Wednesday December 20, 2006
Finally attained divinity
For the most part I've been treated well by "Joy of Cooking", but until tonight their divinity recipe (pages 731-2 in my paperback edition) has eluded me. Mom used to make it every year for Christmas, and I haven't had it since a loooong time ago.
After a little experimenting I was able to adapt the JOC recipe into something that made divinity like Mom used to make. Here goes.
- 2 egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup (e.g. Karo)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- candy thermometer
- lidded pan suitable for use with candy thermometer (diameter of pan is less than length of thermometer, so that if the thermometer falls, you don't have to fish it out of boiling sugar)
- heavy mixer + 2.5-quart bowl to go with it
- waxed paper on heat-resistant surface (cooling rack, cutting board, etc.)
- Bring the corn syrup + water to a boil in the pan. Cover the mixture while doing so.
- Add the sugar; turn the heat down slightly (on my stove, this is from "High" to about "7.5").
- Agitate the pan until the sugar dissolves. I don't know if this is necessary, but I find it enjoyable. :-) No need to stir the sugar after this.
- Stick the candy thermometer in the mixture. (Some people suggest preheating the thermometer in a pan of hot water. I've done this, but I'm not sure how important it is.) You're going to heat the sugar to 270 Fahrenheit, but first you have to whip the egg whites.
- Beat the egg whites until firm. This only takes a minute, and you should have plenty of time to do this while the sugar is heating.
- When the sugar hits 270 Fahrenheit, take it off the heat, and pour it into the egg whites slowly, while beating.
- Beat the divinity mixture until it's firm enough to stand on its own in little dollops. This may take a while, and is the most interesting part of the process. If you watch carefully, you can see the divinity go through at least one "phase change" where its gloss changes dramatically.
- Put dollops on waxed paper. Dollops will be pretty hot at first, but not too hot to touch with bare fingers. I get about 3 dozen dollops consistently from this recipe.
- 2 cups sugar: 1550 calories
- 2 egg whites: 34 calories
- 1/2 cup corn syrup: 450 calories
So we're talking about 60 calories per item here.