What Is Nougat? A Guide To The Popular Sweet Treat

What is Nougat? - Chocolate & More Delights

What is nougat? If you've ever been stumped by this question, you are not alone. Nougat is a sweet treat that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is made from almonds or hazelnuts and sugar, but it can have many different varieties and flavors depending on where it is made.

The word nougat comes from the Latin word nucatum, which means nut. The first documented mention of nougat dates back to 1271 in Italy, where candied nuts were combined with honey or sugar syrup to make a hard candy called Torrone.

What Is The Difference Between White and Dark Nougat?

White nougat is a candy made from sugar, honey and egg whites. It is white in color, has a creamy texture, and is often flavored with almonds, pistachios or fruits. It reminds us of marshmallows. 

The origin of white nougat seems to be in the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It is popular and well-known as Turkish Delight, Turrón or Montélimar-Nougat.

The most popular type of nougat by far is dark nougat or praline - it is also called "nougatine" our "noisette" in French, which has a nutty flavor thanks to its main ingredient: hazelnuts. The Italian term Gianduja, which refers to the province of Piedmont and especially the city of Turin as the origin of today's nougat, is also common.

Today dark nougat is mainly produced according to the old gianduja tradition from Turin. Hazelnut kernels are carefully roasted and then mixed with sugar and ground into a fine paste. Praline-type nougats are combined with chocolate and blended until it has a creamy consistency. The homogeneous mass typically contains 30% hazelnuts. Dark nougat is a popular filling for bonbon chocolates and chocolate bars. It has a soft texture and melts in your mouth when eaten. 

Easy Homemade Nougat Spread 

Nougat is not only popular in chocolate candies, but it has been a staple of many breakfast tables. Chocolate hazelnut spreads are primarily inspired by gianduja. Who doesn't love pancakes or toast with a delicious hazelnut nougat spread on it? There are many options available on the market, from brands like Nutella to artisan-crafted ones. For a homemade alternative follow the steps below. This hazelnut spread is sure to be your new favorite! 


  • 200 g Hazelnuts
  • 50 g Milk or Dark Couverture Chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tbs. Cocoa Butter or Plant Oil (optional in case of mixture is too thick)


Roast the hazelnuts in a pan without fat or roast them in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius (300 F) for about ten minutes. Allow them to cool and rub the hazelnuts with your hands and a kitchen towel to remove the brown skin. Alternatively, you can also leave the skin on the nuts.

Place the roasted nuts in small portions in a powerful blender. Add the melted cocoa butter or plant oil in portions as you mix. It's best to give the mixer short breaks every now and then, as it takes time to achieve a creamy consistency. Add the vanilla extract to the mix.

Temper the couverture chocolate and blend it with the hazelnut mixture until fully combined. Finally, pour the cream into a clean screw-top jar!

With this easy recipe, you can now make your own delicious nougat at home! Homemade nougat also makes for a thoughtful gift for friends and family.


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