Cardamom-Macadamia Nougat Glacé with Kumquat-Pineapple soup.


It really started out of desperation and rummaging through my refrigerator looking for something to snack on. My search for something salty and addictive failed but i knew all wasn’t lost when i found a container of candied kumquats, the same ones i used here and there, except that the syrup has morphed into in the most flavorful kumquat extract imaginable. I made the executive decision that very moment that this precious liquid just couldn’t be lost.

Then there was a beautiful pineapple ripening on the kitchen counter. While it’s available year-round, pineapple’s peak season runs from March through July so keep that in mind, friends. Now is the time. So my brain went on overdrive and resolved this very complex equation in the matter of seconds.

Pine, (97)+(+,234 quat)*-P
(x – apple)^2 + (quat – r^2kum)^2 = r^2
(x+pineapple)^2 + (kumquat+8)^2 = kumquat-pineapple soup

Impressed? eh? You shouldn’t be. I failed math in school.


Serving a chilled fruit soup on its own would be a bit boring but luckily i’ve been playing with different versions of nougat glacé recipes lately. In case you’re not familiar with it, a nougat glacé is a frozen dessert where creamy meets nutty meets frosty. In other words, a frozen meringue made with honey enriched with whipped cream, nuts and candied fruits.  The one that won the popular vote at work was made with agave syrup, macadamia brittle, cardamon and little chunks of crystallized ginger. I used agave syrup instead of honey because i wanted  something more neutral to allow the cardamon infused whipped cream to shine through, and it worked beautifully.


  • Cardamom-Macadamia Nougat Glacé with Kumquat-Pineapple soup

  • serves 8
  • Presentation inspired by the Passion fruit iced soufflé with Pineapple soup.  Kate Zuckerman in “The Sweet Life”
  • nougat-glace-3
    • Cardamom-Macadamia Nougat Glacé:
    • 1/3 cup macadamia, coarsely chopped
    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 8 egg whites
    • few drops of lemon juice
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 2/3 cup agave nectar, or honey
    • 4 Tbs crystallized ginger, chopped (optional)
    • For the Kumquat-Pineapple soup:
    • 1 ripe pineapple, peeled and cut into small chunks
    • 1 Tahitian vanilla bean
    • 1 cup Kumquats
    • 1 cup sugar
    • Fresh mint, julienned
    • Cardamom-Macadamia Nougat Glacé:
    • For the macadamia brittle:
    • Preheat oven to 350’F. Toast the macadamia nuts on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes.
    • Combine the butter, sugar, dark corn syrup and 2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until it turns golden brown. Add the chopped macadamia nuts and the salt and stir with a wooden spoon until the caramel is smooth. Pour the brittle on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and spread. Let it cool. Chopped coarsely.
    • For the nougat glacé:
    • Crush the cardamom and add it to the cream. Bring to a boil and let it steep until cool to infuse.  Strain and refrigerate until cold. Whip to soft peaks.
    • Combine the sugar, agave syrup and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Bring the syrup to 250’F.
    • Meanwhile, place the egg whites in the bowl of a kitchenaid and whisk on medium-high speed. Add a few drops of lemon juice. When the egg whites have gained volume pour the syrup at 250’F and beat for 10 minutes. At this point you should have a shiny, compact meringue.
    • Fold the chopped macadamia brittle, chopped crystallized ginger (if using), and cardamom whipped cream into the meringue. Scoop the mixture into molds, or a terrine lined with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
    • For the Kumquat-Pineapple Soup:
    • Combine the kumquats and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Strain and repeat 2 more time.
    • Combine the 1 1/2 cup water and 1 cup of sugar in the saucepan and add the kumquats. Bring to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Cool in the liquid and refrigerate (at least overnight).
    • Combine the pineapple chunks, 1 cup of kumquat syrup, 1 cup of water and 1 vanilla bean (split and scraped) into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
    • Transfer pineapple and some of the liquid to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain and chill. Serve with the nougat glacé with some julienned mint and candied kumquat chunks.
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  • bunkycooks

    Oh, my! Sounds incredible! Beautiful pictures…as always.

  • Coach J

    That picture looks like spring. We could use some spring here. It also looks super fancy and impressive. I may need to bust that out at my next dinner party.

  • Alessio

    Very interesting! Never heard of the nougat glacé before, I should give it a try; sounds like a lighter parfait.

  • shirley@køkken69

    I do admire people like yourself who can take what you have and create- really create something so clever. I have never been a big fan of chilled soup but I will gladly have this for dessert. :)

  • Manggy

    Failed indeedo – those are some funny gibberish equations.
    I’m pretty sure you aced cooking class, though. I love the presentation and I am a sucker for any pineapple dessert – a truly underrated and underused fruit.

  • The Little Teochew

    That equation is hilarious! You’re so very creative. I wish I could get so creative whenever I have a desperate urge to snack. The presentation is superb.

  • nina

    You say “something lite to snack on” and then you create this? Wow, I marvel at your talent every time I come here!!!

  • enrisa marie

    The presentation looks so familiar (had that book too 😉 the pineapple resembles a butterfly on any dessert it lands on. What a pretty dish. Reading your recipes give me ideas to naming my baby: If it’s a girl, I’ll call it “Julienne” like the mint cut (yes, seriously)… if it’s a boy…er…Kumquat? 😛

  • radish

    so now i want this for breakfast. happy now? :)

  • JD

    As usual, looks amazingly delicious. Great presentation!

  • Dawn Hutchins

    What a gorgeous photo and unique recipe.

  • Kitchen M

    Yeah, if I try to make a chilled fruit soup, it wouldn’t be as pretty as yours. Simply, beautiful.

  • Joy

    I just had a stressful day but I was reading over your site and realized that it has calming effects. I think it’s because your food is truly art, your talent is amazing Zen!

  • Stella

    Nougat in an acidic sauce sounds so good to me right now. I love nougat though-so good. Yours looks wonderful.

  • Oui, Chef

    I just bought a pineapple today. Sadly, I will only be making a pineapple-serrano salsa to serve with our pork tomorrow night, and not something so beautiful as this. What a fabulous dish. – S

  • TasteHongKong

    You make alive the kumquat in so many wonderful dishes, not to mention those crêpes.

  • Timeless Gourmet

    So inspirational! I think the use of the agave nectar was a great choice, and I find myself wanting to seek out candied kumquats…..

  • Tokyo Terrace

    Great post! I love the recipe and I the math equation :) I’m a math failure as well…

  • Recipe man

    yumm this looks so good.
    the beauty and taste are well combined


  • Jared

    I am glad you didn’t do well in math, otherwise we might not be able to see your awesome creations. Love the presentation of this dish. Also, does your snack craving last into the next day, since the recipe calls for the meringue to chill for 3 hours or overnight. =)

  • matt

    Your “snacks” are like no-one else’s mate. Incredible stuff.

  • Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

    Zen – I admire all of the dishes you make, this dessert being no exception. One of these days when I’m ready, I’m going to tackle your recipes one after another. It will be a sweet day.

  • Leela@SheSimmers

    Thanks for the lesson on what Nougat Glacé is and how to make it. I’m learning tons today.

  • pigpigscorner

    What?! This was your snack?! I’m so jealous.

  • Banquet Manager

    Beautiful presentation, well done.
    From the Banquet Manager

  • Pingback: Verführerische Pralinen |

  • Linn @ Swedish home cooking

    What fun and unexpected combinations. I wanna try that right away!

  • Kathy

    Wonderful creations! I wonder how were you able to experiment on this while looking for something to eat. Sometimes my brain is not that creative when I want to eat! LOL! Kidding aside, I love your macadamia nougat glace, I will surely have this one for dessert!

  • pineapple chick

    Wow, I’m impressed! Now I’m really wondering how does it taste like!!