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Old 10-25-2004, 08:11 AM   #1
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Divinity! or How to make things fluffy?

This weekend, my girlfriend and I tried our hand at a recipe for divinity cookies from a cookbook that dates back to the early 50s. Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup hot water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg whites

Dissolve the sugar, corn syrup and salt in the hot water and heat to 228 degrees or until the firmball stage. Use a damp cloth to wash down any crystals that may form on the sides of the pan during this stage.

Using a wire whisk, beat the egg whites until white and foamy. Remove the syrup from heat and gradually whisk into the egg whites. Add the vanilla extract. Whisk constantly until the mixture is firm enough to hold its shape when spooned onto a plate (doesn't run).

Here's where we kinda had problems. I must have pulled muscles in both my shoulders whisking the stuff, so we plugged in the electric mixer and off it went! The stuff firmed up to a point, but wouldn't quit running. I mean, we must have sat there for 30 minutes with that mixer, beating the living crap out of the stuff. No fluffy.

Anyone have any ideas on how to help this recipe along? Anyone here made divinity in another way?

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Old 10-25-2004, 10:34 AM   #2
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Weeks, your ingredients are right on the mark for basic divinity. I would first inquire of your weather when you were making this. Was the humidity above say 60%?

Secondly, I don't think you're cooking your syrup nearly hot enough.

Divinity, I always go to 252 degrees (F).
Mazetta (marshmallow creme) at 242
Tender/cut marshmallows at 238


Here's how I make mine...the arm-saving way:

I cook my syrup to 252 degrees (F) and remove it from the heat and allow the boiling to subside. Meanwhile, I beat the egg whites in my stand mixer until they are stiff, but not dry.

With the mixer on high speed, I very slowly and gradually pour the hot syrup into the egg whites -- and once you begin to pour, don't stop and do not scrape the bowl!! I continue beating, after all the syrup is incorporated, until the mixture just begins to lose its gloss and holds its shape when scooped up with a teaspoon. Depending upon altitude and humidity, it should take about 10 to 12 minutes to reach this point and it will be very fluffy. I then add the vanilla into the mixer and blend well. Any nuts that are added, I fold in by hand.

Then, working as close to lightening speed as I can manage, I drop the divinity, using two spoons, onto waxed paper, or pour into a buttered 8-inch pan and spread the stuff evenly.

I hope this helps, weeks! And GOOD FOR YOU for kicking into candy gear!!!! I'm very proud of you!!
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Old 10-25-2004, 02:36 PM   #3
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I never try candy making when the humidity is high, it just won't set. If that wasn't it, maybe you over beat it and broke the whites down. I love to talk to older cooks, my friends parents, grandparents etc..they give wonderful advice on how to cook anything. Heck, I guess that's what we've got here!!! (I'm not a grandmother though)
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