Divinity Fudge for a Heavenly Holiday


Imagine a fluffy confection as white as a marshmallow, studded with nuts, a melt-in-your-mouth meringue, as unlike fudge in texture as anything could be. That would be Divinity Fudge.

Richard McLaughlin of Machias sent a recipe named “Jeanette Stuart’s Divinity Fudge” after I inquired for a recipe last summer. You see, it occurred to me that I ought to find a good recipe for Divinity because our island Sewing Circle Fair always has a fudge table—the solid, rich chocolate or peanut butter kinds that leave grease marks. Someone had come by the table and asked for Divinity Fudge, of which we had none. I figured I could practice making it at Christmas for next summer’s fair. So I did.

My mother never made Divinity, so I never learned to make the stuff at her knee. Instead I turned to YouTube to watch a video or two of Divinity Fudge assembly because, frankly, I am a little intimidated by confectionery-making. I picked a sunny day and it all went more smoothly than I expected, but Richard had written reassuringly, “We have used this recipe without failure in all kinds of weather,” so I should have known it would.

Jeanette’s recipe leaves the amount of nuts to the cook’s discretion. I added about a cup and a half of walnuts and pecans mixed. It could’ve taken more. Divinity is by nature wicked sweet; as you may know by now, I don’t have as sweet a tooth as this stuff deserves. I plan to dip some of my pieces in chocolate ganache or dribble melted chocolate over them.

An electric mixer is helpful. You’ll want to use the whisk attachment for the egg whites and then shift to the paddle for the rest of process. Jeanette did her final mixing by hand, but I wimped out and used the mixer. It went quickly enough that the final by-hand mixing wouldn’t have been that tedious. Be sure to dig out your candy thermometer, too.

This makes a large batch. I spread some in a buttered eight-by-eight pan then cut into inch-sized squares; the rest I dropped on parchment paper, producing about four dozen delicate little gobs. Make the pieces as large or dainty as you wish.

P.S. Last week I forgot to provide the baking temperature for the Chewy Noels. You need good old 350 degrees. Now, for certain I’ll leave something out of a future recipe or put something in that doesn’t belong there. Some of you email me right away with questions so I find out pretty quickly when I mess up. When I do, and you notice, and if you have access to computer, just enter “Taste Buds BDN” in the search box, and you will find my blog where I post all the repairs to goofy recipes.

Jeanette Stuart's Divinity Fudge
  • 4 ½ cups white sugar
  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
  1. Generously butter a nine-by-thirteen baking pan.
  2. In a heavy saucepan, over a moderate heat, mix together the sugar, corn syrup and water, stirring steadily until the sugar is melted.
  3. Install the candy thermometer, and bring the syrup to a boil, then adjust the temperature to maintain the boil and bring the syrup to 234 degrees.
  4. While you wait for the syrup to get to temperature, separate the eggs, and put the whites in the mixing bowl and beat them until they form stiff peaks. Remove the whisk attachment and attach the paddle.
  5. When the syrup is at 234 degrees, pour half of it gradually into the mixing bowl with the motor running fairly fast, to mix the syrup and whites. Turn off the mixer.
  6. Return the syrup to the stove and bring it up to 280 degrees. When it is hot enough, gradually add the rest of the syrup to the already beaten mixture with the mixer running steadily.
  7. Beat in the vanilla and nuts, and either finish beating by hand or by mixer until the candy will hold its shape.
  8. Spread the candy in the baking pan and allow it to cool slightly before cutting into the desired size pieces.


Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.