Mama and Sue’s Microwave Divinity
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I can’t tell you how much I’ve enjoyed reading all of your precious comments on the story I wrote for my Tiger Butter post, thank you! I’ve answered many of them and hope to have time to sit and answer all them soon. For now though, I’m buzzing around doing Mama and Christmas things and I wanted to take a break long enough to show you how to make Mama and Aunt Sue’s Divinity.
Last year around Christmas I had to go to New York to do some television appearances and I took Mama with me. On those appearances I was talking about Southern foods and gifting food as presents. One of those foods was divinity and we had the hardest time explaining to news anchors around the world during each of the broadcasts what divinity was! One of the people on set finally told folks who didn’t understand it that it was kind of like a fluffy white fudge. While that really isn’t how I’d describe it, I guess it is as close as I can come to describing it if I don’t have the option of popping a piece in your mouth for you to see for yourself, so fluffy white fudge ended up being the description to all 14 cities I broadcast to that day.
Divinity gets a bad rap as being overly difficult to make but it really isn’t. This is an old fashioned recipe that will taste like what you grew up with (or like what I grew up with if you have never had it) but we add a little shortcut to the cooking process by using the microwave. This cuts out the need for a thermometer and also leaves you free to beat the egg whites and prepare the pan so you end up with only about ten minutes of actual prep and work on your part.
You’ll need: Light corn syrup, salt, eggs, sugar, clear vanilla, pecan halves (optional), and water.
I know, I know, some folks are all fired up about corn syrup killin’ ya and all that. I think meanness will send you the grave a lot quicker than corn syrup so as long as you try to be a kind and sweet person, have a little corn syrup now and again coz you got extra years comin’ to ya
Measure out your water and corn syrup.
I put my water in a measuring cup first and then add my corn syrup. This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of each so it’s easy to measure them out in the same cup. The benefit of doing this is that when you put your water in first the corn syrup doesn’t stick to the cup as bad. This entire section here is kinda useless information so take it or leave it
So in a large microwave safe bowl, place sugar, water, salt, and corn syrup.
Make sure this is a good microwave safe bowl. This one is called a batter bowl and that spout there is going to make it a LOT easier to add my hot liquid to my egg whites later.
Note: This is going to get hot because we’re going to cook it. If you have ever been tempted to sue McDonald’s because they served you coffee that was hot, you should really stay away from this recipe. I also don’t suggest having kids help with this one. It is really easy, but an advanced level of common sense is required.
Stir this up a bit and place in the microwave for four minutes on high.
Stir, and microwave for 9 minutes.
This is not a type-o.
I know that cooking this for 9 minutes in the microwave may seem scary, but so is reality tv and look how many folks embrace that?
Give me 9 minutes with some microwave technology any day.
NOTE: See notes at bottom of this post for important cooking tips based on your microwave
While that is cooking….
Separate your eggs, whites from yolks.
We’re only going to use whites in this recipe so you can do something else with those yolks – put them in a pudding, scramble them for you, etc. I would never advocate tossing them out because that causes email flurries from disgruntled people so if you decide to toss them you might want to keep that to yourself Speaking from experience here.
I know my rambling is odd in this post. I mean, I always ramble, but I usually ramble because my thoughts are just filled with things I want to tell you. The difference in this rambling is that it is coming from sleep deprivation. This is why I try not to write posts in the evenings. Because I’ve been up about 15 hours and I get loopy. Wouldn’t it be neat if we got to go to bed after we had been awake 12 hours? I’d get to go to bed at 4:30 pm just about every day! WOOHOO!
Place your egg whites in a very, very, very clean mixing bowl.
An electric mixer is IDEAL for this because you really need both hands when making divinity. This is also one of those recipes that you really don’t want to start if you are alone with very young children who are going to want you to stop every five seconds to get them something to drink, fix their toy, take them potty, change the channel, wipe their nose, find out what they are doing to cause the dog to yelp, or just discover the purpose behind random screams of “Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama! Mama!”. Obviously, I speak from experience here, too Maybe divinity gets its name from how divine it is to come up with ten uninterrupted minutes to make it….
Okay now while our syrup is a cookin’ in that ole microwave, we wanna beat the living mess out of our egg whites. Until stiff peak forms,like this. That means basically, that you beat it holds it’s shape.
Egg White Hints
1. Make sure your bowl is very very clean. If there is any greasy residue, your egg whites won’t whip properly.
2. Make sure you don’t get any yolks in with your whites because that will also prevent them from whipping properly. I just separate my eggs by breaking it in two and gently tipping the white out of the shell while keeping the yolk in the shell BUT there are little egg white separators out there you can buy for a dollar or two. Another way to do it is to break the egg into the palm of your hand and hold your hand over a bowl, gently spread your fingers apart just a bit and tip your hand so that the white goes through your fingers into the bowl but the yolk stays in your hand (it won’t go through your fingers if you don’t spread them much).
Once these are whipped and stiff, set aside until your syrup is done.
Here is our syrup, just got done cooking in the microwave.
I got it out with a dish towel wrapped around the handle and sat it down on a hot pad. Notice it’s still boiling?
Public service announcement: Cooked things are hot. Boiling things are really hot.
Turn your mixer on high and pour a very thin stream really slowly into your egg whites while your mixer is going.
Shortly after doing this you’ll notice an immediate texture change in your egg whites. They’ll go from feeling like meringue to feeling almost like a dough of sorts, albeit a very sticky dough.
As soon as you get it all poured in, add your vanilla, keeping the mixer going the whole time.
Now continue to beat for 4 or five minutes until it loses it’s gloss and looks like this.
Quickly drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.
I use two spoons and scoop a spoonful out with one and scrape it off onto the paper with the other.
As soon as I’m done getting them all on there I go back and shape them into balls with my hands but you’ve got to work fast here.
Press a pecan half into the top of each one, if’n ya want to.
You can skip the pecans, too. It’s a free country (but pecans are expensive).
Some people put little candied cherries on top in place of the pecans. Not the maraschino ones but the candied ones like you use in fruitcakes.
Allow to cool completely (this will happen fast) and then store in an airtight container.
Enjoy your perfectly divine divinity!
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“Your children will become who you are, so be who you want them to be.”
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IMPORTANT NOTE:I have a 1000w microwave. This recipe has never failed myself, my mother, or my Aunt Sue. Please check the wattage of your microwave before attempting. If you have a much older model of microwave or a higher wattage, you can use this same recipe and cook your syrup on the stovetop until it reaches a temp of 260 on a candy thermometer.
Special thanks to Tom and Sue, who emailed me and told me what they did to make this recipe work in their higher wattage microwave. Tom has a 1300 watt microwave and he cut the cooking time in half and the recipe turned out perfectly Please check the power of your microwave and adjust accordingly.