For the nougat
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, for greasing (plus more if necessary)
1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter (from the stick you used to rub the pans)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
For the caramel
1 cup heavy cream
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup dark corn syrup
2 cups sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
7-10 cup pecans, toasted if you like
FOR THE NOUGAT:
- Use 1 stick of butter to rub the bottom and sides of a heavy 3 quart saucepan, all the way to the top. Don't be stingy.
- Use the same stick of butter to rub the bottom and sides of a 9x13 inch pan. Set aside the rest of the stick of butter, you will need it later.
- Add 1 and 1/2 cups cream, 3 cups sugar, 3 tablespoons corn syrup, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the buttered pan. Stir together over high heat. Attach your candy thermometer to the side of the pan, and make sure the bottom of it is not touching the pan.
- Let the mixture boil until it reaches 238 degrees F. I stirred pretty frequently, but I asked Emily and she said she doesn't stir at all. The mixture will rise up to the top of the pan. I didn't time this part, but it was at least 10-15 minutes.
- When the mixture reaches 238, pour it into the prepared 9x13 pan.
- Let cool for a minute or two, then add 3 tablespoons of butter cut from the stick that you used to rub the pans.
- Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and stir.
- Cover and refrigerate until the nougat is hardened enough to be molded. Divide the mixture into 7 logs that are about 6 inches long. Continue refrigerating covered.
- Meanwhile, make the caramel. Wash and dry the 3 quart heavy saucepan. If there is any butter left in the original stick that you used to grease the pans, use it to grease the pan again, all the way to the top. Grease a second 9x13 pan.
- Combine 1 cup cream, 1 stick butter, 1 cup dark corn syrup, and 2 cups sugar.
- Bring to a boil over high heat. Attach your candy thermometer and boil until it reaches 238 degrees F. (Again, I stirred, Emily doesn't).
- Measure out another cup of cream. Once it reaches the 238 mark, slowly pour in the cup of cream and stir.
- Continue boiling over high heat until it reaches 238 degrees again.
- Pour the mixture into the buttered 9x13 inch pan. Wait a minute or two, then stir in 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.
- Let the caramel sit at room temperature until it is cool (or I suppose you could refrigerate it)
- Use a spatula to slice the caramel into 7 strips. Work the caramel off the pan using a rubber spatula. Mold each strip of caramel around each nougat roll.
- Press pecans into the sides of the roll and on the ends. I like to leave them whole, but you can chop them if you want. They are really delicious toasted too.
- Wrap each roll in wax paper and secure with scotch tape. Roll in cellophane and tape. Tie the ends with ribbons.
- Store the rolls in the refrigerator. Let them sit out for about 10 minutes before slicing with a sharp serrated knife.
- If you are going to freeze or refrigerate for an extended period of time, store the wrapped rolls in a ziplock bag.