Turkish Delight or Lokum in Turkish and Albanian are sweet, soft and chewy treats. They come in a variety of flavours and colours, but are most commonly made with rose water and are pink. Many of you may have learned about them from reading or watching the Chronicles of Narnia (Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe), and some from growing up eating them or from traveling to Turkey, for me I grew up with them.
Turkish delights are traditionally served to guests along with Turkish coffee, they do go great together, but do not forget the water! Water washes away the bitterness of the coffee and the sweetness of the lokum.
My grandfather Haxhi would make a huge pan of them, they were delicious and soft, I loved them so much! I will never forget biting into those big soft squares as a kid, much like Edmund from the book…a face full of icing sugar, sweet memories. Mine didn’t turn out big or thick, if I wanted I could have used a smaller pan, but I kinda like them thinner, you can get away with eating more.
Coincidentally the inventor of the Turkish delights was nicknamed Haci, or Haxhi in Albanian pronounced Hajji, just thought that was a cool fact to add in!
If you are a regular at candy making this will be a breeze for you, for those that are new to candy making trust me if you follow the instructions they will turn out perfect as well!
I experimented with the recipe a few times now before I shared it, I tried making it with more cornstarch, it turned out cloudy, I tried with both caster (quick dissolving sugar) and regular sugar, regular sugar works just fine, another time I used both and it turned out good as well. So long as the sugar is fine. I use the same pure cane sugar for my jam, it dissolves wonderfully.
Have everything measured and ready to use, being organized with all of ingredients, utensils, and cups on hand.
You will need 2 measuring cups, a whisk, wooden spoon, a large pot, a tablespoon, 13 xn 9 inch pan, and a sheet of wax paper.
What you will need:
- 3 cups sugar
2 cups water
4 tbsp gelatin (such as Handi halal gelatin)
1/2 cup cornstarch
100 ml water
1 tbsp rose water
food colouring if desired
1 and 1/2 cups approx icing sugar (powder sugar)
2 tbsp cornstarch
Before you start anything, line your pan with wax paper, and dust it with one tablespoon of cornstarch combined with 1/2 cup or so of icing sugar. Set aside.
Squeeze juice from lemon.
In your pot, combine the sugar, lemon and 2 cups water, stir around. Turn on the heat and stir untl sugar is dissolved, do not boil or allow it to get too hot.
Measure the cornstarch and whisk in the 100 ml of water, stir into the sugar water quickly. Sprinkle in the gelatine and break any lumps and stir quickly with whisk or spoon. Bring to a boil cooking on medium heat, on my glass stove top I use 4 and 5 for my gas very low heat or it will burn.
Once you see the first bubbles, that is the time you start counting. Boil on low to medium heat for 20 minutes, stir often you don’t want anything sticking or burning on the bottom of the pot, stay near the pot do not leave it unattended.
Once 20 minutes are up, you will notice the mixture is thicker and goopy, kinda like a thick hair gel. Remove from heat add in rose water and food colouring if using. I use a red gel colouring that you dip a toothpick in and stir into the mixture, it doesn’t take a lot to colour it. I like to make it a light pink.
Pour over into the prepared pan. Allow to set over night on the counter top. If you are covering it, make sure what ever you use does not touch the top, it will stick to it.
Take the other tablespoon of cornstarch and remaining amount of icing sugar and dust a cutting board lined with parchment paper. Remove the lokum from the pan and flip over onto cutting board. Carefully peel the wax paper off, you can use a pastry cutter, spatula or knife to help you.
Cut into squares, dust with extra icing sugar if needed.
*I use one tablespoon of rose water, you may use two if you like, I don’t like an overwhelming taste or smell of rose water, I find one is perfect.