Turkish delight

Rose and lime Turkish Delights (lokum) – a recipe for temptation and trouble!

Special everyday cakes and treats

The gauntlet was thrown down by the Daring Kitchen and the challenge accepted, and so it came about that these Turkish Delight (lokum) were made.  In the Land of Narnia the White Queen offered Edmund his heart’s desire and he chose Turkish Delight in exchange for betraying his family.  They seem a troublesome yet tempting sweet, whispering of the mysterious orient and luxury in silver salvers and carpeted tents.  Later I’ll give you a little history behind these treats, not very fashionable in this health-conscious ‘sugar-free’ age yet still they glisten and beckon.  You cannot resist these delicious jewels nestling in powdery sugar – ask my mum!  So let’s throw caution to the wind and make these rose and lime Turkish Delights the traditional way, without gelatine (quick ‘yay!’ on behalf of vegetarians) and with the patience of a Turkish grandmother.

Turkish delight

Turkish Delights or Lokum

Musical prelude

To get in the mood click here and watch a Turkish Delight song on youtube!  With film clips showing Edmund eating these sweeties and his ill-advised pact with the evil queen.

Turkish Delights

Turkish Delights

Turkish Delight at midnight

What do you want? the song asks.  Turkish Delight!  So here’s the illustrated recipe for you, also depicting the sorry tale of how we came to be in the kitchen at midnight.

Turkish delight 1 - accepting the challengeTHE RECIPE – based on Annie Riggs’ in her book Sweet Things.


Find two 17cm-square tins or use a larger rectangle and divide by forming a foil tray in one half. Get a sugar thermometre and 2 medium-sized heavy-based saucepans.

  • Grease your tins with sunflower oil.
  • Line the base and sides with plastic film.
  • Lightly grease the film.
  • Mix together 2 tablespoons cornflour with 2 tablespoons icing sugar and sift a light coating over the clingfilm.  Tap and shake the extra powder back into the bowl and reserve for later use.

prepare the tinsThe syrup (in small-medium saucepan no.1)

  • 750g/3 and a third cups caster sugar
  • 350g/1 and a half scant cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • half a teaspoon cream of tartar

The cornflour mixture (in medium saucepan no.2)

  • 90g/three-fifths cup cornflour
  • 400g/1 and two thirds cups water
  • half a teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • pink and green food colouring gels or powders
  • 30g/a quarter cup shelled unsalted pistachios
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

The syrup

Turkish Delight - the syrup

Turkish delight syrup

My syrup is browner because I used unrefined golden caster sugar

The cornflour mixture

Turking delight - main mixture 1But wait, there’s a technical problem!  What’s wrong with these photos?Turkish delight white mixture

Turkish Delight technical problemOkay, problem solved finally.  I can take photos for the blog (for you guys) so let’s carry on.

Turkish delight - main mixture 2

Turkish Delight - main mixture 3

30 minutes?!

Turkish Delight - 30 mins!

Still, must soldier on…

Turkish Delight - getting late

Turkish Delight - Translucent and thickened

Translucent and thickened – should be ready.(not going to stay up all night looking for a ‘seething mass’)

The mixture is fine.  But poor ole’ mum…

Turkish Delight - bedtime?

Almost done!

Turkish Delight - flavouring and colouring

Turkish Delight in the tray

Smaller quantities than expected but not a problem.  I suspect the pink would look pinker with white rather than unrefined golden sugar.

When you cover with clingfilm make sure it’s lightly oiled (maybe even sprinkled with cornflour and sugar) otherwise things get sticky and messy.

Turkish Delight - the end!

Cutting, storing and eating

Next morning turn your Turkish Delight onto a tray covered in your reserved cornflour and icing sugar mixture.  With a lightly oiled sharp knife cut squares and toss them in the sugar mix.  Store in boxes packed between this sugar mix and layers of waxed paper, for a week to 10 days at cool room temperature.  Eat!  🙂

Lessons learnt

So finally there was a happy ending to this sorry tale of midnight sweet-making!  But with a bit of planning you’ll have no trouble at all whipping up your own yummy batch of Turkish Delight. Um.. start earlier in the day or with a helper who’s a night owl, and read the recipe carefully beforehand.  Don’t fiddle with knobs you shouldn’t play with on your camera.

Turkish delight

Turkish Delight

The verdict and other uses

We just made them for the Daring kitchen challenge but found they were so delicious we couldn’t help eating them too!  Never mind the sugar, these exotic morsels don’t feel oversweet or sickly.  On the contrary mes amis, they are well tasty!  Soft, tender and moreish.  A million miles away from the commercial stuff and nearer to the magical sweets sold in Turkey.  I’ve read the gelatine ones are not nearly as nice so I’ll make these traditional ones again one day.  You can use them to decorate cakes where they’ll glisten like jewels, like Confarreo did with her Turkish Delight inspired Bundt….Rose and LemonBeautiful.  Can you imagine mini cubes on cupcakes?

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

A little history

And can you imagine them in the past?  The origins of Lokum are disputed but the word comes from the Arabic Rahat Al-halkum (راحة الحلقوم) which means ‘Throat Comfort’.  They were originally sweetened with honey, a nice healthier version.  And apparently lokum was introduced to Western Europe in the 19th century, brought over by an unknown Briton who discovered it in Istanbul on his travels, became very fond of lokum and shipped crates home.  Called Turkish Delight, it became a major delicacy in Britain and throughout Europe for high class socialites who commonly exchanged pieces wrapped in silk handkerchiefs as presents!  Cool, huh?  One presumes the handkerchiefs were clean.

If you like, have a look at various versions of Turkish delight from the lovely recipes on the Daring Kitchen challenge set by Rachael@pizzarossa.

Turkish Delight or Lokum

Party temptations

Thought I’d take these Turkish Delights to tempt people at these lovely parties:  Fiesta Friday hosted by Angie@thenovicegardener and all of us. 🙂  Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily@aMummyTooTasty Tuesdays hosted by Vicky@HonestMum and Fabulous Foodie Fridays hosted by Lucy@BakePlaySmile and Lauren@CreateBakeMake.  Come along, check out all the wonderful food and mingle! 🙂

LInky partiesGood news

Finally, just thought I’d let you know that mum forgave me.  When my visit ended and I went back to Spain she sent a message saying she was now sleeping normal hours but missed all the kitchen activity with me.  lol and hee hee.  I’ll be back, as Arnold Schwarzenegger said.  Then he said, please help yourself to a little Turkish delight – honest!Turkish delight

Farewell very sweet readers!  And as they say in Turkey, teşekkür ederim (many thanks) for stopping by.  May you have an extra sweet and magical week that goes as planned so you’re not stuck anywhere you shouldn’t be at midnight.  Unless you happen to enjoy stealthy midnight snacking of course.  Happy baking and eating! 🙂 x



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Baking on Sundays with my French mum was a lovely part of my childhood. Later I experimented with baking books or internet recipes and did the pâtisserie course at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. Still trying out new recipes and inventing cakes with influences from all around the world, including some healthier ones. Yes, love cakes!!! Hope you'll love them too and have fun baking. :)

23 thoughts on “Rose and lime Turkish Delights (lokum) – a recipe for temptation and trouble!”

  1. Pingback: Week (19) of cakes and flowers! And thank you! | lili's cakes

  2. This is such an utterly stunning and quirky post, I love it. I grew up with Turkish Delight but have never made it! You transported me back to my childhood instantly, argh the beauty of blogging, nothing like it. Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your lovely comments Vicki – I particular like the adjective ‘quirky’! 🙂 So happy to have brought happy memories back for you and hope you’ll find some Turkish Delight to eat (take no notice of my tale, they’re pretty fast and easy to make really!). Thanks again for hosting lovely Tasty Tuesdays and have a brilliant holiday in Spain! It’s nice and hot here! 🙂 x


  3. Pingback: Week (26) of cakes and soufflés! And cake prizes… | lili's cakes

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