Pistachio nougat with caramelised figs

LIGHTER OPTION: This frozen pistachio nougat is the ideal post stuff snack.
LIGHTER OPTION: This frozen pistachio nougat is the ideal post stuff snack.

A lighter alternative to rich Christmas pudding, this nougat is still festive but fresher, with a delicate touch. Serve sprinkled with silver cachous or gold leaf for an opulent accent.

FROZEN PISTACHIO NOUGAT WITH PRALINE AND CARAMELISED FIGS

165g caster sugar
1/4 cup water
50g pistachios, toasted
150ml pouring cream
2 cups coconut milk
1 vanilla bean, split
3 egg yolks
165g caster sugar
300g pistachio or almond nougat, chopped
8 figs, halved
4 tbsp icing sugar

1. For the praline, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.

2. Increase heat and boil without stirring until mixture turns a caramel colour. Remove from heat and, when bubbles subside, pour mixture on to a greased baking tray and sprinkle with pistachios. Cool until set.

3. Break into pieces and process in a food processor until coarsely ground but still chunky. Store in a screw-top jar in the refrigerator.

4. Combine cream, coconut milk and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan and bring just to the boil over medium heat. Remove.

5. Beat egg yolks and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and pale then whisk into hot cream mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not boil.

6. Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold. Remove vanilla bean and freeze in an ice-cream maker. (Alternatively, place in freezer until half set. Whisk with a fork to break up crystals.)

7. Transfer to a bowl and stir in nougat. Spoon mixture into a lightly oiled 11cm x 21cm loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to serve.

8. To serve, sprinkle cut side of figs generously with icing sugar, place under a hot grill until caramelised.

9.Cut frozen nougat mixture into slices, sprinkle with praline and serve with figs.