My Grandma Virtue, who is now gone, made candy every year at Christmas. She was a master at it. She made fudge that was smooth, never sugary. Her most amazing candy was her divinity. It was white, fluffy and never got dried out. It was all legendary.
She left us her recipes. I don’t think she left anything out, but we can’t make her divinity. I think it isn’t the ingredients but other things that she did not think to write about that made the difference.
- She said it had to be sunny to make candy. I have heard that it can’t be raining, but Grandma insisted on sunshine with not a cloud in the sky.
- You had to use C&H cane sugar. No beet sugar allowed.
- You had to cook your syrup to hard crack. Hard crack is not a temperature, I learned once when sitting with my Grandma who could no longer see. My mom was cooking and said it was right to take off the stove. Grandma said no. I got up and looked at the temp, and the water test she had done it all looked right. We learned that is only a hard crack if it makes a cracking sound when the syrup makes when it is dropped in to the water that came from her tap. Her water was colder than normal tap water as she was on a well, not city water.
- I think another thing that counted was the shape of the bowl she used. I think that the bowl shape made a difference in why her divinity was so fluffy. I am not sure, but I think she used those vintage Pyrex nesting bowls, each size a different color.
- Lastly I think she knew when to stop beating with the mixer and finish beating by hand. If you stop too soon it won’t get fluffy, it you stop too late it doesn’t set up right.
My mom, aunt and I have all tried making her divinity. None of us have hit the mark yet.