Thursday, December 09, 2004

Cardamom Rose Turkish Delight

Sugar High Friday #3 is hosted by Food and Thoughts. This time, the theme is SPICES. The spice you use, should be one of the following three: nutmeg - cardamom - allspice.

As it is holiday season, I had to take a glittery rock star photograph. Click to enlarge, it looks even better BIG!

When I was a kid, I loved to make Turkish Delight as a Christmas present for my dad (hi dad!). I'm sure it was easy to make and it always tasted good. But maybe I am seeing my memories through rose coloured spectacles. It doesn't seem as easy, now I am all grown up.

Disaster #1 June 2004. I tried to make Turkish Delight for my Red Hot and Pink Birthday Party. I was making a gelatinous version. I turned my back for a second and the pan boiled over leaving the stove top in a sticky, gooey mess that was a real bugger to clean, believe me. The result (from what remained in the pan) actually tasted pretty good, but the pieces were a little thin. Some of it it ended up as a kind of jelly roll which I gave to my pregnant friend, K to take home for her moments of sweet craving. I am sure it went some way to helping her produce the 9+lb baby she (with the help of hubby, G,) gave birth to last week. Welcome to the world, Jake!

Disaster #2 I tried to make some Turkish Delight for one of our Charity Bake Sales just last month. I figured I would make the vegetarian corn flour version, just to be on the safe side. Only problem was, I completely forgot one whole step in the recipe and the wretched thing never set. Into the bin, 3lbs of pink, gloopy powdered sugar. Uh oh!

Non-disaster #3
Third time lucky. Of course, I had to get it right this time. There was no room for failure. This would be the Turkish Delight I would be sharing with the world.

This time I plumped for half and half. A recipe that incorporated both Gelatin and Corn Flour. At random I chose an internet recipe from Epicurious
My creative juices told me that a mixture of cardamom and rose water would make a deliciously sweet and tasty combination for this particular candy. I was right. I omitted the pistachios from the recipe and added half a teaspoon of cardamom with the rosewater instead.

Look! you can even see the flecks of cardamom in the close up...
Click to enlarge and see even bigger cardamom specks!

My computer access has temporarily been reduced this past week due to Fred's current obsession with Half Life 2 . So whilst he was absorbed in the game, killing zombies and such like, I was in the kitchen making my candies. Once I'd added the flavours, his attention was roused. He called down to me What are you doing Sam? Eeet smells awwwfuelle. Eet smells like someone eez trying to clean ze toilette. Despite the fact that I find these Turkish Delights quite delicious, I guess the delicate, perfumed flavour and floral scent of rosewater, combined with the strong aroma of cardamom, is not to everyone's personal taste...

* Note * This Epicurious recipe fails somewhere along the line. You need to add a lot more than 1/8 cup of water to the cornflour as one of the recipe raters noted. I am not overly happy with this recipe, next time I am going to try a different one.
Cardamom Rose Turkish Delight


  • At 10/12/04 11:07, Blogger Estelle Tracy said…

    I am really impressed. I would never think of making Turkish Delights from scratch, all the "lokums" I have ever eaten come from a box but they're really good! Even my mom's friends who used to make phyllo dough from scratch won't make delights! Chapeau bas, as we say in French and I wish you more success with your next batch...

  • At 10/12/04 15:05, Blogger Sam said…

    Estelle - do you have a web link to a more authentic Lokum recipe? (written in English) I would like to try the real real method, which I have heard takes a painstakingly long time. But all the recipes i come across seem to be Western-style cheats.

  • At 10/12/04 15:20, Blogger Estelle Tracy said…

    I can search for something on a Turkish website and translate it to you. I don't know how easy it is going to be to find one because it is rarely made from scratch. One thing I am pretty sure about, though, is that gelatin is not used in lokums (but I may be wrong). I will definitely keep you posted!

  • At 11/12/04 00:03, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In the words of The Continental: "Wow, Wowie, Wow, Wow!" And those photos! That's just brilliant Sam! Save me some, pretty please! ;-D Viv

  • At 11/12/04 05:24, Blogger Cerebrum said…

    I must agree with Viv - WOW! Pretty Pretty Pretty pictures! And I laughed out loud reading your version of your hubby's reaction!

    I know I've never done a Turkish Delight - in fact I don't think I'm even sure what a Turkish Delight is? (and um, lokum in Danish is - well, let's just say it's not something you'd wanna eat!) But the flavors sound like a nice combination, no matter what!

    Thank you for not giving up and for being here for the third SHF!


  • At 11/12/04 08:46, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You never ever had a disaster as a child making turkish delight- not that I can remember anyway. Mum

  • At 11/12/04 11:26, Blogger Sam said…

    Mum - do you happen to know which recipe I might have used? Marguerite Patten perchance?

  • At 11/12/04 14:50, Blogger Estelle Tracy said…

    Guess what? I found a simple lokum recipe in one of my Turlish food magazines! I'll send you the translation as soon as possible.

  • At 11/12/04 15:02, Blogger Sam said…

    Estelle, tu est une etoile, merci beacoup. Mais prendre ton temps. No rush !

  • At 11/12/04 18:33, Blogger Cathy said…

    Sam - you had me laughing too! Your Turkish Delights look positively yummy and your photo is gorgeous. It looks like they are lit from below and glowing!


  • At 12/12/04 09:02, Blogger Carolyn said…

    Sam, beautiful photos and delicious looking candy. What a great old fashioned idea--turkish delight (paste).

  • At 12/12/04 12:39, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam success at last, am posting this from work computer. Becs also seems to think that recipe was from the MP cook book; do you want the recipe but it does involve using gelatine. Mum

  • At 12/12/04 12:57, Blogger Sam said…

    um that would be nice. maybe i should get some more of my cookbooks down from the attic next time i visit. i have an itching to see The Kitchen Wizard again for some reason nd MP's had all the basics in it.

  • At 12/12/04 21:41, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your Fred quotes had me running to my Sweetie laughing... he's not used to his poetic food responses being bloged, so I made sure to show him he's in good company! :)


  • At 13/12/04 02:33, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sam, you are truly amazing! Rock star photos...and those comments from Fred...I can't stop smiling whenever I read your blog! And you are certainly a rock star in the kitchen as well, Little-Miss-Baking-Her-Own-Turkish-Delight! You put me to shame, my dear!

    Thanks so much for sharing in this edition of Sugar High Fridays - you have certainly set the bar high this time!

    Jennifer -

  • At 29/6/05 23:18, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    These are AWESOME images! Would you mind emailing me the recipe from your mag once you translate?
    I would be so, so greatful!

  • At 18/1/06 01:47, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi , Welcome to the world of fickle cookery - I hand make Turkish delight commercially in New Zealand and made the stuff for the Narnia film . Correctly your fellow commenters say that it isn't made with Gelatine or pectin traditionally and it takes a long time to cook - a 100kg ( 200lb ) batch takes around 6 hours of cooking . Great stuff when you get it right but a waste if you don't -even the weather ( temperature and humidity ) plays a part in the relative cook time and the way the product sets up.
    Always interested in comments - contact me via

  • At 19/2/06 09:01, Blogger Sam said…

    thank you!

  • At 10/9/06 05:53, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    *sob* I just had two separate attempts at making Turkish Delight, and both ended up in disaster... *sigh*

    I was trying the recipe from wikipedia, but it kept burning just shy of 120C, and what little I could salvage from the top of the saucepan doesn't seem to want to set... *sigh*

  • At 24/10/06 12:13, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So did you use that recipe for Lokum from Epicurus as the reviews were not good. Have you got an AUTHENTIC recipe please?


  • At 24/10/06 12:30, Blogger Sam said…

    pamela - this is the recipe estelle (one of the commentors above) sent me via email. I haven't tried it yet:

    I think it's about that time I sent you this "lokum"
    recipe... You've been waiting long enough! This one is
    a translation from a Turkish food magazine called
    "Sofra", it is supposed to be one of the most reliable
    out there. This recipe does not call for gelatin, I
    think I told you but Turkisk delights are pretty
    starchy. So here it goes...

    Turkish delights (Sofra, September 2004)

    Ingredients for 12 people

    - 1 kg of sugar
    - 1 liter of water + the juice of half of a lemon
    - 150 mL corn starch
    - 200 mL grated coconut
    - About 100 mL of various nuts, dried apricots and
    dried figs (for decoration purposes)


    - Put sugar, starch, water and lemon juice in a big
    pot and stir. Bring to a boil while continuously
    stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat when
    the mixture stops sticking to the sides of the pot.
    Pour over wax paper and even out with a spatula. Put
    coconut on top and let cool. Cut into cubes and and
    decorate with the various toppings (nuts, whatever,
    actually, pistachio is pretty traditional).


    For easier removal, you can wipe the wax paper with a
    damped towel, wait a minute and take the lokums off.

  • At 25/10/06 02:11, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you so much especially for your quick reply, I am going to give this a try today and I will let you know whether it is a success or failure.

    Watch this space!!!


  • At 25/10/06 07:43, Blogger Sam said…

    great! thanks!
    you are lucky - i only just worked out recently how to find out where people were commenting on old, old posts. Usually people only comment on posts from the last week or so.
    look forward t what you have to say

  • At 23/2/07 03:22, Blogger Hafsa Bobat said…

    Good effort with the turkish delight - I tried making it a couple of weeks ago and had 6 failed attempts before my 7th lot was finally nearly there - but still didnt seem quite right unfortunatly, i keep changing the recipie slightly each time and it is improving! so it is pretty hard dont expect to get it first time..just keep persevering...

  • At 19/3/07 14:47, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I had many great experiences making a geletine Turkish Delight, but I have only made a light sparkling pink rose flavoured one with green pistachios. I love it. The problem is this, it was in a cookbook that has gotten destroyed and I am not exactly sure which cookbook it was. It was part of a Holiday series. I cannot find a recipe that seems similar and I am dying to have it again. I have been reluctant to try another recipe because they all seem so different and I have read of so many bad experiences. I really want to try a cardamom and a nutmeg flavor. Yummy!!!!!!

  • At 30/10/07 21:21, Blogger Unknown said…

    I am a big fan of Turkish Delight. I tried to make it couple of times, but was never successful :(

    So, I buy it online and love it.

    Great blog btw, thanks for all the great posts.

    I have found a series of articles about Turkish Delight. If anybody is a big fan of turkish delight, I'm sure these will help:


  • At 3/1/10 08:23, Anonymous Julie said…

    I just tried a reasonably successful recipe. It is gelatine-free (vegan!) and therefore quite authentic. It calls for boiling the suagr and water separately just to the soft-ball stage, and simultaneously cooking cornstarch and water into thick, transparent glue. Then the two must be carefully combined and simmered another hour until golden. The only challenge here, which might be avoided by combining all the ingredients from the outset, as above, is that cornstarch lumps can form, so the combined mixture must be strained.


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