Friday, January 20, 2012


Let's remember him with divinity!   

Next week marks 6 years since loosing my dad to cancer . . . and each year my family celebrates & remembers his life by gathering for a big family dinner at Buca di Beppo's, an incredibly fun Italian restaurant, which - by the way - also serves amazing food! And every year, I create an activity, or assemble a gift that reminds us of him. The goal is to jog our memories with stories we haven't heard in awhile. We have a wonderful evening sharing stories, laughing, and creating new memories.   

I didn't have time or energy to work on an elaborate activity this year, because I was terribly sick for several weeks.  Since I wouldn't dare show up to the dinner empty handed, I decided to make my dad's favorite candy . . . divinity . . . to share with my mom and siblings!   
It was my first time making this beautiful candy.  How would I describe it? A fluffy, creamy confection with a smooth sheen appearance. Mild in flavor, exceptionally sweet to taste . . . it simply melts in your mouth.    

Divinity Lessons . . .   
It is a candy that requires patience and a watchful eye for time. To begin, you have to get the sugar boiling . . . which on medium heat - can feel like an eternity.  

The syrup moves through easily recognizable stages from a foamy rapid boil, through several swells and changes in appearance that rise and fall like predictable tides, and then finally reaches the point when it settles down and the bubbles grow and pop in a certain thoughtful kind of way. That’s the tie to begin the testing. Every few minutes you drop a little bit of the hot syrup into ice water. After an agonizing wait, the sugar finally acts right and becomes a hard ball. I recommend using a candy thermometer, however! When the thermometer reaches 250 degrees F, then you know the syrup is ready to be poured into the beaten egg whites.   

As the beaters turn in the stiffly beaten egg whites, you pour the sugar syrup so excruciatingly slow that you feel like you might just die from the suspense. I learned that the secret to a successful divinity is adding the syrup in a thin, almost hair-like stream. When enough is added to give it some body, you pour in the flavorings, vanilla . . . and color, if you choose. I made a traditional white divinity, because that was my dad's favorite.  

The end comes quickly . . . one minute you’re shuffling from one foot to the other wondering when it will ever end, and the next minute the sheen fades and you find yourself spooning it down on wax paper in rich voluptuous dollops. The goal is to spoon the candy on to the sheet making a swirl on top, just like the top of an ice cream sundae. This is not an easy task, and requires some practice!  I assure you that there is enough candy in the bowl for you to try several times, so have fun with it!  
I think my dad would be proud of the candy I made today. I'm excited to package these little pretties for my family.  I'm sure it will be my siblings first time trying divinity as well.  

I plan to make this sweet confection again, soon . . . for my youngest daughter's first birthday; but instead of vanilla, I plan to add strawberry flavoring and food coloring so that they'll look like pretty pink clouds! 

4 cups sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
3/4 cup cold water
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 cups chopped pecans   

In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water.  Stir only until sugar has dissolved. Do not stir after this point. Cook syrup mixture until it reaches 250 degrees F on a candy thermometer, bringing it to a hard ball stage.  
While the syrup is cooking, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Once the sugar mixture reaches 250 degrees F, carefully pour a slow steady stream of syrup into the stiffly beaten egg whites, beating constantly at high speed. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until mixture holds its shape, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in pecans.  
Using 2 spoons, drop the divinity onto waxed paper, using 1 spoon to push the candy off the other. This may take a little practice because the technique is to twirl the pushing spoon, making the candy look like the top of a soft serve ice cream.   
If the candy becomes too stiff, add a few drops of hot water. You will need to work fast when making this type of candy. After you spoon the cooked sugar and nuts onto the waxed paper, you're done. Cool the candies on racks completely. You can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.  

LET'S STAY in touch!
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  1. LOVE Buca di Beppos!! Can't wait to try this divinity! xo Jina

  2. What a fun idea as a tribute to your dad. I'm excited to try the recipe:-)
    Thank You!!


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