When most people think of making treats at home they think BROWNIES! Some people, like our friend Bonnie, think of making CANDY. Yay! Candy making is considered by some to be an art and one that takes a lot of care, time and attention to do well. Bonnie is now ten years old but she has been making candy since she was five, so half of her life, which makes her practically an expert.
What makes candy different from cookies, cakes and brownies (oh my!) is how you cook it. While all those things are usually baked in the oven, candies, like: Divinity, seafoam, and fudge are cooked on a stove top. Did you know that you can make your own candy at home? Think caramel, homemade truffles, old-fashioned hardboiled sweets or even old-fashioned pulled taffy.
Every candy starts with one or two ingredients:
- Some form of sugar, and
- Water or milk
In candy, making sugar and liquid are boiled until they do something called caramelize – which means turn into syrup. What kind of candy you get using this process depends on how much sugar or honey you use, how long you leave the mixture on to boil, and at what temperature you boil it.
So, lots of sugar at high temperature and you will get something like a lollypop. If you use less sugar at a lower temperature think GOOEY. Today, Bonnie and Nebula House are making something in the middle – a Honey Divinity. Or, as it is called here in Europe, Nougat!
Bonnie’s Best Spring Honey Divinity
- 1.5 cups of spring honey
- 1/2 cup of water
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon of white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or scrapings from the inside of a vanilla bean (or substitute with lemon extract, fleur d’orange, almond extract or rosewater)
- dash of salt
- ½ cup nuts or dried fruits
- food coloring (a couple of drops to give the divinity a pastel color for the Springtime)
Boil honey and water until syrup spins into a thread. Or, you can use a candy thermometer and continue cooking until the syrup gets to 243 degrees (ask a grow-up to supervise this part). A third way to check and see if the syrup is ready, is to take a cup of cold water and drop a teaspoon of the mixture into the cold water. If you can reach in the cup of water and pick up the syrup because it has formed a hard ball, then you can remove it from the heat. It’s done! Yay.
Once removed from the heat, pour the syrup over the egg whites, and whip together with a mixer, whisk or fork until it begins to set (which means harden and form a shape that you can’t change). When it is still soft scoop out with a spoon and drop the spoonfuls onto waxed paper.
Ta Da! Bonnie’s Best Spring Honey Divinity. Gideon is gonna love this!!!!