One item on my life list is “make nougat”. Spurred on by the butter toffee success, I thought that I’d most like to make nougat next. I read a lot of recipes for it, and they sounded sort of complicated. Then I read some recipes for Divinity instead. The only difference between making nougat and making Divinity, I saw, was that nougat requires that after blending beaten egg whites without about half of your hard-ball-stage syrup, you heat the rest to near hard-crack before blending it in. So the Divinity process is basically an easier version of the nougat process. Easier is good, right now.
I had had Divinity exactly one other time in my life. I remember that I was staying with my grandparents when I was about twelve years old, and one morning Aunt Mary stopped in for coffee (the way she often did) and brought some with her. At the time, I thought it was the most perfect thing I’d ever tasted.
Eighteen years later, I’m now absolutely sure that it’s the most perfect thing I’ve ever tasted.
I think that I didn’t whip the mixture long enough after combining the beaten egg whites with the sugar syrup, because initially the Divinity didn’t set up very hard. It wasn’t stiff enough to pick pieces up intact, but neither was it soft enough to ice a cake with. Since it’s really a meringue, I thought that twenty minutes in the oven at a low temp with the convection on would firm it up, and I was right. It is perfect now. In the future, I’ll try whipping it not just until it loses its gloss, but until it’s really, really thick. Barely workable.
I used this recipe plus about a cup of finely chopped pecans, and coconut extract instead of vanilla (because ALL the vanilla was used in Christmas cookies). I think it couldn’t be better.