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Sweet potato caramel is at the base of this nougat, and is something I came up with a few years back. I’ve since been able to apply it to many things, from snack bars to cakes, I once even tried it in a smoothie. Roasted sweet potato mash tastes surprisingly similar to caramel when mixed with dates and nut/seed butters. It’s rich, decadent and very versatile.
This nougat very much reminds me of a dessert I grew up eating, which was a mixture of cookie crumble, nuts and condensed milk, similarly formed into a sliceable log. We had a funny name for it in Russian – sweet kielbasa. I had it in mind when testing out this recipe. It might be nostalgic for me, but I truly can’t wait for you to try it – it’s just so delicious and simple, and includes a whole nutritious root vegetable. It’s a no bake type of affair (once you’ve baked the easy cookie crumble) and quite a breeze to put together, requiring not much more than a blitz in a food processor and some time to harden in the freezer. I give a recipe for two flavors here – caramel and chocolate, both dotted with crunchy, roasted hazelnuts, pecans, and the aforementioned cookie crumble. Considering the holidays coming up, I think this nougat would make for a wonderful dessert option at a festive gathering, or even a thoughtful, sweet gift.
The neat, hive-patterned wrappers I used for shaping the nougat are called Bee’s Wrap – the best re-usable alternative to plastic wrap I’ve seen so far. I’m in love with this stuff! Bee’s Wrap is simply made of organic cotton muslin, beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin (it smells so good). The wax in the wrap allows you to mold it with the warmth of your hands, and both the beeswax and jojoba oil have natural antibacterial properties, keeping your food fresh. It can be washed and re-used.
I feel all kinds of guilt using plastic wrap, but sometimes, nothing can replace its functionality in cooking, or so I thought. This nougat was the perfect recipe to test out Bee’s Wrap on, since I would have normally used plastic wrap to shape and store this treat. The wrap truly exceeded all my expectations and was such a pleasure to work with – it smells fresh, it molds well, and just feels like a high quality product.
Want to try it? MightyNest is offering GK readers a special price of $3 for Bee’s Wrap (retail price is normally $13, so it’s a crazy good deal). Use code GOLUBKABEESWRAPFIX when you sign up for the fix and receive your first month, which includes two sheets of Bee’s Wrap, for a total of $3 + free shipping. Your next month and all months thereafter will cost $10, but there is no mandatory subscription period, so you can try out the fix for as long as you want. Follow this link, and the discount code will be automatically applied to your shopping cart. Enjoy :)
- 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
- 2-4 tablespoons ice cold water - divided
- ½ cup (70 g) oat flour
- ½ cup (50 g) almond flour
- ¼ cup (30 g) tapioca flour/arrowroot powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- pinch sea salt
- ½ cup (125 ml) neutral coconut oil - cold and solid, plus more for oiling the pan - soft
- 1 cup soft Medjool dates - pitted
- 1 medium sweet potato - baked and cubed
- ½ cup sesame tahini
- ⅓ cup almond butter
- 4 tablespoons neutral coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- 5-7 cardamom pods - green shells removed, toasted and ground (optional)
- pinch sea salt
- 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 cup hazelnuts - toasted
- 1 cup pecans - toasted
- Combine ground chia and 1 tablespoon cold water into a paste in a small bowl, keep refrigerated.
- Combine oat, almond and tapioca flours, along with coconut sugar and salt in a food processor, pulse to mix. Add in refrigerated chia paste and pulse to incorporate. Cut cold coconut oil into cubes, add to the food processor and keep pulsing until the mixture resembles sand.
- Add 2 tablespoons cold water and pulse. Test the mixture by pressing it between your fingers, it should stick together. If not, add more water, 1 more tablespoon until dough sticks together between your fingers.
- Form an about 2-inch thick rope with the dough, wrap in bee's wrap/plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, slice into slightly less than ⅜-inch thick rounds and place them on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for another 15 minutes, until golden. Crumble up the cookies before mixing them into the caramel.
- Cover dates with boiling water and let soften for 10 minutes. Drain and place into the bowl of your food processor.
- Add sweet potato, tahini, almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla extract (if using), cardamom (if using), and salt. Blend until smooth. Scoop out ½ of the mixture into a bowl, add ½ nuts of the toasted nuts and ½ of the crumbled cookie dough and stir to incorporate. Transfer the mixture onto a sheet of bee's wrap/plastic wrap. Wrap it around to enclose the nougat mixture and shape into a thick (2-2½-inch) rope. Place into the freezer until firm.
- Add cacao powder and maple syrup into the remaining caramel mixture and process until well-combined. Transfer the chocolate mixture into the same bowl and add in the rest of the nuts and crumbled cookie dough. Proceed to shape as with caramel nougat. Place into a freezer until firm.
- Store nougat in the freezer. Remove from the freezer right before eating. Slice and enjoy immediately.