Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lokoum a.k.a Turkish Delight

Needless to say I fell in love with Magical Narnia with its talking animals and mythical creatures. 

The Witch tempted one of the characters, Edmund, with Turkish Delight and was eventually able to bring him over to her side once he succumbed to the addictive confection. 

"It is dull, Son of Adam, to drink without eating" said the Queen presently. "What would you like best to eat?"

"Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty," said Edmund. 

The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle onto the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very center and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious. He was quite warm now, and very comfortable.
I still remember how strong my mental image of Turkish Delight was; I imagined it to be fantastical: sweet, cloudy, melting in the mouth. . . it wasn't until almost two decades later that I finally got to try Lokoum for myself, on a trip to Istanbul. 

It is everything it promises to be; although it might just have been a little  bit more amazing in my 9-yr old imagination! I love it in all its varieties (of which there are several), the one with Pistachios being my favorite. 

I would have never thought of making it myself. But I came across a blog called Home Baked while randomly browsing one day and read about Hannah's Home Baked Challenge for March which was 'food inspired from fictional books'. Right away I thought of the Narnia Chronicles and Turkish Delight. And so I wanted in!

I was all set to make the Turkish Delight on Sunday - well in advance, according to myself, since I mistakenly thought the deadline for posting the challenge was March 25th. A casual look at Hannah's blog made me realize my mistake: it was due before midnight on March 21st. What made it worse was that I had forgotten my camera at a friend's place over the weekend and wouldn't be able to get it back for another day. So, even if I made the Turkish Delight, I wouldn't be able to take photos. 

So I decided to relax about the whole thing - try the recipe when I got the camera back and just blog about it later. 

And so here, I am. A day late. On to the recipe:
I found this recipe in an old book called 'Fete & Gift Recipes'. The recipe is simple enough to follow but I still bungled up a little: I  mistakenly added more orange juice than was needed so my Turkish Delight was not firm enough and had a more overpowering citrus taste than it is supposed to. But it was still not at all bad - very close in flavor to the real thing. I am sure when I make it again with the correct amount of orange juice, it will turn out just perfect.

Turkish Delight
300 ml boiling water
rind of 1 orange
rind of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons gelatine
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons rosewater
red food coloring
3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted

Grease a 20 cm square cake pan. Line base with paper, grease paper. 

Place half the water and the rinds in a medium pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, stir gelatin into the remaining water. 

Add the sugar, gelatin mixture, juice and rosewater into the pan. Reduce heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil and then boil on low heat for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add a few drops of food coloring. Mix well. 
I added a drop too many and this is the color I ended up with : 

Strain mixture into prepared pan. Cool and set overnight on room temperature. 

Dust icing sugar onto a large surface, turn out Turkish Delight onto the icing sugar. This part is a little tricky - my Turkish Delight was soft and sticky so it took quite a bit of work to get it out. I cut it into squares while in the pan and then used a large spatula dipped in icing sugar to lift the squares out and drop them into the icing sugar.

If you can manage to take it all out easily, cut into squares with a knife dipped into icing sugar. 

Dust pieces with more icing sugar. 

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month. 

1 comment:

Justine said...

how funny- that's how I learned about Turkish Delight, too! Looks great, by the way : )



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