the whisk. In that case, remove the whisk from the candy to clear out the candy and allow better mixing.
      2. Add the unsweetened chocolate, and mix on low speed just until combined. White and chocolate streaks will remain. Remove bowl from mixer, add almonds, and combine with a wooden spoon until the streaks mostly disappear and the nuts are coated.
      3. Dump the nougat into the prepared baking pan, and press into an even layer with lightly oiled hands. Allow the nougat to cool completely to room temperature, about 2 hours or you can let it rest overnight. When the nougat is cool, cut it into 1 1/2-inch squares and wrap in waxed paper.

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