Turkish delight is my grandfather’s favourite treat. Or at least I have been lead to believe that it is – every Christmas, every birthday and any other special occasion we heap the stuff on him. Perhaps he hates the stuff and is just too polite to say so….year on year just piling the stuff up in a cupboard to keep us happy. Oh well, I really hope that isn’t the case seeing as I’ve just made some cracking homemade turkish delight especially for him.
Pros: They taste amazing! I don’t really like turkish delight in the first place but this stuff is amazing, just enough of a hint of lemon and rosewater.
Cons: It’s a fair bit of faff to make – specialist ingredients like rosewater are required, as well as waiting around for everything to get to the right temperature.
Olive oil spray
800g (4 cups) caster sugar
1L (4 cups) water
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
3 tbs gelatine powder
130g (1 cup) cornflour
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp rosewater essence
Red or pink food colouring
300g (2 cups) icing sugar mixture
1) Grease a 20cm square pan with oil, and then line the base and sides with greaseproof paper.
2) Place the sugar and 2 cups of water into a heavy based pan, and cook at a low temperature until all the sugar has melted. Turn the temperature up and let the mixture boil for around 25 minutes, until it measures 125C on a candy thermometer. When it has reached this temperature, add in the lemon juice.
3) In the meantime, add a little (I used 1 cup) of the remaining water to a pan and add in the gelatine, cornflour and cream of tarter. Whisk to form a stiff paste. Add in the rest of the water and whisk, then gradually boil the mixture, which should take 3-5 minutes.
4) Once the paste mix has boiled, slowly stir in the hot sugar syrup to the mixture. If it becomes lumpy at this point, you can strain it through a sieve. Let this mixture cook for about an hour at a low heat, until the candy thermometer reads 110C. The mixture should be thick and lightly golden by this point. I found that this didn’t take an hour to get to 110C and that my mixture was pretty light golden to start with – but I cooked it for an hour at a low temperature anyway.
5) Add the rosewater and a few drops of red or pink food colouring and stir in. Pour the mixture into the pre-lined tin and leave to set overnight.
6) Once set, remove from tin and cut into squares. I found that a pizza wheel worked great for this, and also that it was much easier to remove the turkish delight once it was cut into squares, rather than a whole sheet. Turn the squares in a bowl of icing sugar to coat.