Friday, 6 February 2015

Fictional Food Adventure: Making Turkish Delight from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

Oh dear. Oh very dear.

Well I made Turkish Delight. And now it is done and I do not think I will ever feel tempted to make it again. I love the hexagonal boxes of Sultan's Rose and Lemon Turkish Delight and feel quite happy to leave this delicacy in his capable hands.
It was supposed to be such a treat, making Turkish Delight just before Christmas. (Turkish Delight in my family is as necessary to Christmas as a box of Thornton's Special Toffee and Twiglets.) Having just read about Edmund's dusty, sticky fingers as he devoured the Turkish Delight on his first foray into Narnia, I was all ready with my Rosewater and Cream of Tartar, and raring to get going.

I suppose there is a certain triumph for having tried it, but it went rather wrong and I am left a little foxed as to how to have rescued it or even how to do it any better next time (there won't be a next time.)

It's all the wretched CORNFLOUR's fault. Cornflour is weird. It is not co-operative. At all.

I truly think everything would have been delightfully fine if not for the cornflour and its wilful ways. I did follow the recipe exactement. I even purchased a sugar thermometer, (which I have always wanted anyway, so hurrah for that,). The sugar syrup was fine. But when you add water to the cornflour everything gets unhappy very quickly. How are you supposed to avoid the dreaded lumps? As soon as I added the syrup to the cornflour the cornflour went ballistic and like concrete, solid and sticky and not penetrable. The disappointing thing was that, try as I might, there were lumps and they were there to stay. I went through the rest of the heating process in the vain hope that people might not mind the lumps but of course they would mind the lumps. The lumps were hard bits of weird cornflour. Stubborn, nasty cornflour.

I dutifully cut it all up, dusted it all in icing sugar and got myself and the kitchen floor, and my slippers well and truly coated. In the end I was pretty tired, and just glad when it was over.

So, although I added the pink food colouring to perfection and produced a pretty tone of Rose, and it tasted just like yummy Turkish Delight, it was never, ever going to be tempting to anyone. Except for looking at in this pretty dish, pretending that it was all ever so wonderful really.

It was a relief to throw the whole dreadful lot in the bin and go and visit Mum and Dad, who had tracked down the only two boxes of Sultan's finest in the district, in the village shop. Sigh.


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