I’ve made it to round 2! Thanks to everyone who voted for me. I am so excited to participate in this next challenge, which asks us to go outside our comfort zone and tackle a classic dish from another culture.

My husband and I enjoyed a day in Istanbul, Turkey a few weeks ago as part of our Mediterranean cruise. It was a great day, the city was so different from any other that I’ve ever visited. Minarets dotted the landscape and the call to prayer rang out over the city a few times. We even went to a restaurant where we enjoyed a traditional Turkish meal while sitting on cushions on the floor.

Istanbul

At the end of the day, we stopped off at a candy shop to spend the rest of our Turkish Lira. The candy shop was mostly filled with Turkish Delight, a traditional jelly candy, in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. I didn’t have a clue where to start, so I handed the shop keeper my money and told him to pick out an assortment of his favorites. We ended up with a paper bag full of Turkish Delight that I couldn’t wait to sample.

Turkish Delight

 

Every piece I tried became my favorite. Just when I thought I found the best one, another would blow me away. Some had a cream filling, and others were covered in nuts. There were flavors that I recognized like lemon and rosewater, but then there were others that I couldn’t quite identify, but were delicious nonetheless.

When I heard about this next Project Food Blog Challenge, I knew instantly what I would try. Candy making isn’t really something I’ve done a lot of and truthfully, it sort of scares me. But the Turkish Delight was so good! I wanted to be able to enjoy it at home.

I decided that for my first attempt I should make the most traditional flavor of Turkish Delight— rosewater. I followed the recipe, and after stirring a mixture of water, sugar, and cornstarch on the stove for an hour I had a pot of what I can only describe as very thick goo. I honestly had no idea what I was doing, I was in unfamiliar territory. Even the next day, after it had set overnight and had been cut and rolled in coconut, I still wasn’t sure if I had succeeded in making Turkish Delight or not. It sure looked beautiful, though, and the girl in me loved the pink color.

The jelly turned out a bit softer than what I had sampled in Istanbul, but ended up pretty close in flavor. I won’t say that my Turkish Delight compares at all to that of an experienced candy maker in Turkey, but I was very pleased with the results. My first real attempt at candy making was a success! And it proved to be a much easier process than I had previously thought, something I’m always happy to discover.

Now I can enjoy a little taste of Istanbul at home, and so can you.

Voting is now open for Project Food Blog Challenge # 2! Vote for my entry here on Foodbuzz or by following the link in the sidebar. Voting will be open until Thursday September 30th. If you are new to Foodbuzz, you will be required to register with an email address. Thank you for your support!

Rosewater and Coconut Turkish Delight
Adapted from About Candy
Makes about 4 dozen pieces

4 cups sugar
4 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon rosewater
1 cup shredded coconut
Pink food coloring
Powdered sugar, as needed

Line a 9 x 9 inch pan with aluminum and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 1/2 cups of water, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Use a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming on the saucepan. Once the mixture comes to a boil, insert a candy thermometer, and allow it to continue to boil, without stirring, until it reaches 240 degrees F.

While the mixture is boiling, combine the cornstarch, cream of tartar, and the remaining 3 cups of water in another larger saucepan. Stir with a whisk to remove any lumps. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. It will become very thick.

When the sugar mixture has reached 240 degrees, slowly pour into the cornstarch mixture, whisking continuously. Return to a boil and continue to cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning. The mixture will become very thick and turn a pale yellow color. After an hour, remove from heat and add the rosewater.

Pour the candy into the prepared pan and allow to set in a cool place (but not the refrigerator), uncovered, overnight.

Remove from the pan to a surface sprinkled with powdered sugar. Cut with a greased knife and roll in the shredded coconut. If the candy is particularly sticky, roll in more powered sugar.

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67 Responses to Project Food Blog Challenge #2: Turkish Delight

  1. We are not Martha says:

    Great post! These are gorgeous! I've never really dabbled in candy making either but might have to try these out one day. WONDERFUL job :) [chels]

  2. Alicia says:

    Cool! I always connect these to Lion the witch and the wardrobe. :) So they really are tasty huh? I love the picture of you holding one over the bag. And congrats on making it to the next round! Scott made your banana walnut zuccini bread several days ago and it was a big hit in this house!

  3. Jan/Thella @ I Love. Therefore, I Cook. says:

    look at those delights! they're dainty and pretty and they look so delicious :) i really wish i could have one now. congrats on making it to round 2 and i really hope we all make it to the third. best of luck!

  4. LimeCake says:

    what beautiful little pink gems! they look delicious!

  5. molly says:

    these look gorgeous – who doesn't love turkish delight?! i'll have to try making them some time. hope you make it through :)

  6. Marija says:

    Exelent choice for the challenge! And so hard to make.

    Voted for you

  7. Duchess says:

    Very brave. Good luck!

  8. Food, she thought. says:

    Those are gorgeous! Love the pics of Turkey.

  9. Heather says:

    Beautiful!

  10. junebu8 says:

    Beautiful pics! My friend Jacob is doing PFB and I suggested Turkish delight, mostly because I want to make some for Christmas this year and I wanted some tips! Thanks for a gorgeous post!

  11. Natty says:

    Yummy! I like a nice, soft Turkish delight, so I bet yours is just right! There's another Turkish candy that's a little bird's nest of spun sugar full of crushed pistachios. Were you able to get your fingers on any of that? So good!

  12. the country cook says:

    How much fun! I immediately thought of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when I saw your title and had to come check it out. They look great to me. You've got my vote! – http://www.delightfulcountrycookin.com

  13. Debbie says:

    good choice – that looks delicious!! Youve got my vote too :)

    countryheartandhome.blogspot.com

  14. Ginny says:

    Gorgeous! I love anything pink! :) You've got my vote!

  15. Gina MarySol Ruiz says:

    Ooh! Those are pretty! My granddaughter will be having me make them for her lol just because they are pink. Great post, beautiful pictures and you have my vote. Good luck in the competition!

  16. Maria says:

    Congrats on making it to the next round. Good luck! Great post!

  17. Amanda says:

    Looks yummy! I've never made candy. Will have to give it a try.

  18. Kelly says:

    Love that this gave you an excuse to dabble in candy making. Your variety looks gorgeous. You have my vote. :-)

  19. Tamanna says:

    ooh boy….turkish delight brings water to my mouth. congrats on making to challenge # 2 and congrats on nailing it. i think u did, these delights look absolutely sinfully delicious and just how they look in the markets =) good luck

  20. The Cilantropist says:

    Kudos to you for trying something that scares you! I have never made candy before, and I love the pink color too. :) Just voted!

  21. Tina says:

    I love the pink color too.

    And how cool that you tried a candy. I'm voting for you right now. :)

  22. Lick My Spoon says:

    Candy is a great choice for something outside your comfort zone. I can't do confectionery without freaking out a little. Seriously though, awesome choice of recipe. Can't wait to see what's coming next.

    Lick My Spoon

  23. Shelly Borrell says:

    Wow — I LOVE jelly candies and the color of yours is fantastic. I'll have to add this to my To Cook List! Good luck, Shelly, Nibbles of Tidbits

  24. Lisa says:

    These look absolutely delicious–good job! I definitely want to try these!

  25. Ed (weekend food projects) says:

    Your Turkish delight looks wonderful. You have my vote. However, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your limoncello sorbet!!

  26. Anne P says:

    Love this – I always think of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!! :)

  27. Margaret Murphy Tripp says:

    They look beautiful and I love all the photos in the post. Great job. You have my vote.

  28. Joanne says:

    You have convinced me that I truly need more turkish delights in my life! Man do those sound good. And what gorgeous photos! You've got my vote.

    If you'd like, you can check out my entry here: http://www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com/2010/09/butternut-squash-enchiladas-with-red.html

  29. Tomato Snob says:

    My Turkish friend was trying to convince me to make Turkish delight for the challenge as well. I've never done confectionery before, and was way too intimidated. Your candy looks fantastic. I'm definitely going to try your recipe, it's one of my dads favorite delights. Check me out @ http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/2/view/1051

  30. jen cheung says:

    this looks delicious :) Good luck with project food and you got my vote for this one! Feel free to drop by :) Good luck and best wishes for making to the top !! WOOHOO

    jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca

  31. The Duo Dishes says:

    Perfect perfect! This is the first sweet, candy recipe spotted for this challenge, so you stand out for sure. Totally voting for you!

  32. jacobskitchen says:

    Great post! Looks delicious. LOVE rose water. And what a pretty color. I voted for you!

    Good luck! =)

    You can check out my PFB post at :http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/2/view/864I

  33. Celeste says:

    These are beautiful! I have never had them before but have always wanted to try them since I was a little girl and saw them on "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" lol. Definitely will be trying them out :) I am your newest follower and you have my vote on project food blog. GOOD LUCK! Feel free to check me out in the competition, too: http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/2/view/961

  34. Heather @ He Cooks She Cooks says:

    Just beautiful! I have always wanted to try these. You have my vote.

  35. Nutritious Foodie says:

    I love these turkish candies. My mom is from a small town on the border of Turkey/Iran. I have never even thought about making them at home.. I am sure it was a challenge :)

    You have got my vote :)
    I would love it if you checked out my entry for this challenge as well :)
    http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/2/view/703

  36. Queen of Cuisine says:

    Awesome effort and great post! I am not a lover of sweets, but my mouth is watering right now.

    I voted.

    Lisa.

  37. FlyingRoo says:

    Congratulations on not taking the easy way out and making your lokum with gelatin (very non-traditional I might add). Not many people realize that turkish delight is not at all easy to make – the right conditions must be met otherwise one would either end up with watery "candy" or too chewy/hard/bouncing lokum.

    Voted for you, see you at the next challenge!:-)

  38. The Comfort of Cooking says:

    This is such a creative entry for the Foodbuzz challenge, I love it! Thanks for sharing, Annalise. You've got my vote all the way!

  39. Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well says:

    Ohhh, I absolutely love these!!! Just gorgeous and the totally make me want to read the entire Chronicles of Narnia again. :)

    Wonderful post! Hope to see you in Round 3!

  40. sweet swallows says:

    Sounds awesome and looks delicious! Candy making is foreign to me too, but looks like you did a great job. Voting for you right now :)

  41. Leslie Uhl says:

    Wow! Great job, it all looks so delicious and I never thought I would say that about Turkish Delight, the only time I saw it in reality it didn't look appealing. You have my vote and I might even possibly try making it now!

  42. @lickmyspoon says:

    Great job! You nailed this challenge. I'm glad you were able to challenge yourself and make these Turkish Delights. They turned out great.

    Best of luck, you've got my vote. :)

  43. Natalie says:

    I've always been interested in Turkish Delight, now I may have to try it.

    I voted for you! Mind checking out my post?

    http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/2/view/795

  44. Peter says:

    I confess I clicked on this because Turkish Delight was mentioned in the C S Lewis book The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (a childhood favorite of mine). This looks great, what a fun thing to do for the challenge! You got our vote!

    (Our entry is here: http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/2/view/957 )

  45. CrystalsCozyKitchen says:

    Congrats on the successful candy making – it still scares me… but partly my mishaps have been because of the low quality stovetops I've had in college town apartments!
    I cast a vote for you – Good Luck!

  46. ohonemorething says:

    Great post!!! I can only imagine how delicious those Turkish delights must've been. The name says it all, doesn't it? Candy making can be so much fun, and I think people should attempt it more often. Kudos to you for going for it! Now the question is, may I please have one? ;)

    XOXO best of luck! You've got my vote :D

  47. The Young Foodie says:

    Hi fellow Turkish-Cuisine-Entrant! :-D How tasty is Istanbul!! I can't wait to go back! Well done on tackling Turkish Delight! I'll be definitely sending a vote your way! Good luck!

    The Young Foodie

    http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/2/view/966

  48. Stay-At-Home-Chef says:

    Loved your post! My husband has a soft spot for Turkish Delight…I will have to try your recipe and surprise him! Good luck in the competition…

  49. Susan says:

    Candy making has always intimidated me too! I am a candy fiend though, so this makes me a little more confident that some day I may be able to pull it off. Great entry! :)

  50. Jeanne says:

    My friend is in Turkey right now, and she's been telling me about the Turkish delight! These look amazing, great work on this challenge!

  51. Nessie says:

    I can't believe you made turkish delight! It's my favourite candy and I've always thought the process would be ridiculously complicated. You have inspired me to give it a go too! Just a question though, is your rose water pink? The rose water I have is clear so would I have to add some food coloring? Thanks for posting :)

  52. Annalise says:

    Nessie,

    Thank you so much for your comment! And for noticing that I left off an ingredient! No, my rose water was not pink and I added a good dose of pink food coloring.

    I hope you enjoy the Turkish Delight!

    Annalise

  53. Norma says:

    I had planned on doing this, but changed my mind. You definitely have my vote.

    Norma
    Platanos, Mangoes and Me!

  54. Ozge Seven. says:

    Congrats, I must say I am impressed, most people can't make lokum (that's what we call it) on their first try. Maybe you should try to roll the cut candies in a mixture of starch and (less)powdered sugar next time, it gives them a firmer, non-stick hold.Keep up the good work! :)

  55. Anna says:

    I tried making turkish delight two years ago using a different recipe and it came out terrible. Yours looks so pretty, you get a vote :D

  56. Rachel @ The Avid Appetite says:

    Gorgeous dish! This makes me want to try some candy making of my own…

  57. Megan@foodalution.com says:

    Hooray for your success! They are little pink gems!

  58. eataduckimust says:

    i, too, have to admit that i clicked on this because of the lion, witch and the wardrobe connection. you have our vote!

  59. Casey Angelova says:

    This looks great! What a combination rose and coconut! I love it! You have my vote!

  60. Jane Ko says:

    Yum, loving the pink color.

    Voted for you and good luck with PFB :)

    I would like to invite you to participate in my giveaway
    http://atasteofkoko.blogspot.com/2010/08/mini-pistachio-tea-cakes-40.html

    Here is my entry for PFB http://www.foodbuzz.com/project_food_blog/challenges/2/view/1039

  61. zerrin says:

    It's great to see Turkish delight(lokum in Turkish) in your blog. My last post is about it, too! As there are many stores here selling Turkish delights, we don't prefer making it at home here in Turkey, so I didn't know its recipe. Thank you for sharing it here. Isn't it funny that I'm (as a Turkish woman) learning a recipe of a Turkish treat from you? Yours look definitely so cute and heavenly!

  62. Jill (jillpickle, jillpickle74) says:

    I hate to be a nitpicker, but just trying to help those who make this in the future. I made your version today and I am quite disappointed I wasted a whole entire batch. Your directions are a bit off, I'm afraid, in that you say to boil the mixture once its mixed and the continue cooking for an hour. However, this doesn't work. It burns. (as was, my experience following your directions which left out the part to lower the temperature) Upon reviewing several other recipes after the burned batch, the mixture, once it boils, is turned down to low to a simmer for an hour. You also neglected where to add the coloring is added…which is when you do the rosewater. Just wanted to post this so others who make this don't burn their batch too and waste the ingredients.

  63. Cooking Creation says:

    I made these and they turned out beautifully! I had to turn the heat down to low while it was boiling for the hour and had to stir every 3 or so minutes to keep it from burning. Great recipe! Thank you SO much for sharing! :)

  64. Halloween candy making says:

    That candy just looks delicious!

  65. [...] daring, though, I’d recommend adding it to something simple, like a buttercream, first. A lot of Middle Eastern confections use it, so you might wish to try it in a favorite candy recipe that uses fruity or nutty [...]

  66. Kao says:

    Hello.
    I saw your recipe and I love!!!
    This looks great! So I’ll try!!
    Thanks for your post!

  67. […] Recipe & Photo credit to completelydelicious.com […]

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