Delight your taste buds with this classic Southern confection known as Divinity Candy. A heavenly blend of sugar, light corn syrup, and pecans creates a delectable treat that’s both nougat-like and fudge-like, but without the chocolate. A taste so divine, it’s aptly named!
Indulge in the classic Southern Divinity Candy with Pecans, a delightful fusion of sugar, light corn syrup, and pecans. This nougat and fudge-like treat is pure heaven in every bite! Perfect for sweet moments or as a gift.
- 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped pecans, unroasted
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prepare Ingredients: Start by ensuring all your ingredients are ready. This is crucial since candy-making can be time-sensitive.
- Chop Pecans: Take 1 cup of unroasted pecans and chop them finely. If you store your pecans in the freezer, ensure they’re at room temperature to avoid the candy from seizing.
- Separate Egg Whites: Crack the eggs and carefully separate the yolks from the whites. Remember, you only need the egg whites. Ensure no yolk residue is in the whites, as this could prevent them from whipping properly.
- Prepare the Syrup: In a medium, heavy-duty saucepan, combine the sugar, light corn syrup, water, and salt. Heat the mixture over medium to medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves completely.
- Monitor the Syrup: Once the mixture begins boiling, attach a candy thermometer to the saucepan. Let it cook without stirring until it reaches 260 degrees Fahrenheit, which might take about 8-10 minutes. If you’re at a higher altitude, adjust the temperature by decreasing two degrees for every thousand feet above sea level.
- Whip the Egg Whites: While the syrup is boiling, take your egg whites and, using a whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat them on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. The peaks should maintain their shape when the whisk is lifted.
- Combine Syrup and Egg Whites: Once the syrup reaches the desired temperature, slowly drizzle it into the whipped egg whites while the mixer is running. This should take around two minutes. This process will cook the egg whites and increase their volume.
- Continue Beating: Beat the mixture until it thickens and becomes less glossy. Periodically test the mixture by dropping a spoonful onto a baking sheet. If it holds its shape and doesn’t puddle after a few seconds, it’s ready.
- Add Vanilla and Pecans: Now, mix in the vanilla extract and the chopped pecans. Stir just enough to evenly distribute the ingredients. (source: Ineskohl.info)
- Shape the Candy: Using two spoons, drop spoonfuls of the candy mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. If you desire, press a whole pecan onto the top of each piece for added decoration.
- Let Set: Allow the divinity candy to set for a few minutes. Once set, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5-7 days.
Tips and Insights: Crafting the Perfect Divinity Candy
- Weather Watch: Avoid making divinity on humid or rainy days. Moisture in the air can prevent the candy from setting properly. Ideally, opt for a dry day with low humidity.
- The Importance of Timing: Divinity is all about timing. It’s essential to keep an eye on the sugar syrup’s temperature and the consistency of the beaten egg whites.
- Use Fresh Eggs: Older eggs can produce less stable foams, making it harder to get a perfect candy texture. Always use fresh eggs for the best results.
- Avoid Crystalization: Occasionally brush the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water. This will help prevent sugar crystals from forming.
- Candy Thermometer: Invest in a good candy thermometer. It ensures the sugar reaches the perfect temperature. Without one, it’s easy to overcook or undercook the syrup, leading to texture issues.
- Be Patient: While adding the syrup to the egg whites, pour slowly. A rapid pour can result in scrambled egg whites or a mixture that doesn’t set properly.
- Stirring Pecans: Fold the pecans gently into the candy mixture to avoid deflating the airy texture.
- Storage: Store divinity candy in single layers between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container. This prevents them from sticking together and maintains their shape.
- Nut Variations: If you’re not a fan of pecans or have allergies, you can replace them with chopped walnuts, almonds, or even leave them out entirely.
- Flavor Add-ins: For a twist on the classic, consider adding a few drops of peppermint or almond extract instead of vanilla.