I’m in the process of making a couple of kilo’s of Turkish Delight. The cooking part is over (thank goodness – it’s a hot day and standing over the stove for an hour nearly killed me!) and all that awaits is the cutting and flouring. Everything went very smoothly and I’ll be posting a recipe and photo’s of the finished product very soon (probably tomorrow).
However, I had a bit of a senior moment right in the middle of cooking up the delight. Now, anyone who has made either Turkish Delight or any other sort of confectionery will know that you can’t just stop half-way through something and finish it later. Sugar needs to have the temperature carefully controlled. Timing is critical and the difference between cooked and burned.
So, I get most of the way through the recipe and go to add in a little red food colouring when I discover that I don’t have any. A mad dig through the pantry ensues (in between religiously stirring the mix every minute or so) and I come up empty. I have rose water, but it has no colour at all.
Now, colouring is not a deal-breaker here. I just happen to like my rose-scented Turkish Delight to be a pale pink. It’s one of those eye/mouth things – it just seems tastier with a bit of pink colour. And it occurred to me that ancient Persians, Turks and various other makers of this sweet wouldn’t have been able to nip down the supermarket and get colouring. They would have used what was available. And knowing the Persian love of roses, I looked out into my garden and saw that one old bush still had two good blooms on it.
In between stirs, I raced out, clipped the roses, and scooted back inside. I washed the petals, put them into a bowl with a splash of water and banged the lot into the microwave for 30 seconds. A bit of pressing with a spoon and a squeeze of lemon-juice (which I hoped would keep the colour from degrading) and I had this….
(Well, not quite – as you might have guessed I’ve tarted it up slightly. Incidentally, that bowl in the background is for sale in my shop…)
A couple of tablespoons later, my mix was a gorgeous pale pink and I was saved!!
I confess, I’m feeling ever-so-slightly smug.