Almond Rose Turkish Delight and A Giveaway for Substituting Ingredients

by Courtney on June 26, 2010

Almond Rose Turkish Delights

A certain ennui is settling over my kitchen. It could be that I’m just plain exhausted with new part  time hours working as a line cook for a well known caterer in addition to my day job.The hours there can be feast or famine, and lately its a feast, which leaves me exhausted.Imagine 16 hour days with your day job and then working the kitchen  for the love of it and to gain  practical experience. I confess I’m learning and hedging my bets at the same time. In these financial times, with job uncertainty, it’s good to get any experience you can, as the more traditional jobs are scarce.Lately I have all these cooking plans for fun and by the time a quick dinner is made and Certain Someone and I are settled, I just drift away. Maybe it’s  the heat too. Who knows, but I need my drive and inspiration back,soon.It happens to all of us from time to time.

Before I get to this weeks fun recipe of Turkish Delight,I want to talk about a little book that was just published and should be in every ones kitchen.

Substituting Ingredients by Becky Sue Epstein is a indispensable guide for the kitchen. In these lean times, its nice to have a book on hand that resolves a ingredient dilemma , without having to run to the store and spend yet more money.Upon reading this book you will find out how to find replacements for herbs, spices, fruits,and other essential ingredients, Becky Sue also includes recipes for mixes like Hot Cocoa to a Garam Masala, and ketchup.My favorite part of the book is the chapter on Household formulas. Becky Sue shows how to replace costly toxic chemicals with formulas made from household ingredients.I found this book simple,and easy to use. It will be well thumbed as I go about  my cooking and baking endeavors. I have one copy of this book to give away. Leave a comment at this end of this post and I will chose a winner next week.Comments close for entry July 3.
I received my copy of Dessert Professional Magazine last month and saw a recipe I knew I had to attempt at home.Turkish Delight! The recipe was excerpted from Chocolates and Confections by Peter P. Greweling of the Culinary Institute of America.His Turkish Delight looked like  clear solid perfection . I substituted out pistachios for what was on hand, slivered almonds.The slivered almonds stuck out and didn’t  allow for a smooth cut. Buts that’s the beauty of Turkish Delight, its many variations.I confess mine looks rather crude compared to the photo in Dessert Professional, but it was tasty . My only complaint is that the humidity caused my pieces to sweat after dusting the next day. The heat and humidity is extreme here in Chicago currently, so I wouldn’t advise making this when humid. But I will be making it again.Here was an interesting thread on some other peoples experience making this particular recipe as well .
Turkish Delight or Lokum was created in response  by a crafty confectioner,Ali Muhiddin Hacı Bekir, for a sultan in the Ottoman Empire who tired of hard candy.Ali Muhiddins descendants still sell Rahat Lokums ( comfortable morsels) to this day in many variations . Turkish Delight become popular with the west through CS Lewis’ The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe.For those that are looking for a gummy type of confection , without the use of gelatin or animal products, this is the recipe for you. Turkish Delight gets its consistency from a mixture of cream of Tartar, corn starch,and sugar, The variations come with additions of nuts and flavors. Rose water is one of the most popular flavorings.For this recipe , which I adapted, I ramped up the almond and rose flavors.

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Almond Rose Turkish Delight

adapted from the Turkish Delight Recipe in Chocolates and Confections by Peter Greweling .*
Changes made where * appear.
Makes 9×13 inch slab

Sugar Syrup

  • (2lb)4 cups granulated sugar
  • (8oz)1 cup water
  • 1tsp cream of tarter
  • Starch Paste
  • (4oz)1 cup Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Cream of Tarter
  • (24 oz)3 cups water

*Flavoring

  • 1 tsp rose water
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • a few drops of rose colored food coloring
  • 1 cup slivered almonds

Dusting /Coating

  • (2oz)1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar
  • (1oz)1/4 cup Cornstarch

Oil and line a 9×13 inch baking pan with plastic wrap.Use a neutral  non flavored vegetable oil.Lightly oil the top of the wrap as well.
In a 2 qt saucepan, combine sugar, water, and cream of tarter. Bring to a boil , cover and boil for 4 minutes without stirring.After 4 minutes, remove lid, and place a candy thermometer in. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a temperature of 260F.Remove from heat and set aside.
In a 4 qt saucepan mix the ingredients for the starch paste (Cornstarch,Cream of tarter,and water).
Stir with a whisk over medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken and boil.The mixture will be thick and pasty,but continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
Taking the sugar syrup from before, add it gradually in a stream to the starch paste while whisking on the heat.Bring the combined mixtures to a soft boil and continue to whisk on a lowered heat until the mixture is smooth and clear.Cook for 20-25 minutes.
Remove pot from the heat and stir in rose and almond flavors, coloring , and nuts.
Pour into the prepared pan and lay a piece of plastic wrap on top. Leave to cool overnight.
In a large bowl sift together the confectioners sugar and cornstarch to dust the candy pieces in in, Cut the candy and roll in mixture.
Store in airtight , dry temperature.

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