Friday, December 9, 2011

Candyland

Last night on a whim, Channin and I decided we should make candy.
The subject came up when she stopped by to pick up my new apprentice.

Channin said:  Hey we need to make Divinity.
I said:  We do!  But we better get going because I'm leaving for Utah next weekend.


We began mulling over dates and Channin said:  I'm free tomorrow.
I said:  Me too! {In spite of the fact that my house is a disaster and I should stay home and clean.}
The plan was made.

I went over to her house this morning armed with pans,
Karo Syrup and other supplies and gave a knock on the front door.
A little snowman was there to greet me -- an ornament I had made years ago.


I love visiting her home in December.
There is Christmas in every nook and cranny.





I especially loved this simple snow globe made by a friend.
So cute, and very easy to make.


Channin was busy chopping nuts as I set my stuff on the counter.
I put on my apron and we got to work.

Have you ever eaten homemade Divinity?
If not, it's probably because it's super hard to make -- very temperamental.
Conditions have to be just so, and you must follow the recipe with exactness,
which is both exciting and nerve wracking,
because you never know how it's going to turn out until the very end.

My grandmother made it when I was a little girl.  It was so light and airy.
I tried following in her footsteps, but all I ever achieved were dry crumbs.
I gave up trying about 20 years ago.

But Channin has made it successfully several times.
She learned the secret from an elderly Swedish friend.
The method is old school, but it works like a charm.

The sugar must be cooked to 252 degrees.
No more, no less.

Just to make sure, we used our digital thermometer and our standard thermometer.
Mainly because we've always wanted to know if there's a difference.  Both worked fine, but I liked that the digital beeps at you when it's at the exact temperature, which is good for me because  I can never see the mercury climbing on a standard.

The egg whites must be whipped by hand on a cold platter using a flat whisk.


If you are a weakling like me, you really need two people to do this right.
We tag teamed, and in no time at all we achieved soft peaks.
It was exciting.  I've never whipped whites by hand.


When the hot sugar is at the correct temperature,
you hold the pot high over the egg whites
and pour it in a thin stream
ever so slowly into the whites -- while whisking.
Have you every tried holding a hot pit in the air with one hand,
and whisking with the other?
Me either.
Good thing we tag-teamed.
It really does take two people to make good Divinity.
No wonder mine never worked.

Then you mix and mix and mix until the Divinity is smooth, glossy, and starts to set.
We were nervous there for a minute, but it all worked out just as it should.
The only part that failed ever so slightly --
we waited too long to form the candy into balls.
It got a little dry so they didn't look as pretty as they should.

But they tasted heavenly.


Then we made homemade peppermint marshmallows.
We had a little elf, dressed like a ballerina help us with that.


We have to wait until tomorrow to see if they turned out.
I'm looking forward to a cup of hot chocolate with a giant marshmallow.



Photobucket

4 comments:

Tanya said...

Oooo! I love divinity! I am pretty sure my grandmother's friend who always made us all some has passed away...
Your tank-topped elf cracks me up. I'm in jeans, tshirt, sweatshirt, socks, slippers AND a blanket! LOL!

Kristi said...

I have always wanted to try making marshmallows. please let us know if they are worth it!

Bethany said...

Oy. Your ambition is staggering.

Eunice said...

Tom made me some homemade marshmallows a few years ago. They were awesome, but didn't work very well for s'mores or in hot chocolate.

I haven't had divinity for years. One of our relatives used to make it for the annual family party that died out long ago.