Handmade Gifts from the Kitchen
PREPARATION: 20 minutes, plus setting
COOKING: 45 minutes
MAKES: 36 pieces
For some reason, I always think of Turkish delight as an exotic, grown-up treat – probably a combination of the ‘glamorous’ advert that was televised when I was growing up and the fact that my mother always kept it tucked out of reach on a high shelf.
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You Will Need
Grease an 18cm (7in) square tin (or one of similar dimensions). Fill the sink or a large bowl with cold water.
Put the sugar and liquid glucose in a large heavy-bottomed pan with 150ml (5fl oz) of the water. Gently heat until the sugar has dissolved. Wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to dissolve any sugar crystals.
Bring the sugar mixture to the boil and boil steadily until a sugar thermometer reads 116°C/241°F (the soft ball stage). If you don’t have a thermometer, drop a teaspoon of the mixture into a bowl of cold water. Bring it together with your fingers – it should form a soft ball. Plunge the base of the pan into the cold water to stop the syrup cooking.
Mix together the cornflour and icing sugar in a large bowl with 100ml (3½fl oz) of the water. Bring the remaining water to the boil, then gradually beat into the cornflour mixture with a wooden spoon.
Pour the cornflour mixture into the pan and simmer until thickened, beating to ensure there are no lumps.
Gradually beat in the sugar syrup and simmer rapidly for about
30–35 minutes, stirring often, especially towards the end of the cooking time. The mixture should become very thick and turn pale golden.
Add the honey and chosen flavouring and food colouring and stir well. Turn out into the prepared tin and leave in a cool place overnight to set.
Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a work surface and dust liberally with a mixture of cornflour and icing sugar. Loosen the edges of the Turkish delight with a knife and turn out onto the parchment. Dust
the top again and cut into squares. Toss well in the cornflour–icing sugar mixture. This Turkish delight keeps for up to two weeks in an airtight container or sealed packet.