It has been my quest to learn how to make Lokum or Turkish Delight for about 3 years now. I am getting closer to figuring it out but it is not as easy for me to make as it is for the White Witch from the Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe.
My first attempt at making 3 years ago failed miserably. I cooked it, let it cool 24 hours and cut it up…within a few minutes of rolling them in powdered sugar, they melted like a snowman on the 4th of July.
That summer, my cousin and I scoured the old section of the spice bazaar in Istanbul searching out the old Lokum shops. It was funny to me that we were using GoogleMaps to search for one of the oldest shops in the bazaar. Finally, we found the shop and the owner was so open to help me in my quest to learn how to make Lokum. He was more puzzled as to why I would want to do this than protective of his recipe. My downfall in my recipe was using lemon juice, too much powdered sugar for dusting, and not enough cornstarch. What I learned was that lemon juice+powdered sugar=melting Lokum. He also told me to add cream of tarter to hold it together.
Now, here I am 3 years later trying it again and wanting to make some Rose Lokum to pitch to the Rose Establishment Cafe. I found a lovely recipe on Pinterest that used raspberries to color the Lokum without the need for food dye! I loved that idea and decided to give that recipe a shot.
I let that sugar, water and cornstarch mixture bubble and boil on my stovetop for almost an hour. It churned and spit up sticky molten candy every 3 seconds and soon my stove was encrusted with this gooey stickiness. I had thought I had processed it on the stove long enough and poured it into a lined pan to cool over night.
The moment of truth came the next day when I flipped out the cooled and hardened mixture, cut it up and tossed it with a cornstarch mixture.
Verdict: Better than before, but still a fail. They jiggled like jell0-jigglers and still dissolved a bit in the cornstarch mixture.
What I need to do next time: get a splatter screen for my pot to prevent sticky eruptions of goo, add cream of tarter, and cook way longer.