Roasted macadamia nougat with salted honey caramel popcorn provides the perfect slices of pure indulgence. The combination of creamy, salty and sweet cannot be missed! This is a perfect dessert centrepiece for a party (or just you!).
Recipes by Lianne Scher
Styling by Leila Saffarian and Taryne Jakobi
Photographs by Dylan Swart
Roasted macadamia nougat with salted honey caramel popcorn
- 450g sugar
- 250ml (1 cup) liquid glucose
- 80ml ( cup) honey
- 4 rice paper sheets (available from good baking stores)
- 2 extra-large egg whites
- pinch cream of tartar
- 250g macadamia nuts, roasted +extra, to garnish
Salted honey caramel popcorn
- 75g butter
- 600g castor sugar
- 400g honey
- 60ml (¼ cup) water
- 7,5ml (1½ tsp) bicarbonate of soda
- 220g popcorn kernels, cooked in 125ml (½ cup) oil, seasoned with salt and kept aside in a well-oiled bowl
- cornflour, to dust
- 100g dark Belgian chocolate, melted, to serve
For the nougat, place the sugar, glucose and honey in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Do not allow it to boil. Brush around the side of the pan with extra water using a pastry brush so that sugar crystals do not cling to the side of the pan. When the sugar has completely dissolved, place a sugar thermometer in the syrup and bring to a rapid boil until the temperature reaches 140°C. Remove from heat.
Line the bases of two 20cm-round cake tins with 1 sheet of rice paper each.
Whisk together the egg whites and the cream of tartar using an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sugar syrup in a steady stream, while continuing to beat, until it is incorporated. Continue beating until the mixture is slightly cooked and thickened, about 5 minutes. Fold in the roasted macadamia nuts using a large spoon.
Pour half the mixture onto the rice paper and press gently with a spoon to flatten. Cover with a second sheet of rice paper and allow to set in a cool place (but not in the fridge), about 1 hour. Repeat with the remaining mixture and the second lined tin.
For the popcorn, warm the butter, sugar, honey and water together in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until properly dissolved. Do not let it boil. Brush around the side of the pan with extra water using a pastry brush so that sugar crystals do not cling to the side of the pan. Once no grains are visible in the syrup, bring it to a rapid boil until it reaches 164ºC on a sugar thermometer, which is almost at the caramel-stage mark. Remove from heat and set aside until the bubbles subside, about 30 seconds. Add the bicarbonate of soda and whisk it quickly through the hot caramel. Pour the caramel into the bowl of salted popcorn and mix to coat, using a large wooden spoon. Work fast as it sets quickly. Spread the popcorn onto a large oiled baking sheet to dry, then break into chunks once cooled.
Once set, turn out the nougat rounds onto serving platters and dust with cornflour. Pile the macadamia nuts and popcorn on top and drizzle with melted chocolate to serve.