Basic Divinity

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Title: Basic Divinity
Yield: 6 Servings
Categories: Candies

Ingredients:

2 c White Sugar; Granulated
1/2 c Light Corn Syrup
1/2 c Water
1 pn Salt (1/8 tsp)
2 Egg Whites; Lg
1 ts Vanilla Extract
1 c Nuts; Chopped, OR
1 c Cherries; Chopped, OR
1 c Orange Peels; Chopped, Etc.


~------------------------------OPTIONALS ~--------------------------------
NOTE: TO PREWARM A CANDY THERMOMETER, SIMPLE PLACE IT AN A SMALL SAUCE PAN
OF COLD WATER AND BRING IT TO A BOIL. LET IT SIMMER UNTIL YOU NEED THE
THERMOMETER. STEP 1: Prewarm the thermometer; separate the eggs allowing
the whites to come to room temperature in a large bowl of an electric
mixer. (Return the egg yolks to the refrigerator covering with plastic
wrap or water for another recipe.) Fill a glass with ice cubes and water.
To make dropped divinities, you will need 2 cookie sheets, topped with
greased wax paper. For squares, use a greased and wax paper-lined 8 X
8-inch pan. Measure the sugar, corn syrup, ice water and salt and dump
into a heavy 2-quart saucepan with a tight fitting lid. STEP 2: Dissolve
the sugar, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon over low heat.
Syrup will become clear, gritty sounds will cease, and the spoon will
glide smoothly over the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat to medium and
bring to a boil. STEP 3: (OPTIONAL): Cover pan with a square of wax paper
and lid, pushing down firmly. Steam for 2 to 3 minutes to dissolve the
sugar crystals. (Listen to make sure the pot doesn't boil over. To
double-check, remove lid, leaving the wax paper in place.) STEP 4: Wash
down any crystals clinging to the sides with a brush dipped in hot water
from the thermometer bath. Introduce the prewarmed thermometer. No need to
stir. STEP 5: Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. If your mixer
is a heavy duty one, you can wait until the bubbles in the syrup become
very large and airy before beating the egg whites. Otherwise, do it now
when the thermometer registers 240 Degrees F. (115.5 C.). STEP 6: Test the
syrup when the thermometer registers 246 degrees F. (119 C.). Continue
testing until it reach the firm-ball stage, 246 to 260 degrees F. (119 to
126.5 C.). Syrup will be hard to scrape up in ice water.
It will have to be forced into a ball, but once formed, it should hold its
shape but give under pressure. Return the thermometer to the hot water bath
to soak clean. STEP 7: Dribble the syrup into the egg whites in a slow,
steady stream, beating at slow speed. Tilt the syrup pan to get the last
drop but do not scrape the pan. Once the syrup is completely incorporated,
change to a flat whip if you have one. STEP 8: Have patience and continue
beating.
The amount of time you spend mixing depends on the power of your mixer. If
you have a heavy duty or commercial one, you can go to full speed and make
the divinity in less than 5 minutes. With less powerful ones, it can take
up to 20 minutes. The important thing is to beat at the highest speed of
your mixer.
Also if it is a hot and humid day, it will take longer also. STEP 9: Test
the divinity. The first and most important test occurs when you lift the
beaters. If the candy falls back in ribbons that immediately merge back
into the batter, it isn't done.
Eventually, a stationary column will form between the beaters and the
bowl. Candy will lose its sheen/gloss and stop being sticky; a teaspoonful
dropped onto wax paper will hold its shape, even a peak. If you machine is
laboring and the candy is not quite there yet, you have two choices: Pour
anyway and put into a frost free freezer to set up....or finish by hand.
STEP 10: Fold in the flavorings and nuts and/or other optional items using
the mixer or if very thick, a wooden spoon. STEP 11: Drop or spread the
divinity either on wax paper-covered cookie sheets or the buttered pan.
Dripping it by teaspoon is harder work for you but it ripens quicker and is
ready to eat sooner. A neat trick is to put the candy into a pastry bag and
pipe onto the wax paper. If you spread it in the pan, you will have to
wait up to 24 hours before it is ready. But you maybe one of those that
think it is better when it is 24 hours old. Score and cut into squares.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in a refrigerator.
Makes 1 pound but looks like more. Recipe CANNOT be doubled; it can be
frozen but not for extended periods of time.

From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini