Saturday 15 December 2012

Food from Fiction - Turkish Delight

"It is dull, Son of Adam, to drink without eating," said the Queen presently. "What would you like best to eat?"
"Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty," said Edmund.

The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious.

I was inspired to make Turkish Delight by a baking challenge I came across on the Mad Scientist's Kitchen, called Kids' Delight, that involves making things aimed at children. This month the theme was cooking from story books - any children's story from Enid Blyton to Harry Potter that features food (though I wouldn't fancy trying Bertie Botts' Every Flavour Beans!). That got me thinking about food in fiction - I've read a few novels recently that have centred around food, and actually contain recipes at the start of each chapter, like Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan, which I highly recommend. So as well as making something from a children's book for this particular challenge, I'm going to make it the first post in an occasional series on my blog, where I bake from books and make food from fiction!

When I started thinking about the Kids' Delight baking challenge, and tried to remember books I'd read as a child, a few things sprang to mind - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, goat's cheese and milk from Heidi, the raspberry cordial episode from Anne of Green Gables, Paddington Bear's Marmelade Sandwiches..... and, of course, the evil Queen's Turkish Delight that she uses to tempt Edmund in the Chronicles of Narnia.

My family only ever ate Turkish Delight at Christmas so it's also something I heavily associate with this time of year. I was also looking for some edible gifts I could make so thought this would work perfectly! Of course, I'd never tried to make Turkish Delight before so wasn't sure how it would turn out, but I gave it a try!

I used this recipe from the Good Food Channel.

You need:
25g powdered gelatine - this worked out as two sachets
255ml water
4 tsp rose water
450g caster sugar
3-4 drops red food colouring
3 tbsp icing sugar
1 tsp cornflour

Mix the gelatine, water and rose water in a pan, and add the sugar.

Heat gently until the sugar and gelatine have dissolved, stirring the whole time. I used my wonderful auto stirrer so I could get on with things in the other room and not have to stand over the pan!

Bring to the boil without stirring. This is where being distracted doesn't help... I brought the mixture to the boil while the autostirrer was still stirring. You're then supposed to simmer the mixture for 25 mins and it was being stirred almost the whole time.... it doesn't seem to have done any harm though!

Remove from the heat, add the food colouring and leave to cool.

Pour into an oiled tin - I didn't think the quantity this made was enough to pour into a square cake tin (which had been my original intention) so instead I greased and lined a plastic lunchbox.

Leave to set for 24 hours. It doesn't say if this should be at room temperature or in the fridge, so I put it in the fridge.

Cut into squares.

Mix the cornflour and icing sugar and toss the Turkish Delight in the mixture.

This should keep for quite a while in an airtight container, ideally you should place greaseproof paper between the layers.

I recently went to Ikea with my boyfriend and his mum; they wanted one piece of furniture which ironically was out of stock, because we ended up buying a trolley-full of other bits! I'd only ever been to Ikea once before, years ago, so was quite excited to look at everything in their "market" area and homewares section in particular - they have some great baking bargains!

I picked up this set of three tins for only £5 - I think they look quite Christmassy, and perfect for using with my Turkish Delight to give as a gift.

I'm sending this to Mad Scientist Kitchen's Kids' Delight challenge:

and also to Calendar Cakes, hosted by Laura of Laura Loves Cakes and Rachel of Dolly Bakes, as their theme is Christmas. To me, Turkish Delight always says Christmas, and I am intending to give this as a Christmas gift.


  1. you are so adventuous-i wouldn't attempt to make them.

    1. They were really easy actually! Though I think this is a more simple recipe as I've just seen another one that is more complicated, so I'm not sure if this is the 'proper' way to make it or not!

  2. oh YES!!!... I love The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe... but I love Turkish Delight even more so... hope I can find a veggie version for this too... lovely pictures, very festive x

  3. What an interesting challenge...I LOVE Turkish Delight and have it on my list of things to make! Yours looks fab...a truly festive treat! Thanks for entering this month's Calendar Cakes :-)

  4. Caroline I would like to thank you for making this delight just for my event. I had heard a lot abt it but never thought abt checking out the recipe. Thanks a lot for the effort that you have put in. I am touched.Following you.


Thank you for your comment, all feedback is appreciated - even the negative! However due to a lot of spam comments on this blog I have had to turn on captcha. If you have problems leaving a comment please email me at