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Turkish delight

Turkish delight

by Naomi Newton

I chose this recipe for a few reasons. Number one, I love Turkish delight; number two, I've never made it before and thought now is time and number three, the recipe seemed very straight forward and easy …

Well, all I can say is that this recipe needs to come with some warnings! First, I would seriously caution against children making the recipe unsupervised, and second, be very careful when boiling the mixture. It is certainly the biggest and stickiest mess I have had to clean up to date … of which my slippers did not survive.

Image showing a plate of confectionery coated with icing sugar. A silver jug, a ceramic jug with a floral print and a large tea pot with a floral fabric cover form a backdrop.

The steam express to Turkey

I happily followed the recipe as stated and everything seemed to be going to plan.

While waiting for the mixture to come to boil, (which took some time), I stirred occasionally and listened to the fascinating rumbling sound that was beginning to emanate from the pot. It sounded like a steam train off in the distance, yet approaching. Except that it was more like an erupting volcano without any prior notice – up and out of the pot!

Thankfully, I was right there and could grab my long-handled pot just in time. Over to the sink we went with the mixture overflowing along the way – stovetop, bench, cupboard doors and floor!

I probably lost about 15-20 per cent of the mix, but I was definitely more concerned with staying safe. Once the mix settled down I returned it to the stovetop (the particular element I was using had not been affected) and continued. The mix didn’t react the same way again, it just boiled along nicely for 10 minutes, the way a good steam train should.

The result however was very yummy and I would consider making it again. Suggestion: make sure your pot has a long handle, just in case, and remove it from the stovetop if it looks even the slightest bit jumpy.

A recipe for 'Turkish Delight'.

Turkish delight recipe

Ingredients: Soak 2 oz isinglass or gelatine for 20 minutes in 1 cup of cold water. Pour 1½ cups boiling water over it. Add 2lb. sugar, and boil with a few drops of essence of lemon for 10 minutes. Pour into dish about 1 inch thick. When quite cold (4 hours) cut into squares and roll in sugar.

Source: Home Cookery for Australia: All Tested Recipes, 1913, Arbuckle, Waddell & Fawckner, Melbourne, p. 146.

Back to the Mixing Bowl

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20 Apr 2013 12:17am

Hmmm - I am allergic to gelatine, I wonder if I could make this with agar agar? Not very 1913 I know, but I LOVE Turkish Delight! 

20 Apr 2013 4:29pm

Hi Isa, Turkish Delight is just too yummy, so I hope the agar agar works a treat for you! 

22 Apr 2013 10:29am

Well, I HAD to look up 'isinglass'. Origin not that different to gelatine. 

Glorious Days: Australia 1913 will be on show at the National Museum of Australia from 7 March to 13 October 2013. Costs apply.