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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Lokum - Turkish delight

Lokum - Turkish delight
Turkish Delight - lokum, or loukoum is a confection made from starch and sugar. It is often flavored with rosewater and lemon, the former giving it a characteristic pale pink color. It has a soft, jelly-like and sometimes sticky consistency, and is often packaged and eaten in small cubes that are dusted with icing sugar or copra to prevent sticking. Some types contain small nut pieces, usually pistachio, hazelnut or walnuts. Other common types include flavors such as cinnamon or mint.

For a slice of Turkey, try these sweet treats flavored with rosewater. This easy Turkish Delight recipe will tempt you.

Makes 25 pieces

Olive oil spray
860g (4 cups) caster sugar
1L (4 cups) water
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
3 tbs gelatine powder
130g (1 cup) cornflour
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp rosewater essence
Red food colouring
300g (2 cups) icing sugar mixture

Spray a square 20cm (base measurement) cake pan with olive oil spray to grease. Line the base and side with non-stick baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.

Place the sugar and 500ml (2 cups) of the water in a large heavy-based saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Place a sugar thermometer in the pan. Increase heat to medium. Cook, without stirring, brushing down the side of the pan occasionally with a pastry brush dipped in water, for 25 minutes or until the sugar thermometer reaches 125°C. Stir in the lemon juice.

Meanwhile, place the gelatine, cornflour and cream of tartar in a large saucepan. Use a balloon whisk to whisk in a little of the remaining water to form a paste. Gradually whisk in the remaining water. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens.

Gradually pour the sugar syrup into the cornflour mixture, whisking constantly (if the mixture becomes lumpy, pour through a fine sieve into another saucepan).

Reduce heat to low. Place the sugar thermometer in the saucepan. Simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent the mixture sticking to the base of the pan, for 1 hour or until the mixture is light golden and sugar thermometer reaches 110°C. Add the rosewater and a few drops of the food colouring and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Set aside to cool to room temperature and place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight until firm.

Pour the icing sugar mixture onto a large chopping board. Turn the lokum onto the icing sugar and use a lightly greased knife to cut into 3cm pieces. Toss the lokum in the icing sugar to coat. Serve.

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