Rose flavoured chewy sweets dipped in dark chocolate and decorated with a little white chocolate. The dark chocolate perfectly balances the sweetness of the Turkish Delights. Make these as a gift for Valentine’s day for yourself or someone else as deserving.
Sweets for Grown-ups!
Turkish Delights are soft-chew sweets made with sugar and cornflour. They come in different colours, flavours, shapes and fillings. Most people are familiar with the traditional bright pink, rose-flavoured Turkish Delight, which is usually cut into squares, dusted with a mixture of cornflour and icing sugar.
Whilst Turkish Delight is strongly associated with Türkiye, some historians believe they date back 500 years and were first made by Persians and Arabs. The Turkish origin story is connected with Haci Bekir who opened a confectionery shop in Bahçekapı in the late 18th century. This family business continues to this date!
The Turkish name ‘Lokum’ is derived from the Arabic word ‘Luqma’ meaning ‘morsel’ and ‘mouthful.’ The influence and reach of the Ottoman Empire between the 18th and 20th centuries saw Turkish Delight making homes in other European countries such as Cyprus and Greece.
How is Turkish Delight Made?
Sugar is combined with a little lemon juice and water and boiled to make a sugar syrup. This is then mixed with a cornflour paste. The mixture is then heated on a low heat for about an hour. Food colouring and flavouring are then added before being poured into a dish for setting. Once set, the Turkish delight is cut into bite size pieces and then dusted with powdered sugar and cornstarch. The recipe below differs, as instead of coating it with icing sugar and cornflour, the Turkish Delights are dipped in melted dark chocolate and then decorated with a little melted white chocolate.
To Temper or Not Temper?
Tempering is a technique that involves the process of slowly heating, then cooling chocolate so the fats crystallise evenly. The resulting chocolate is smooth and has a shiny finish when it sets. The chocolate also snaps rather than crumbles. In order to achieve tempered chocolate you need concentration and a cooking thermometer. The recipe below does not have a method for tempering and the resulting chocolate is still amazing. However, if you want to go a step further then follow these instructions for what is called the “Seeding Method.”
- Bring a pan of water to a simmer and then remove from the heat.
- Break chocolate up into small chunks and add three-quarters to a bowl.
- Set the bowl over the pan to make a bain-marie, ensuring the bottom does not come into direct contact with the water.
- Let chocolate gradually melt to 55°C, stirring slowly and continuously.
- Remove from the heat and add the remaining chocolate pieces. Slowly stir the chocolate until it melts and reaches 27–28°C.
- Place the bowl of chocolate back over the pan of water and set over a low heat. Reheat to 31–32°C, making sure the chocolate does not exceed 32°C.
Tips & Speciality Equipment
A sugar thermometer is a must to make the sugar syrup as you need to make sure the temperature hits the soft-ball stage (115° C).
A pizza cutter is useful for cutting the set Turkish Delight into even strips and then squares but a sharp knife will also work. Oil the pizza cutter or knife blade with a little neutral-flavoured oil to make cutting easier, as it can be a little sticky and difficult to achieve even shapes otherwise.
Do not try setting or storing the Turkish Delight in the fridge as it will draw water into it and not set. Leave the Turkish Delight out uncovered in a dry area until it has set.
Storing and Serving
Store these delights in an airtight container somewhere cool and dark (not the fridge) for up to a week.
Serve with Persian-style tea or Turkish coffee.
Recipes for Other Sweet Treats
- A Persian Homage to the Victoria Sandwich
- Persian Delights (Rose Water & Pistachio Cupcakes)
- Cherry and Pistachio Brownies
Dark Chocolate Covered Turkish Delights
- 500 g caster sugar
- 500 ml water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 80 g cornflour
- 300 ml water
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
Flavour, Colour & Decorating
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or essence
- 1 to 2 tbsp rose water
- 2 to 3 drops pink food colouring
- 225 g dark chocolate (I use Lindt 51%)
- 50 g white chocolate buttons (I use milky bar buttons)
- Prepare your pan: Grease a 6 x 6-inch pan with a little neutral-flavoured oil and line with cling film. Once lined, lightly oil the lining and set aside.
- Make the Sugar Syrup: Pour sugar into saucepan, add water and lemon juice. Turn heat to low and stir until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Place a sugar thermometer in the saucepan and bring the mixture to 115 °C i.e. the softball stage. Stir frequently. Once you hit the correct temperature, turn heat off.
- Make the Cornflour Paste: Mix cornflour, water and cream of tartar in a saucepan over medium heat until it forms a thick paste. Turn heat to low for the addition of sugar syrup.
- Add Sugar Syrup to Cornflour Paste: Pour sugar syrup in small batches to cornflour paste and whisk until fully incorporated with no lumps. Then switch to a wooden spoon to stir mixture. Increase heat to high until mixture starts to bubble, then reduce to low and let the mixture gently bubble for approximately 1 hour, stirring frequently throughout this whole process. The mixture will go from a pale to a deep golden colour. The mixture is ready when it leaves the sides of the pan, can be pulled into the middle and is thick enough to see a clear line when you draw a spoon through it.
- Add Flavouring and Colour: When the mixture is thick enough, add the vanilla essence, rose water and food colouring. Stir until fully incorporated. Turn off the heat.
- Set the Turkish Delight: Pour mixture into the lined dish. Using the back of a spoon, spread the mixture into all corners of the dish. Leave uncovered somewhere dry to set overnight.
- Cut the Turkish Delight: Flip the Turkish Delight onto a slightly oiled chopping board and peel off the lining. Take a pizza cutter or knife and oil the blade with a little neutral-flavoured oil and cut the Turkish delight into equal strips (6 strips). Then cut the strips into squares (6 per strip). Once all squares have been cut, move on to preparing the melted chocolate.
- Melt the Dark Chocolate: Line a tray with baking parchment in preparation for the chocolate dipped Turkish Delights,Fill a medium-sized saucepan about a quarter full with water and bring to a boil. Then lower heat to simmer. Place a heatproof bowl on top. Make sure it isn’t touching the water and that no steam can escape up the side of the bowl, which can let water droplets into the chocolate.Break chocolate up into small, even pieces and add to the bowl. Simmer gently for 2–3 minutes, until most of the chocolate is melted, stirring a couple of times with a rubber spatula. Turn heat off and allow the chocolate to continue to melt slowly in the residual heat ( 3–5 minutes).
- Dip the Turkish Delights: Using a fork, pick one Turkish Delight square up and place in the melted dark chocolate. Move it round with the fork to get fully coated. Lift out using the fork and tap against the edge of the bowl to shake off excess chocolate. Then place the chocolate covered Turkish Delight on the lined tray to set. Repeat process with all the remaining squares. It will take approximately 10 to 20 mins for the chocolate to set.
- Melt White Chocolate and Decorate the Turkish Delights: You can either use the same method to melt the white chocolate or use a microwave as it is a smaller amount of chocolate. Place the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 10 second increments, remove from microwave and stir, and then zap again, if required, in additional 10-second increments. Keep microwaving and stirring each time, until completely melted and smooth. Pour into a small piping bag and pipe thin lines on the Turkish Delight. Leave to set - approx 10 mins then they are ready to eat!