Martin and I had our annual Christmas baking night last evening. He chose candies to make this year. We did a very simple Rice Krispie treat, caramels and Lokum (or as you may know it, Turkish Delight). Martin has enjoyed Lokum since he was a young child when he lived with his grandparents in Bulgaria. He found a recipe and wanted to give it a try this year. It was a nice change making candy this year. It takes a long time and there is down time where you can enjoy each others company. The Lokum came out quite tasty and Martin said it was just like what he was used to in Bulgaria. Here is the recipe, compliments of about.com. One thing I recommend is to have everything all prepared. You may think you have time when the temperature reaches that magic number but you never know. Be prepared! 🙂 Another suggestion; this recipe made LOTS of Lokum. Next time we make this I am cutting the recipe in half. This may be time consuming but this was a very simple and delicious treat!
4 cups sugar
4 1/2 cups water, divided per directions
2 teaspoons lemon juice (I used a lemon, not bottle)
1 1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 1/2 Tablespoon rosewater
2-3 drops red food coloring
1 cup powdered sugar
1. Prepare a 9×9 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. Place the sugar, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 cups of the water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and bring the mixture to a boil. Brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Insert the candy thermometer.
3. Allow the sugar mixture to continue boiling until it reaches 240 degrees on the candy thermometer. No need to stir during this time period. (I kept the temperature at medium to medium low.)
4. When the sugar syrup is around 225 degrees, begin to get the rest of the candy ingredients prepared. Place the remaining 3 cups of water in another, slightly larger, saucepan. Add the cornstarch and cream of tarter. 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. The mixture will become thick and pasty. (Glad Martin did this job!)
5. Once the sugar syrup is at 240 degrees, remove it from the heat. Slowly pour into the cornstarch mixture, whisking until it is fully incorporated.
6. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking every 8 minutes, for an hour, until the candy 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 rosewater. Pour the candy into the prepared pan and allow it to set, uncovered and overnight. (I left out on the counter. You can put in fridge if you want.)
8. The next day, remove the candy from the pan using the foil as handles. (Lokum has a soft, delicate, jelly-like consistency.) Dust your work station with the powdered sugar and flip the candy onto the powdered sugar. Remove the foil from the gack and dust the top with the sugar. Use an oiled chef’s knife to cut the Lokum into small squares. Dust each side of the square with powdered sugar to prevent stickiness.
9. This treat is best soon after it is made. It does not keep well. You can store in an airtight container with waxed paper between the layers and dust the sides with powdered sugar again before serving.