Skip to content
  • Open today 9am–5pm
  • Free general admission

We are updating our new website in stages. This page will be changed to the new design but is not currently optimised for mobile devices.

You are in site section: Exhibitions

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

Comments have now closed. We are happy to receive any feedback or comments by email:

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 was on show at the National Museum of Australia from 7 March to 13 October 2013.

Return to Top