Chocolate-dipped nougat with dried apricots

  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 60ml water
  • 80g honey
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla essence
  • 150g dried apricots, quartered
  • 225g dark chocolate chips, melted
1) Spray a 23- by 12-cm loaf tin with vegetable cooking spray. Line the bottom and sides of the pan with greaseproof paper, allowing the paper to overhang by 5-cm on each side. Lightly spray the greaseproof paper inside the pan.

2) In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water and honey over a low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to a simmer, and cook until the syrup turns amber and registers 157°C on a sugar thermometer, about 15 to 20 mins.

3) While the syrup is cooking, in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks, about 2 mins.

4) With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour the syrup into the egg whites. Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture is very thick, about 7 mins. Beat in the vanilla essence. Fold in 1/2 of the apricots. Using a spatula sprayed with cooking spray, scrape the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining apricots on top. Fold the overhanging pieces of waxed paper onto the surface of the mixture. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 hrs.

5) Line a baking tray with waxed paper. Remove the waxed paper from the nougat and discard. Using a knife sprayed with cooking spray, cut the nougat in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 8 pieces. Dip 1 end of the nougat into the melted chocolate and place on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 mins.

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