I think I can safely say that I have never made Divinity until this moment, but this year it was super important to me to make it and master it as much as I possibly can. My grandma always made the best Divinity and I swear she would make it with the greatest of ease. Now that I am older and have watched just shy of a million videos on it, I am now realizing this might not be as easy as I thought it would be. I also have a much better understanding as to why no one else ever wanted to make it.
It seems the number one rule when making Divinity candy is, that you DO NOT make Divinity if there is a rain chance within the days preceding or following! The next, and this one is big, you definitely do not make Divinity Candy if there is any humidity! This one factor will make it interesting for the Divinity novice that I am, I live in Kansas. While most people wouldn't think of there being much humidity here, that is not the case, especially in Eastern Kansas!
My first attempt was a day with 35% humidity and I thought, I got this! I followed the recipe and was confident it was going well until I came back to look at the candy an hour later. It was not good! As my husband said, I made marshmallow fluff! As much as I hate to admit it, he was right, but don't tell him I said that! I reread the recipe, especially the part about how this recipe is "fool-proof" and wondered what I did wrong.
The second attempt came the next day after watching a few more videos and talking to my dad for advice. The humidity level was 34% and I was armed with more information and ready to go! As I started the recipe again, this time I started the sugar, water, salt, and corn syrup on the stovetop first. Then, in my mixer, I added the egg whites and allowed those to start mixing on the whisk attachment. As the egg whites began to foam I stepped back to the stove and gently stirred the syrup mixture that had begun to boil on the stovetop.
Once the egg whites were beaten enough to form stiff peaks, I tapped the whisk attachment on the inside of the bowl to release any extra egg whites and grabbed the paddle attachment. Once the paddle attachment was on and the mixer was back in position I checked the syrup mixture. Remember to continue temperature checking the syrup to confirm when it reaches 240 degrees. As soon as it did, I removed the mixture from the heat and headed to the mixer. Start your mixer and begin very slowly streaming in one-third of the syrup into the mixer. Just eyeball this part. If you want to measure it out you can, but that will be super messy.
After I removed one-third I put the syrup mixture back on the stove to heat the mixture to 265 degrees, as you are doing this, DO NOT turn the mixer off. Allow it to keep running at a medium to medium-high speed during this time. After the syrup mixture is heated to 265 degrees turn off the stove and head back to the running mixer. Again, begin slowly streaming the mixture into the bowl as the paddle attachment is mixing. Once you have streamed the rest of the syrup mixture in, allow the mixer to continue running. This step will take 7-10 minutes depending on various factors.
I set my timer for 5 min and reevaluated once the five minutes were up. You will know when the Divinity is done when it loses its shine and becomes dull. You will also notice a texture change in the mixture, it will be a little rougher not as smooth.
Now, this next step is a decision! As you will see in my Grandma's recipe, she spooned hers out in teaspoons onto parchment. On my first attempt, I tried that, but quickly realized that I did not have the patience for that! On my second attempt, I sprayed parchment paper and placed it in a casserole dish. I then scooped the mixture out and onto the paper and sprayed the best tool in the kitchen, your hands, with cooking spray.
Once my hands were sprayed, I pressed the Divinity down to the desired thickness. I did a little less than half an inch while forming the Divinity into a rectangle as best I could. This made it so much easier, all you have to do is cut it into pieces when it is ready!
I was so pumped to have this recipe come out perfect the second time I made it, once you know what you are doing, I think it is foolproof! LOL With these extra tips and tricks, I have no doubt that your Divinity will come out perfect the first time!