TURKISH DELIGHT or LOUKOUM
I rarely post other people’s recipes here on Lucullian but this time I am (I couldn’t resist something that fits my blog’s name so well, could I?), I have been making Turkish Delight lately and I would like to share it with you, especially as it is not that difficult. Well that is not wholly true but I find it more fiddly than difficult. One thing I learnt doing it is that the need to focus on what I am doing. The first time I made it, I just jumped into it without thinking about the process beforehand and I ended up with a disaster, a thick gluey glop filled with lumps that had hardened into tooth breaking stones through the long cooking but somehow I felt that I couldn’t give in, I had to try it again.
I did some thinking and came up with what I had done wrong. I had used a too big pan, I heated up the corn starch mix to quickly and I should have passed through a sieve. So the next time I made it, I really tiptoed through the whole procedure carefully and it helped, as you can see I managed to make perfectly edible Turkish Delight. But I will make it again because I should have cooked them 15 minutes more I think…. I have added suggestions to the recipe in bold.
TURKISH DELIGHT or LOUKOUM
from Indulge by Claire Clark
makes about 40 pieces
450 g/ 1 lb caster sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
145 g/ 5 oz corn starch/corn flour/Maizena
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp rose water. I used orange flower water instead
250 g/ 9 oz icing
50 g/ 1,75 oz corn starch/corn flour/Maizena
– Line a 15 cm/6 in square baking tin with cling film, then oil the film lightly. Make sure the sides of the pan are lined as well as the base.
– Place the caster sugar, lemon juice and 250 ml/9 fl oz water in a large, heavy-based pan. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, the turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Put a sugar thermometer in the pan, reduce the heat and simmer without stirring until the sugar reaches soft-ball stage (118 C/ 245 F). Remove from the heat straight away.
– While the sugar is boiling, combine the corn starch and cream of tartar, then mix to a smooth liquid with 250 ml/9 fl oz water. Place in a heavy-based sauce pan (I suggest to use a not too big pan as you can control the mixture better) and bring to the boil over a medium heat, whisking continuously (start to heat the corn starch mixture as soon as the sugar has reached the 118 C/ 245 F and is resting; this allows the sugar to sit just long enough to cool but not so long that it gets to thick to pour). Pour the hot sugar syrup into the corn starch mixture and continue to simmer over a low heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring frequently to prevent it sticking. (In order to prevents any lumps I suggest you to pass the mixture through a not too finely meshed sieve. And I think you will get the best result if you cook it for the whole hour.) It will change to a very light golden colour. As it reaches the last 15 minutes of cooking time, you will need to stir it continuously to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
– Stir the rosewater and add a few drops of red food colouring, if desired. Pour into the lined tray and spread evenly. lave to cool in the tin, uncovered, overnight.
– The next day, sift the icing sugar and corn starch for finishing on to a sheet of baking parchment on a tray. Cut the Turkish Delight into cubes and roll them in the mixture on the tray.
– In order to get that chewy, a little harder surface, leave them out in a dry place for a day or two.