Friday, August 28, 2009

Wheeler’s Pecan Divinity

Wheeler's Pecan DivinityDivinity is one of those candies I’ve never bought before. I’ve had it plenty of times, but it’s always been homemade.

But I was in a nutty & nougat mood on vacation earlier this month, so I picked up this Wheeler’s Pecan Divinity bar. It looked like a fluffy change from French-style nougat. But after opening it and photographing it I was left wondering ... what is divinity?

Divinity is a mixture of sugar and egg whites and of course nuts (I usually encounter it made with walnuts). It’s kind of a cross between marshmallow and nougat - it has the fluffy texture but uses no gelatin like marshmallows do and doesn’t include honey like nougat often does. (More at About Candy.)

Wheeler's Pecan Divinity

This particular divinity bar is quite large, about seven inches long, two inches wide and one inch high. Though that sounds big, it’s quite light - clocking in at only 4 ounces.

It looks like the innards of an old-school Mars Bar (what is now a Snickers Almond) except made with pecans.

Splitting it open it comes apart easily, with a slight graininess to the fluff apparent without even tasting it. I was a bit disappointed when I split it to see that the nuts weren’t incorporated completely, they were just sitting on top. It’s not that I wanted more nuts, but I like nuts that have been imbued with the sugars of a nougat or divinity as well as the flavor they impart.

The divinity smells like egg whites and vanilla. The texture is airy and light but extremely sweet - much sweeter than a meringue, which is mostly egg whites with a little sugar. Instead this was mostly sugar with a little eggs to bind it together. The nuts gave a good woodsy note to it, but they really weren’t as dense as I wanted.

The sweetness and graininess was just not what I was looking for in my store-bought divinity. But since I have so little reference to what real divinity is supposed to be like, I have little notion of whether or not this is good for what it’s supposed to be. In a vacuum I have to say that I’m hard pressed to finish the bar and that’s mostly a disappointment because I paid $6.50 for it.

Related Candies

  1. Elmer’s Dark Chocolate Heavenly Hash & Gold Brick Eggs
  2. Snickers Rockin’ Nut Road Bar
  3. Ferrara Nougats
  4. Nutpatch Nougats
  5. Massam’s Nougat
  6. Nougat de Montelimar
Name: Pecan Divinity
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Wheeler's (Indianola Pecan House)
Place Purchased: Sweet Offerings (Cambria, CA)
Price: $6.50
Size: 4 ounces
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Nougat, United States, Nuts

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:35 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. I always thought Divinity was just a marshmallow with some pecans stuck in it.  It is super easy to make at home, and it probably tastes better than this store bought stuff anyway.  And at $6.50 for 4 ounces of candy, making it at home would be a whole lot cheaper too.

    Comment by Luke on 8/28/09 at 2:52 pm #
  2. As I remember from childhood, it is not easy to make. It is one of those candies that depends on the weather. It is a Southern favorite (especially when made with pecans), but doesn’t usually turn out in humid weather. It is probably considerably easier to make here in California that it was to make growing up in Mississippi.

    Personally, I find that store bought divinity is no match for homemade. And while the divinity chocolates at See’s are tasty, they are nothing like the real thing.

    Comment by Lib M. on 8/29/09 at 7:21 pm #
  3. I had never purchased divinity before about a month ago either. Having read your blog in order up till that point i was familiar with your love of nougat and when I saw exactly this same item at cracker barrel I thought it would be the same thing. I was wrong, it tasted just like you described, super super sweet and lightly grainy. i had been hoping for chewy at least and was disappointed that the grainy sugariness kind of dissolved while chewing instead of having any “body” or good texture

    Since your description matched my experience I have renewed hope that once I finally come across a big plank of actual nougat I will love it

    PS while I was at the same cracker barrel I also got the dark chocolate dipped lime flavored coconut patties you had reviewed and I really really enjoyed them. I was in AZ and while the heat made the choc want to melt, the lime in the coconut ( see what I did there? ) was very refreshing and moist

    Comment by joni on 10/01/10 at 3:28 pm #
  4. Hi there,
    Here’s THE divinity recipe from one old Southern gal….from HER mother!

    Emily’s Divinity

    3 c. sugar
    1/2 c. white Karo corn syrup
    1/2 c. water

    Mix above in a med saucepan and cook over med. heat until sugar mixture, poured off a wooden spoon into the saucepan, “spins a long thread” (probably about 5-7 minutes of mixture bubbling or the soft crack stage)
    Set aside. 

    2 egg whites - put in large mixing bowl and beat w/hand mixer (or standing mixer) until stiff peaks form.

    have 1 1/2 t. vanilla (I use Adam’s Best vanilla)
    ready to pour into mixture.

    1 c. chopped pecans (or you can use walnuts)

    Pour still hot sugar mixture into stiff egg whites while beating, then add vanilla…and beat until mixture loses its gloss - or for about 5 minutes.
    Fold in chopped nuts (optional)
    Already have long pieces of waxed paper laid out on counter and take a couple of teaspoons and use one to dip into the candy mixture and use the other to push the candy off the spoon onto the waxed paper.  If you have cooked the sugar mixture to the proper hardness, this candy will start “setting up” fairly quickly.  Let cool and ENJOY!
    Can leave out for a drier candy, or can put in containers to keep moister.  Delicious either way and Great for giving on a candy tray to friends.

    Comment by CR on 12/25/10 at 10:12 am #
  5. My grandma was a master divinity maker, but she liked to use black walnuts in hers.

    Comment by Diana on 12/10/11 at 7:24 am #
  6. It was a sweet beginning for you and Mr Me9langer and there is no doubt that you have many sweet decedas together ahead.  I remember telling you what a perfect omen that was !  I’ll always think of your anniversary at the Jewish New Year !  My fellow list- and pile-maker (haha), we do have an awful lot in common   I am thrilled that you made the nougat and that my recipe could provide some sweet inspiration.  I am now inspired to make it again   using YOURS ! (looks good for Christmas too, green and red)Thank you again for the behind-the-scenes, I love when you share how your recipe ideas come together, the monthly theme candidates all very cool.  Oh, and love the doilies too !

    Comment by Reymark on 1/03/13 at 9:12 pm #
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