Loukoum (Turkish Delight)

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I had these fabulous little sweets once at a little Middle Eastern shop in Rennes, France, not knowing they were the Turkish Delight I had read about in [i]The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe[/i]. They came in all kinds of flavors – orange, rose, plum, cassis, and were wonderful. I found this recipe after searching for the most authentic; apparently, recipes that use gelatin are westernized and not quite the same. This way, you can be authentic and kosher and labor-intensive all at the same time. 🙂

And when I say labor-intensive, I mean it. And time-intensive. It took me 2 1/2 hours to make and then has to cool for 12 hours.


  • 8 cups white sugar
  • 9 cups water
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice (I thought it should have more, but this is surprisinlgy noticable amid all that sugar)
  • 2 cups corn starch
  • 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 4 tbsp. rose water (you can find this at a middle eastern market; orange blossom water is also good. Sometimes they sell it with beauty products at the health food store – it's still OK)
  • 1 tbsp. cardamom
  • Red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
  • Another 1/2 cup corn starch


  1. Combine sugar, 3 cups water and lemon juice in a large, thick-bottomed pot. It really does have to be thick-bottomed, or it will scorch a couple hours from now.
  2. Stir over low heat until sugar is totally dissolved (takes a while)
  3. Make sure to brush the sugar crystals off the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water throughout this and the next steps. It keeps the sugar from crystallizing and making a big gritty mess. (this tip has saved my toffee too!)
  4. Bring to a boil and boil (don't stir too much, but keep brushing the crystals away) until it reaches soft ball stage (240 degrees – 115 Celsius)
  5. Right before the sugar reaches soft ball, put 4 more cups of water on to boil in a separate pot. You'll need it boiling in the next steps.
  6. Pour into a large-enough pan off the heat, and wash out the thick-bottomed one for the next step
  7. Blend 2 cups corn starch, cream of tartar and 2 cups cold water in the big thick pot. It's hard to stir, but whisk the lumps out of it if you can
  8. Pour the 4 cups of boiling water in, whisking as you go. It will be very thick and it only gets thicker.
  9. Put it back on the heat, stirring until it starts to bubble (I won't say boil because it resembles more a tar pit than a liquid) Use a whisk to prevent lumps
  10. Pour the hot syrup in to the cornstarch mixture gradually, stirring constantly and furiously (this is where I got a blister on my finger)
  11. Bring to a boil and boil for an hour and fifteen minutes, until it turns a lovely golden brown. You have to stand there and stir it rather frequently to prevent the bottom from turning brown and getting all chunky. This is rather vital. A wooden spoon is best.
  12. Remove from heat
  13. Stir in rose water and cardamom and a few drops of food coloring if you like. Or you can use any other flavor – orange blossom water, orange juice, lemon juice and nutmeg, apricot puree, weird little liqueurs. Also, 1 cup of chopped toasted almonds or walnuts is nice.
  14. Pour into a 13" x 9" pan (glass if you've got it) that you've smeared well with oil
  15. Let it set for 12 hours
  16. Combine powdered sugar and the other 1/2 cup cornstarch in a flat dish
  17. Cut Loukoum into squares with an oiled knife and roll around in sugar mixture
  18. Store in a sealed container with sugar sprinkled between layers

This recipe was submitted by Annie on March 19, 2005.

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