Dedicated forever to Windy, the housemate of Arwen (I think I might have actually met Windy once…) to whom I will be eternally indebted for this recipe. I’ve changed it a touch, as any good cook ends up doing. It’s one of the few things I make which require a lot of effort. It’s not difficult, it’s just fiddly, but it’s still effort.
We begin by chopping up 200g of nougat. Due mainly to the strenuous efforts of the Male of the Species, I’m using gluten free nougat this time (Arwen, there will be a box of these coming your way shortly 🙂 ). I had a 300g bar of nougat, so I used the excess to sustain me while I was cooking. Chop it reasonably fine, since the smaller it is the easier it is to deal with later (all in due time). Needless to say, chopping nougat is a mongrel, and I never chop it as fine as I should. Still, you need reasonable sized chunks. Or that’s what I keep telling myself. Once that’s done, put the nougat aside and we get to the delicious bit. In a double boiler, or a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of water, melt about 450g/500g of milk chocolate. The original recipe I have says 375g, which is one packet of the coles brand stuff, but once it’s melted you’re going to add 300ml of double cream to it. The original recipe says 250ml of double cream, but what the hell are you going to do with 50ml of leftover cream? I’d rather have leftover chocolate than cream, so I simply increase the chocolate and use the cream up. Be careful not to overheat it, if you get the chocolate too hot it goes funky and you’ve stuffed it. Also with the cream and chocolate melt 50g of butter (yes, salted) until you end up with an incredibly delicious chocolate sauce. At this point it is utterly critical that you taste it. The whole thing will completely fail if you don’t, since you need the sugar to keep your energy up and if you don’t taste it you may faint from starvation and it’ll never get done.
Then you stir in your nougat bits, and slop it out into a greased lamington tin or a casserole dish or something of that nature, and put it in the fridge. Then you can walk away while it sets.
Once it’s set, you need to cut it into chunks. Smallish chunks, maybe 3cm by 3cm, err on the small side. Don’t get too worried about how much they break up at the edges, because you’re going to grab each chunk and manhandle it into a ball. This is harder than it sounds. It gets all melty on the outside (your hands are gonna get super messy at this point) and there are hard nobs of nougat in it that object to being rounded. None the less, get it vaguely orb shaped and then role it in crushed peanuts. You can get them in the baking section, one packet of 300g usually does it for me.
Throw them back into the fridge to reset a bit while you melt 375g of dark chocolate. If you have a bit of spare dark chocolate going, it doesn’t hurt to throw that in too, since I always end up a bit short at the end. If you haven’t done so already (and you probably haven’t, because I forgot to mention it) prepare some trays or plates by putting greaseproof or baking paper on them. Now you need 2 forks. You’re going to drop in each ball, and roll it around in the chocolate until it’s coated. Then pick it up, and balance it on one fork while you wipe the excess chocolate off the other fork. Then transfer it to the other fork without dropping it and wipe the chocolate off the first fork. Then do that one more time, and then put the ball on your tray or plate. The aim of this is to save chocolate. While you’re wiping your fork on the edge of the saucepan, it’s dripping, and you loose some in each transfer. If you don’t do this, you’re going to run out of coating chocolate. Of course, if you don’t want to bother, just make sure you melt more at the start.
One thing to do as you put each one down is check there’s no holes in your coat. The time I made them before this I found that there were little holes where it wasn’t properly coated, and as the chocolate cooled it contracted and squeezed the innards through like the vegemite worms you make with sao’s. Just give it a quick squiz and poke it with a little extra chocolate on any holes. Once you’re done, don’t put them in the fridge immediately (also reduces the worm problem), give them ten minutes to sit and then refrigerate. Then, go ahead and eat them. They’re very rich, and very delicious. I can manage maybe two at a sitting if I’m feeling hoggy. Which I usually am :).