Nougatine with Almonds and Honey
A spoonful of French honey is heaven. It has a subtle grit and texture that, to an American kid who's used to the corn syrup-like honey in the plastic bear bottle, may seem off, but it's perfection. It's thick and lovely and comes in all different colors. It's delicate and fresh and boasts subtle floral notes; you know that the bees were working hard in those lavender patches. I always loved bees; they are so focused and never have any hesitation to risk their lives for their lovely queen. What funny thoughts I had in my seven-year-old head: The bees were on a mission much like the buzz of rush hour in Grand Central Station, all quickly and fiercely going about their work, wearing tiny three-piece suits and carrying tiny briefcases, getting paid with tiny jars of honey!
— Sara Remington
<p><strong>*Note: </strong>Wafer papers are available in specialty cooking shops or online.</p>
- 1 Teaspoon vegetable oil
- One 8-by-11-inch sheet edible wafer paper (rice paper), or parchment paper*
- 1 Cup coarsely chopped unsalted almonds
- 1 Cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons honey
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Rub the sides and bottom of an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with the vegetable oil, line with the wafer paper or parchment, and set aside.
Place the almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant, turning once, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a plate.
Place the sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, then layer on the honey and the almonds. (It is important not to mix them.) Warm the mixture over medium heat without stirring. Once the sugar begins to melt, using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, mix the nuts into the sugar and honey, continuing to stir until the sugar has completely dissolved. Stop stirring and let the sugar cook until it turns a medium golden brown, 3-6 minutes. Watch closely, as the mixture can burn very quickly.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and, working quickly, spread to coat the bottom of the dish evenly. Let cool, turn out from the dish, and break into 1-inch pieces.