Saving Turkish Delight


Did your Turkish Delight show great potential?  Mine did.  I poked and prodded with great expectations as it cooled and firmed up.  The next day, we cut it into lovely little squares and tossed it in a mixture of icing sugar and cornflour.  It looked beautiful.  I photographed it and then carefully put each piece in a tin, separating the layers with baking paper.

A couple of hours later, I went back to admire my brilliance (and sample a piece), only to see clumps of soggy, soft jelly where my beautiful firm squares of Turkish Delight had been.  It appears my Turkish Delight sweated.  When this happens, head to the web.  It is sure to have happened to some one else.

I found a forum discussing the very problem, with some great tips.

Don’t try to make the candy when it is raining – if the ambient humidity is too high, the surface will remain tacky and often the candy will slump instead of retaining it’s shape.

It was raining when I made mine :(

If I’m not too late…don’t throw it out…

Luckily for me, it wasn’t too late.  You all know my reluctance to throw anything out – even gluggy blobs of soft jelly.

I read on.

The next tip I found was to put it in a dehydrator on its lowest setting.  Thank goodness for that baking paper.  Because of it, I was able to keep my glugs separate.  I put them on new baking paper (the original baking paper was all moist) in the dehydrator.  If you don’t have a dehydrator, use your oven on fan alone – no heat.  I left mine in the dehydrator for 24 hours, turning them after twelve hours.  Turning them was a bit tricky as they had all stuck to the new baking paper… but I persevered.

After 24 hours, they had a crunchy, sugary coating and were holding their shape.  They certainly tasted good but they weren’t pretty.  We could have eaten them but it would have been a lot of bad Turkish Delight for us to get through and I know Maus would have given up the challenge long before me.

The next tip I read was to coat them in chocolate.  The chocolate holds the jelly in shape.  In theory, you don’t have to dehydrate them first but I make enough mess as it is when coating things in chocolate.  Coating soft gluggy jelly would have been a step too far.

Temper the chocolate, if you know how, otherwise, use compound chocolate.

This step was a little more successful.  My chocolate tempered perfectly.  I have tempered chocolate quite a few times and I still don’t really know what I am doing.  Each time, something different happens.   I certainly won’t be handing out any chocolate tempering tips just yet.

I used 600g of chocolate and it was perfect for the amount of jelly I had.  I covered a handful of brazil nuts in the last bit.

I now have some lovely pistachio and rose-flavoured soft-centred chocolates that I  would be proud to offer to anyone.   I am so happy I came across that forum.  I hope someone else in this situation comes across this post and has the same belated success with their Turkish Delight.  Good luck!

Not-so-delightful Turkish Delight


Sorry, there haven’t been many posts of late.  With Spring comes fertilising, weeding, raking, burning off, regenerating the vegie patch, brushcutting and mowing, mowing and more mowing.  With two properties (one being seven acres), we are two busy bees this time of year.  We usually come in late and tired.  And I am not thinking, ‘What new concoction can I make?'; rather, ‘What is the quickest thing I can make?’  But the other night I thought, ‘Damn dinner, I am going to make Turkish Delight.’

This is my first attempt at Turkish Delight.  Alas, it was not a great success.  It looked good (at first) and it tastes good but it is not firm enough.  After this photo was taken, it sweated so much that all the icing sugar/cornflour coating melted and it became a sticky mess.  What a pity – I had high hopes for it.  It is currently in the dehydrator being saved, I hope. Continue reading

Roasted chicken with clementines & Arak


Because I blog, I am always on the lookout for new recipes to try in the hope they will be worth blogging about.  I am sad to say, this is not always the case.

Darling Colette gave me Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini’s Jerusalem as a Christmas gift.  It is an extremely popular book and for good reason – it is beautiful – I love it.  Despite this, until one week ago I hadn’t made anything out of it. Continue reading

Crunchy Nut Terrine


If you are like me, and have a sense of dread when you know a vegetarian is coming to dinner, this recipe could be for you.  I am afraid I am not very imaginative when it comes to vegetarian meals.  My imagination goes as far as pizza, quiche or pasta but then it conks out and it all gets a bit hard. Continue reading

Chicken with Caramelised Baby Onions and Pear


Those who read this blog regularly will recognise a theme…  Yes, another Middle Eastern dish, this time from Morocco.  I do love sweet with savoury and this dish is perfect in that regard, provided you get the balance right.  Therefore, make sure you taste it at the end and add the right amount of salt and pepper.

The secret to this dish, and many like it, is not to rush the cooking.  Cook the chopped onions slowly so they melt into the sauce; and gradually reduce the sauce at the end until it is rich and caramelised and the baby onions are lovely and soft. Continue reading

Multi-grain salad


It’s OK going through a stage when you get to eat yummy food like this.  I spotted this recipe in this month’s Cuisine Magazine (Issue 166 September 2014).  It fitted the bill nicely – whole grains, nuts,  seeds, and green vegetable – how good is that? …and it tasted great.  Even Maus, who is not a big eater, went back for seconds. Continue reading

In My Kitchen – September 2014

061copyIn my kitchen:

Is my new storage box that Maus made.  As you all know, we alternate between two houses.  We have well-stocked pantries in both houses but there are some things we just don’t want to double up on.  So we take a number of items back and forth in case we need them in the other house.  I usually use a cut-off wine box for the job but Maus decided it just wasn’t up to scratch.  My box fits perfectly in our oversized esky.  She is such a sweetie, sometimes …. Continue reading