Ah Turkish delight, I remember when I used to knick you out of the beautiful box you came in which my grandfather hid away in his not-so-secret sweet drawer. I’d always tell myself that I would just take one, that would turn into two and then three… Always the pink ones – never those pale awful white ones – and despite me thinking that my grandfather never noticed, the fact that my grandfather was always left with a box of white turkish delight, eventually gave me away – and probably because I also had icing sugar all over my face! Making your own Turkish delight is so easy – with a little patience and a lot of sugar and rose water, you can have perfect cubes of jelly happiness to wrap as a gift, cover in chocolate, fold into vanilla ice cream or top a cake with (like I did below). I flavoured the whites cubes with orange blossom water instead of whatever gastly flavouring they use in the store-bought boxes. It works so well with the rose water, but you can experiment with folding in roasted almonds, pistachios or safely stick to the rose water. Whatever flavour you decide on, just make sure you hide the sweets in a far more secret place than my grandfather did, otherwise, just like him, you’ll find nothing left in the box!
500g Natura Golden Caster Sugar
juice of 2 lemons
70g cornstarch (Maizena)
25g powdered gelatine
few drops pink food colouring
25ml rose water
25ml orange blossom water
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 cup cornstarch, sifted
Line 2 x standard loaf tins with cling wrap and set aside. Place the sugar, 200ml water and lemon juice in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until completely dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Mix the remaining water with the cornstarch to form a paste then whisk into the simmering mixture gradually. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, while stirring vigorously. Sprinkle over the gelatine powder and stir until dissolved. Divide the mixture into two then two one batch add the pink coloring and rose water, and to the second batch, just the orange blossom water. Pour the sweet mixtures into separate prepared containers and allow to set at room temperature. Combine the icing sugar and cornstarch in an airtight container. Cut the Turkish Delight into 2cm-blocks using a hot knife and dust in the icing sugar and corn starch until coated well. Allow the sweets to mature in the container, tossing them in the icing sugar mixture (you may need to add more if it is absorbing a lot) for a day or two until the sweets stop sweating water. Store in an airtight container.
TIP Allowing the sweets to sweat is an important step in getting the unique texture of Turkish Delight – be patient and don’t skip it!
*Recipe originally created for www.Food24.com