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Divinity fudge is a type of sweet confection that is made mostly of air, egg whites and sugar that are cooked and whipped together, and then allowed to cool into light and fluffy puffs or squares. The candy bears a closer resemblance to a sugary meringue than to the traditionally dense chocolate-flavored fudges that often come to mind when fudge is mentioned. Most often, divinity fudge also includes ingredients such as nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips or even small pieces of premade candy. The extra flavorings can be placed on top of the candy as it is drying or incorporated directly into the batter. One notable aspect about divinity fudge is that the candy will not dry properly if there is a high level of humidity in the area, largely because the sugars in the batter will draw moisture out of the air, leaving the fudge sticky even after several hours of drying.
Like many candies, divinity fudge begins by combining water, sugar and corn syrup in a pan and then heating the mixture until it has reached the firm-ball sugar stage, one of the first stages that can be encountered when making candy. The heated sugar mixture is then divided in half. Meanwhile, egg whites are whipped until they have reached the soft peak stage, so they are firm but still yielding. Half of the hot sugar mixture is then carefully poured into the egg whites while they are being constantly whisked, both to incorporate as much air as possible and to ensure that the whites do not cook.
The remaining half of the sugar mixture is placed back over heat until the sugar has reached the soft-crack candy stage. At this point, the sugar mixture is incorporated slowly into the egg whites in the same fashion as before. Once the sugar is fully combined, any other ingredients that are being used are also mixed in. The mixture is then whipped for a very long time so as much air as possible is worked into the batter. When the batter is done, the sugary, glossy sheen will have faded from the surface and the batter will hold its shape when pulled up with a spoon.
Divinity fudge batter can be formed into cookie-like shapes or puffy dollops, or it can be poured into a shallow sheet pan to make a solid layer that can be cut later. After some time, the fudge will dry and the surface will not be sticky when touched. Some of the most common ingredients that can be placed on top of divinity fudge — or worked into the batter near the end — are pecans, walnuts, vanilla, chocolate chips and dried cherries. If the batter does not dry properly, then the weather might be too humid, meaning the divinity fudge will remain sticky on the outside, although it can be dusted with ground nuts to help reduce the stickiness while being eaten.
Homemade candy of any kind just tends to do better when it is not humid, and preferably when it's cold and dry. The same principle holds for seven-minute frosting: the results are variable if the weather is warm.
Using a candy thermometer is an absolute must when making divinity in particular. It's a fussy candy and needs careful attention if it is to turn out well. It's not nearly as forgiving as regular fudge. It can go very bad, very quickly, and with no warning.
Candy making is a fussy art in general, and requires time and patience in abundance.
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