This is one of my favourite sweets of all time! I guess it was made famous in England by Edmund’s Turkish Delight fetish in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, but in America, it’s almost impossible to get hold of. Every now and again you some horrible, chemical tasting nastiness covered in chocolate pretending to be Turkish Delight but it’s just not. This is my first ever batch of Turkish Delight and it couldn’t have turned out better! 😀 I wouldn’t say it was difficult but it is time consuming. It took me about two hours cooking time from start to finish but it is SO worth it at the end. I also managed to multi-task quite a bit while it was simmering so it’s really not as bad as it sounds. It’s also pretty inexpensive as the whole batch cost about $5 but made enough for several gifts.
You will need:
- 2.75 cups of white sugar
- 225ml water
- 1.5tsp fresh lemon juice
- 0.5 cup of cornflour
- 260ml cold water
- 1 drop of rose pink food colouring
- 2.5 tsp of home-made rose water (click or my recipe)
For dusting: 6 parts icing sugar to 1 part cornflour
Place sugar, lemon juice and water in a small pan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Once boiling, simmer gently, without stirring for 25 minutes to create a syrup. The syrup is ready when a small amount, dropped into a glass of cold water, forms a ‘soft ball’ (about 115C). Remove pan from heat.
Place cornflour and cold water in a large pan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and looks like glue. You do NOT want any lumps. I wasn’t really paying attention to mine and ended up with a few lumps so I used a stick blender to whiz them smooth again. Remove pan from heat.
Pour the sugar syrup into the cornflour ‘glue’ and blend with a stick blender until smooth. Place pan over low heat and gently simmer for one hour. At this point, I thought I’d created a monster. It should look kind of yellowy grey and really thick like that rubbery glue that sticks things to the front of magazines. The mixture should not be violently boiling but when you stir it, you should notice a covering of tiny bubbles on the bottom of the pan. Stir every minute for one hour. As the mixture looks pretty much the same throughout this whole step, I reassured myself it was working by dropping a small amount into a glass of cold water every fifteen minutes or so. Every time I did this, the mixture dissolved less and felt more chewy. You don’t have to do this, but it puts your mind at rest. After one hour, remove the pan from the heat.
Add one drop of pink food colouring and the rose water. Mix well. Drop a little mixture into some cold water to cool and check the flavour. If you like, add more rose water to taste. Line a square tin with baking paper and spread in the mixture. Leave uncovered and let it cool over night. Room temperature should be fine, but I put mine in the fridge because I had horrible visions of waking up to find hundreds of mosquitoes and flies stuck in my Turkish delight! Though, on second thoughts, it may have been a good way to get them out of my bedroom!
Turn out onto a cutting board that had been sprinkled with the dusting mix. Peal off the baking paper and you should have something that looks like a Mr. Blobby steak. Cut into bars with a large oiled knife and cover with dusting mix. Cut into cubes and cover again with dusting mix. I used my fingers to rub the cornflour/icing sugar into each individual side of the cubes to make sure they didn’t stick together. Store between layers of baking paper in an airtight container in the fridge. Try not to eat it all at once.
Warning: This substance is highly addictive! Please share! 😀