Turkish Delight

Turkish-Delight-1 (RLS)

Turkish Delight

Everyone has a go-to recipe or two. My favourite recipes are the ones that are so delicious that they (almost) have the power to win over new friends, while being ridiculously easy to whip up.

Turkish Delight is one of my favourite go-to recipes. This is one that I’ve loved teaching friends to make themselves – the simplicity always seems to surprise them. The impression is that Turkish Delight is difficult to make, or requires months to perfect. In fact, Turkish Delight is an easy winner – it takes less than 5 minutes to make, doesn’t cost the earth and is always delicious.

If you’re like me – a sucker for anything rose-scented, then this particular recipe is wonderful. However, Traditional Turkish Lokum, can also be flavoured with lemon, orange, cinnamon, mint, mastic or apple extract. The Turks usually throw in some pistachios for good measure, too. I’m rather particular about rose water, and find that the Nielsen Massey Rose Water is terrific – way better quality than the ones found at the supermarket. Be careful of using rose syrup, although it is (a lot) cheaper than proper rose water, it’s mostly sugar, water and food colouring. Nielsen Massey also have a number of other excellent extracts to play around with –  simply substitute the rose water for any other extract that takes your fancy…

Turkish-Delight-2 (RLS)

Turkish-Delight-3 (RLS)

Turkish Delight
Makes ± 50 cubes

Prep time: 5 min
Chill time: 3hrs – overnight

500g sugar
250ml water + 30ml for slaking
12 gelatine leaves
60g cornflour
10ml rose water
few drops of red food colouring

corn flour for dusting


  1. Submerge (sponge) the gelatine leaves in water until soft.
  2. Grease a stoneware or glass dish with baking spray.
  3. Place the sugar and 250ml water into a pot, and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, allow to bubble for a minute
  4. Add the gelatine leaves to the sugar syrup and boil for 2 minutes – stir to dissolve the gelatine.
  5. Meanwhile, slake the cornflour with 30ml of water – slowly mix the water and cornflour together until an even consistency has been reached. Add 2 drops of food colouring into cornflour liquid.
  6. Add the cornflour mixture to the sugar syrup and allow to boil for another minute
  7. Add rose water, stir and then strain through a sieve into the prepared dish.
  8. Allow to set overnight.

To cut:

  1. Dust cornflour onto a flat surface.
  2. Encourage the Turkish Delight block out of the dish by running a knife along the sides and then gently tugging.
  3. Flour both sides of the block before cutting.
  4. Cut into any shape – I mine into cubes by slicing long strips and then cutting into even cubes.
  5. Ensure that all surfaces are well covered in cornflour.
  6. And, done! Sprinkle some extra cornflour into your container or jar and you’re A for away.

Busting myths:
Don’t make the mistake of covering your Turkish Delight squares in icing sugar – icing sugar absorbs moisture and will turn your Turkish Delight into sweaty, gooey balls of sugar. Not as enticing, right? If you are desperate to sugar them, add a light dusting, over the cornflour, right before serving.

All images shot & styled by Robyn Lea Smith


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