My mom was a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen. Could she ever bake! Her chocolate chip cookies were legendary, and visiting relatives always asked for them. At Christmas, she made divinity fudge. And we loved it so much, especially my sister, that mom would have to hide it so that we wouldn’t eat it all before Christmas. I’m pretty sure most years she’d figure out where it was hidden anyway, and sneak pieces.
Now making divinity fudge was finicky business. The weather had to be good. It’s best made on a sunny day, as humidity messes it up? Or something like that?
And stirring… that required all hands on deck. Mom would stir. I would stir. My brother (I think) and my sister (if she was home) would stir. Dad would stir. The thought would cross everybody’s mind… “How did little old ladies back in the day make this fudge?” The stirring would go on forever until the shine had dulled and it was deemed finished.
High maintenance? Maybe.
But it was something I would help mom with every year. Right along with baking shortbread cookies and cherry cheesecake.
I would stand at the stove and stir the pot of corn syrup and sugar until it all dissolved and she watched the candy thermometer.
Man, did candy thermometers intimidate me.
But then the Alzheimer’s came, and, well, mom couldn’t do the fudge anymore.
Dad decided to try one year, more to keep the tradition alive than anything, and I tried to help, but now that I’m working and only home for a few days over the holidays, battling with finicky divinity fudge wasn’t really at the top of my Christmas fun list.
So divinity fudge fell to the wayside… what with me being scared of the candy thermometer and all, and mom not being capable.
But this year I decided to give it a try. I’d gotten over my fear of the candy thermometer a couple of years ago by learning how to make brown sugar fudge. And surely my trusty KitchenAid could do all that stirring for me, right? ‘Cuz I certainly don’t have an apartment full of stirrers to help me (or bowl lickers)… and I don’t think my yoga arms could handle it on their own.
The sun was shining… a brief reprieve from all of Halifax’s rain and fog, so surely that meant a good fudge making day? Right?
Songza was going with Christmas hits from the 90’s.
Sugar was bubbling away on the stove.
The KitchenAid pulled through.
And miraculously, it all worked out.
Not as traumatizing an experience as I thought.
After telling my sister I’d made divinity she told me fudge was all I needed to give her for Christmas.
And that is why I bake.
I like to make people happy.
Merry Christmas 🙂
Recipe came from my mom’s recipe box… which possibly came from my grandmother or her neighbour
2+2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup water (minus 1 tbsp if humid)
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
- Stir sugar, corn syrup, and water in a pot over low heat until dissolved. Once dissolved, place can thermometer in pot and cook without stirring until 260°F.
- When sugar is almost ready, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. I did this in my stand mixer.
- Continue beating egg whites and slowly stream in hot syrup.
- Add vanilla.
- Continue beating until fudge holds its shape and becomes slightly dull. I let my stand mixer do this for me. I think I had it on speed 4 for about 20-25 minutes.
- Drop from a buttered spoon onto wax paper and let dry out.