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!


12 thoughts on “Saving Turkish Delight

  1. It may have taken extra efforts but the outcome of your Turkish Delight, even the pics of the first, appears quite acceptable. I’ve never eaten Turkish Delight studded with pistachios. I imagine it’s a wonderful complement 🙂

  2. love that you found a way to save your Turkish Delight. I had the same melting issue with two different batches that I made. I came to the conclusion they do need some air drying before dusting with sugar when I started thinking about the climate that they would probably be made in originally. Also I don’t think either time I cooked my sugar and cornflour mixture nearly far enough to get it to set.

    • Hi Leah, the cooking time is definitely the issue. It makes you grumpy when you cook something as long as the recipe says and it ends up being no where near enough.

      • oh I agree. My first recipe said about 45 minutes which was clearly not enough so I went for Claudia Roden’s version which was the 3 hours and I still think I didn’t quite get the temperature of the sugar high enough to get it to set properly. Mind you I don’t think the Queensland humidity did me any favours either 🙂

          • I did find Claudia Roden’s quite good in how she explained it. Haven’t had any joy apart from that unfortunately. Sorry I can’t be more helpful 🙂

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