I know we're supposed to be all about dystopian and sci fi and all...but guys? Sci fi food sometimes grosses me out, and they don't eat good stuff at the end of the world. So I'm going to dip my toe in fantasy and today I'll be showing you how to make my favorite fantasy treat: Turkish Delight.
My favorite books of all time are the Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis. They influenced my life in ways I can't even describe. As such, I've always been a little jealous of this guy:
NOT because he gets tempted by the witch, betrays his whole family, MISSES PRESENTS FROM SANTA CLAUS, and is basically responsible for every bad thing in the first book--but all because he gets this:
|This, my friends, is a massive amount of sugar-filled Turkish Delight.|
So, first things first: I needed a recipe. I tried to make Turkish Delight once before and...it failed miserably. Y'all, I had to throw out the pan.
But...Turkish Delight is hard to make. There's ingredients from, I dunno, Turkey or something, and I don't know how to make or get Rose Water. I briefly considered dunking roses in water, but then I found this recipe from Cooks.com that uses gelatin instead of Rose Water and other exotic ingredients.
First things first: I gathered ingredients:
|You'll note that I have vanilla and a candy thermometer in the pic--|
I was going to try a more complicated recipe before I said, "screw that" and took the easier route.
Then I started following the recipe. I'll just go ahead here and say that if you decide to follow my footsteps and use this recipe...don't. Or at least re-translate it into easier to read directions. The ingredients list requires separating several ingredients and argh.
So: Step One--soften three packs of unflavored gelatin in some apple juice.
Unflavored gelatine apparently has no flavor...but it does kinda stink. Yuck.
Next step: boil apple juice and sugar. Things are going swimmingly at this point. I didn't take a picture of that--it's just boiling juice. While the juice and sugar boiled, I mixed lemon juice, lime juice, and cornstarch.
This is the beginning of the end. You can't tell from that innocent picture above, but guys--that cornstarch turned rock-hard with the juice. Eventually--miraculously?--it sort of liquified, but this was a sign of things to come, I fear.
Meanwhile, the gelatin was "softening." Which I guess is fancy cook speak for "turning into a crumbly smelly mess":
Next step: mix the boiling juice-sugar mixture with the "softened" gelatine and the cornstarch mess.
Can you tell what's in the pan? Somehow, once I mixed everything up...it all sort of lumpy-fied. There's chunks of gelatin and long thin slivers of cornstarch mix. I stirred as fast as I could, then upgraded to a whisk, but I never could get all those lumps out. I actually think it would have gone better if I'd softened the gelatin for a lot less time, and if I shook the cornstarch into the mix slowly (like how you make gravy) instead of dumping it in as a thick liquid.
Next, the recipe called for a 9x12 pan that had been dipped in cold water. Well, having once tried this many times before (remember the pan I had to throw away?) I decided instead to dust the pan with powdered sugar.
Then I poured the chunky-gloopy mess inside:
|Can you see the chunks?|
On the bright side, the bits around the chunks seem to be very candy-like. My plan: eat around the chunks. Or feed the chunks to my husband and/or dog.
The recipe calls for it to be refrigerated for 12 hours, then cut, doused in powdered sugar, and eaten. I put the pan in the fridge when it was cool enough to go, but it's not quite set yet. At least, I hope it's not quite set yet. It's still pretty gooey. It's not something I could exactly cut so much as spoon.
I'm going to hide it in the fridge for awhile longer.
Maybe the husband won't notice.
I hope I don't have to throw away the pan...
So! My advice for making Turkish Delight? Just buy it!