Sunday 3 July 2011

Pink Rosewater Turkish Delight

Over the past year I've noticed that the recipes that truly intrigue me are the ones I simply don't believe, like marshmallows and choux pastry. These recipes have a little bit of added magic (well, science really but that doesn't seem as special). One of these recipes was the one for Turkish Delight and although I seem to be the only person who didn't know this (especially when talking to my colleagues...well, they are food editors, so I might be excused), the traditional recipe calls for only cornstarch to make it set.

So my Sunday morning was spent testing this silly, although proven, theory. I adapted the simple, traditional recipe. Once they had set and were diced into tiny pink jewels I became so attached to them that I'm adding them to my wedding plans, they will now form a crucial part of the bombinaires...not this batch, since it's been handed around already.


4 cups white sugar
4.5 cups water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1.25 cups cornstarch
1 tsp cream of tartar
1.5 tbsp rosewater
2-3 drops rose food colouring
1 cup powdered sugar

1. Prepare a 20cm x 20cm pan by lining it with baking paper and greasing with butter. Set aside for now.
2. Place the sugar, lemon juice, and 1.5 cups of the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil (do not stir). Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming, and use a candy thermometer.
3. Allow the sugar mixture to continue boiling, without stirring, until it reaches 240°F F/115°C on the candy thermometer.
4. When the sugar syrup is around 100°C degrees place the remaining 2.5 cups of water in another, slightly larger, saucepan. Add the cornstarch and cream of tartar and whisk until the starch dissolves and there are no lumps. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring or whisking constantly. When the mixture takes on the consistency of glue it is ready.
5. Once the sugar syrup is at 115°C, remove it from the heat. Slowly, carefully, pour it into the cornstarch mixture, whisking until it is fully incorporated.
6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking it every 8-10 minutes, for about an hour, until the mixture has turned a light golden-yellow color and is very thick and gluey.
7. After an hour, remove from the heat and stir in the food coloring and the rosewater. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and allow it to set, uncovered, overnight (I put it in the fridge for 4 hours as a cheat).
8. The next day, dust your work station with a mixture of powdered sugar and cornstarch, remove the Turkish Delight from the pan. Remove the baking paper and dust the top with the sugar mixture. Use an oiled chef’s knife to cut the Turkish Delight into small squares. Dust each side of the square with the sugar mixture to prevent stickiness.

Turkish Delight is best soon after it is made. It doesn’t keep very well, but if you want to try keeping it, store it in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers, and dust the sides with powdered sugar again before serving.


  1. Wow that's a wonderfull blog having all details & helpful. turkish delight recipe

  2. This looks delicious! Where do you get the rose water and rose food coloring?

    1. Yes, where can you buy rose water?

    2. food coloring, any grocery store.
      Rose water any Kosher market, some Italian deli have it too.

    3. Bit late here, but, the bar mixer section of many grocery stores sometimes carry it.

  3. is rose water a traditional flavor or can you do other flavors as well

  4. How long DOES it stay fresh? a few hours, a day?

  5. Thank you! Sounds a great recipe I am to try it but I noticed that your method calls for 1.5 cups water in the sugar mix and 2.5 water in the cornstarch mix which equates to 4 cups water but you list 4.5 cups
    under the list of ingredients so what happens to the extra .5 water???

  6. Thank you! We went to a party last year where the host had imported some from Canada (I live in Louisiana) and we adored it. I cannot buy the finished product locally but now I can make it myself.