Every Christmas my maternal grandmother would make various candies and fudges to share with friends and family, while my paternal grandmother was the expert in fruitcake. I know what you all are saying about fruitcake but truly, hers was the only one I would ever eat. It was moist and delicious and not at all like the store-bought bricks you've tried to choke down. That said, prejudices are hard to overcome so I won’t even try to get you to make fruitcake.
Today, I attempted a recipe from the candy-making side called divinity fudge. Why fudge, I cannot tell you because fudge should be chocolate, right? And this doesn’t have an ounce. It does have ample pecans though, like a lot of the fudges and candies from Southern Louisiana.
2 large egg whites
2 cups or 450g sugar
1/2 cup or120ml light corn syrup
1/2 cup or 120ml water
1 teaspoon or 5ml pure vanilla extract
1 cup or 115g pecans
Chop your pecans into pieces.
Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until stiff.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
Put the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium-size heavy pot over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar, bring to a boil and cook until the temperature reaches 260°F or 127°C on a candy thermometer, or the hard-ball stage, when a bit of the mixture dropped into cold water holds its shape. About 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Pour in a thin steady stream into the beaten egg whites and beat with an electric mixer on high for about three minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add the vanilla, and continue beating on high just until the candy starts to lose its gloss, five to six minutes. When the beaters are lifted, the mixture should fall in a ribbon that mounds on itself.
If the mixture flattens out, beat again for one minute more. If the mixture is too thick to drop, beat in a few drops of hot water until the candy is a softer consistency.
Add the pecans, stir to mix, and quickly pour into your parchment lined pan. Let cool and cut apart into small squares.
So, that’s how it’s supposed to go. And I hope yours does. But I live in a humid climate and all of a sudden, my grandmother’s words came flooding back to me. “The damn divinity wouldn’t set. Too damp today.” Some years it turned out beautifully and some years, she would curse. Today was my day for cursing, I guess. It stayed sticky, sticky, sticky. How could I have forgotten, in the burst of nostalgia over making her favorite candy, what a pain she often found it?
|Cut it apart and it heals right up again!|
But, not one to take defeat easily, I thought of something I could do to revive the situation. I got out some more pecans and chopped them finely.
Then, using two spoons, I scraped up some of the sticky mixture and dropped it into the nuts, like you would a drop cookie on the cookie tray.
And I rolled it around in the nuts!
Voila! Pecan-covered divinity fudge. Okay, pecan-covered divinity fluff. It’s not like she used to make in the good years, but I hope my grandmother would be proud.
*Depending on what sort of day you are having