Nougat is a general term that describes a class of sweets made with sugar or honey and some type of nut—usually almonds, pistachios, or hazelnuts. It can range from soft and chewy like caramel to hard and brittle, but it’s always sticky, says Katrina Markoff, owner and chocolatier of Vosges Haut-Chocolat.
There are two general types and colors of nougat: white and brown. White nougat is made by whipping egg whites together with nuts and sugar or honey. Brown nougat is a denser version made using only caramelized sugar and nuts. Variations of either nougat might include dried fruit, cocoa powder, or flavored essential oils like lavender. The first documentation of nougat goes back to 9th-century Greece, but the confection didn’t gain popularity until it was introduced to France during the 17th century. In Spain, nougat is referred to as turrón, and in Italy it is called torrone. Persians refer to it as gaz, and Germans call it Schmelz-Schokolade.
If you’d like to make your own nougat, check out CHOW’s recipe for Halloween Snickles, a candy bar filled with a peanut version of the confection.