When we lived in Charlottesville, VA, my dearest friend, Melinda, gave me her mama’s recipe for divinity fudge. Other than knowing that God was a divinity, I had no idea what Divinity was, but pretending southern roots I never had, I said I couldn’t wait to make it. The main ingredient in divinity is sugar, a big plus for a Christmas treat, so I went ahead and tried to make it. I was a bit unhinged when my sugar syrup seemed that it would burn before it reached the required temperature, and then when I dolloped the candy onto waxed paper, it looked more like a meringue cookie than a candy. However, I let it dry overnight and by morning, I had three cookie trays filled with adorable pillows of cloudlike candy that fairly begged to be eaten. That was then.
This year I found a divinity recipe that called for making the sugar syrup in the microwave! Even though I stuck with my own recipe ingredient list, I did make the syrup in the microwave. I was terrified of spilling the syrup when I took it out of the microwave (using my stronger than firefighter’s potholders), or of witnessing an exploding ceramic bowl when the syrup heated up, but fortunately my OCD kicked in and I used every precaution known to man to get the syrup bowl from the microwave onto the counter. Then, using the same firefighter strength potholders, I poured the syrup into a glass measuring cup which made it simple for me to pour a thin stream of hot syrup over my stiffly beaten egg whites.
Just as I was pouring the syrup, here came my cat Crumpet trying to jump on the counter. Fortunately, Crumpet, a beautiful kitty who has gained too much weight, missed the counter and had to settle for lying on my feet as I poured undaunted. For all of you afraid to make candy, afraid of a candy thermometer, afraid of wasting a sack of suagr with zero results – try this wonderful method. I plan to go out and buy a ceramic bowl with a pourable spout and handle, eliminating all the juggling with potholders and bowls for next year’s divinity fudge making.
Prepare three cookie sheets by covering them with wax paper or parchment paper cut to fit the bottoms of the pans.
2 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
In a large, microwave safe bowl place the sugar, corn syrup, salt and water. Mix together using a wooden spoon.
Place the bowl in the microwave and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Stir.
Microwave on high for 9 minutes more.
While the microwave is cooking the syrup, place the egg whites in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the balloon whip. Setting the mixer to high, whip the eggwhites until they form stiff peaks. Turn off the mixer.
Carefully remove the syrup from the microwave using strong gripping potholders, and place on a folded towel on your counter, next to the stand mixer. If your bowl does not have a spout, carefully pour the syrup from the bowl into a glass measuring cup. You want to be able to control the flow of the syrup as you pour it over the beaten egg whites.
Turn the mixer back up to high. Slowly pour the syrup in a continuous, thin stream into the bowl over the stiffly beaten egg whites until all the syrup has been added. Continue to whip the mixture at high speed while adding in the vanilla. Whip until the mixture holds its shape and does not fall back on itself. It will seem like a very thick meringue. Some recipes say whip until the mixture loses its sheen, but I just whip until it holds its shape. This takes 4 – 6 minutes.
Stop the mixer and using a rubber scraper, scrape any candy mixture from the balloon whip and remove the balloon whip to the sink. Sprinkle in the chopped nuts and fold them into the candy mixture.
Using an ordinary teaspoon, drop spoonfuls of divinity one inch apart on your cookie sheets. Put your cookie sheets on racks or on an out of the way counter and allow the candy to dry overnight or until the candy is dry and firm enough to hold without the mixture coming apart. Do NOT refrigerate this candy.
You can store the divinity in single layers either in a long gift box or someother long container. Dust the bottom of the container with confectioners suger before placing the candy in the box. This prevents the candy from sticking. I pack it in gift boxes using layers of wax paper between the layers and dusting the bottom of the waxpaper that touches the candy with conf. sugar. This candy will keep for a week stored like that and maybe even longer if you can keep it away from grandchildren.