This was an unmitigated disaster. I won’t attempt to make excuses for this one at all. It was dreadful!! The recipe supplied by Marguerite Patten (who has never failed me before!) asked for powdered gelatin which I didn’t have so I substituted for leaf gelatine. Not entirely sure if this is a reasonable substitution and I had to guess the number of leaves required too… I think the sheer amount of guess work and hoping for the best resulted in terrible Turkish Delight, I take all the blame.
Having visited Turkey many many times, it’s one of my favourite places. So hot and so beautiful! I always enjoy sampling the local delicacies, rose and mint flavoured Turkish Delight are my favourites along with the apple tea of course! I wish I could make it properly at home.
The recipe asked for the
Then to add the gelatin…
Then to let it simmer until it reached the soft ball stage. This is when you drop some of the mixture into cold water it forms a soft ball. If only I had a sugar thermometer it would take all of the guess work (fun) out of the experiment…
The recipe called for Tartaric Acid. This is something I’ve never heard of, nor seen in any shops, ever. Rummaging in my cupboards I discovered Cream of Tartar. Surely this is the same thing, right? NO, It’s really really not. As soon as I added it to the syrup it shrank back dramatically into the pan, losing its white frothiness.
At this stage according to Marguerite it should be a lovely Turkish Delight consistency so you can add rose essence and pink food colouring…
I succeeded in making a solid block of pink sugar instead of lovely chewy transparent Turkish Delight. I refused to let this beat me, so tried to melt the block down again by adding more water. Now if I was trying to make Kendal Mint Cake, this would be perfect…
Undeterred I found a different recipe for Lokum (Turkish Delight) that uses Cornflour rather than gelatin that I thought might be more traditional and easier to make. How easily deluded I am!
Then supposedly once it’s reduced enough it should magically transform into Turkish Delight…
I simply can’t figure it out! Is it me? Should I give up guessing and follow recipes properly? Should I buy a thermometer? Maybe I should give this one last try…
I have a recipe from Rachel Allen “Home Cooking” which uses powdered gelatine, cornflour and cream of tartar (amongst other things). The recipie is quite long winded – with a couple of different stages to the ones you mentioned trying.
sugar termometer a must for all kinds of reasons I think mine was only a couple of quids.
Good luck :0)
Thanks very much. I think I will be purchasing a thermometer very soon. I will have to have a look for Rachel Allen recipe. ve watched a couple of her tv programmes and she’s good!
I never make things with gelatin in them (panna cotta, etc.). I eat them in restaurants.
I admire your perseverance. I’ve never made turkish delight so can’t help you there. I did however invest in a thermometer which I have found useful. Hope you find a recipe that works!
Thank you. I have another bag of sugar in the cupboard thats just begging to be turned into something delightful very soon
I really want to make this! I have a recipe by Annie Rigg and if I do make it, I’ll let you know if it’s a goodie and forward it on!
Please do! I would love to see how your Turkish Delight turns out too
I take a firm stance on all things candy of “people spent hundreds of years making candy without thermometers, and I can too!” Even more so since candy thermometer are notoriously hard to get a good read from.
Caramel and toffee are very easy to do sans thermometer because it is all about color. My marshmallow adventures were slightly rockier. So concerned about overcooking the sugar, first time I definitely undercooked it.
Something that helped for me was to just sacrifice some sugar and water (for science!) and just keep cooking, dropping dollops into glasses the whole way, and paying attention to how the bubbles look, until I had a much clearer idea of what the different stages were. My guess is the second time round, you under cooked your sugar.
This is a pretty good video that shows you the stages and what the sugar looks like boiling at soft ball stage: http://www.epicurious.com/video/technique-videos/technique-videos-sugar/1915458786/sugar-reaching-sugars-softball-stage/1915433371
Thanks so much for your comment. I totally agree. I went to a local museum where they have a traditional sweet shop and watched them make cinder toffee and boiled sweets using the traditional methods. It was spectacular watching the cinder toffee expanding and frothing! I figured that it’s got to be do-able without a thermometer, if a little dangerous in my hands. (I managed to scald my face last night with a pan of boiling water whilst making jam…) I’m hoping with a bit more practice I will perfect my technique! I’ve managed to make Italian meringue without a thermometer and some caramel. I think you’re right if I had kept the second batch on the hob for a little bit longer it might have set a bit better, but I panicked as it looked like it was welding to the bottom of the pan, so quickly scooped it out.
I’m definitely going to keep experimenting!
The best part about dealing with sugar is that is is water soluble. As long as things aren’t burnt-black, 15 minutes of soaking in warm water will get the goo out nicely.
Trying to scrub it out without soaking is another matter entirely. . .
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I’m guessing that you stirred your sugar in the first instance. This will cause it to crystallise. Creme of tartare will prevent crystals forming as it cools, but won’t help if it is already forming crystals.
Thanks for the tips. I will have to try it again soon.
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