The Chronicles of Turkish Delight

Img_4362In "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" (the second book of the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis), Edmund Pevensie betrays his family in order to get an extra taste of Turkish Delight from the White Witch.

I've often wondered what candy could possibly be that good, so this year I decided to try to make my own Turkish Delight . . . even though I wasn't all that sure what Turkish Delight was.

Not to worry though, research quickly unveiled that Turkish Delight (also called "Lokum") is a jelly-type square with a powdered sugar crust.  Easy enough, right?

Umm, not really.  The first batch, made with this recipe, didn't go so well.  Or at least, I didn't think it did at the time.  It set up fairly well, but I couldn't get it to dry enough on the outside to get the powdered sugar to work.  Every time I added powdered sugar to the little jelly-jubey squares they would look right for a few minutes, but then kind of suck in the sugar and make it wet.  (Note:  Powdered sugar + water = sticky mess.)  In retrospect however, I actually think this batch was tolerable.  It wasn't quite gummy enough to be sure (more like heavy jello), but it was certainly closer than the second batch.

The second batch, made according to this recipe, didn't set up right or taste good.  And when I put it in the freezer to try and help it along, it dribbled.  (Note: Semi-frozen goo = sticky mess.)

While I'm a reasonably persistent girl in some areas, the kitchen isn't one of them.  After batch #2 failed, I started looking at other options for getting my hands on some Turkish Delight.  Turns out Brits, my local "purveyor of British goods" has boxes and boxes of the stuff--rose flavored, citrus, or pistachio covered with chocolate--all waiting to be bought, no sticky mess involved.  Against the advice of the store owner (who recommended the pistachio) I chose the above pictured box which was citrus flavored. 

When I opened it up, I found that--as with most food photographers--people who take pictures of Turkish Delight fudge a little.  Far from looking like the pictures on the box or the pictures I was looking at on the internet, real Turkish Delight kind of sucks in the powdered sugar in the way my first batch did.  No worries though, a simple re-dusting and I was ready to give it a try.

And although I won't be trading Sweet Husband or the pups in for a box of it anytime soon, it is pretty good stuff.  I wonder if the White Witch would be interested in a pair of lovebirds?