Turkish Delight

Thanks to C.S. Lewis and the Pevensie children, I made some Turkish Delight. I’m currently teaching The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe in one of my classes, and when we got to the chapter on Turkish Delight, none of my students had ever tried it. So I found a recipe.

I will say, according to my (limited) research, this isn’t a completely authentic recipe, as it contains gelatin. The original recipes don’t, but apparently the gelatin makes it a bit more foolproof. I didn’t want to make the recipe twice, so I made the “foolproof” version, but I still flavoured it with rosewater, so the flavour is at least authentic. You will need a candy thermometer to make this recipe, so be warned!

I found this recipe here, and I don’t know if my students will like it (they seemed apprehensive with the flavour of rosewater when I told them about it), but at least it’s as authentic as I can attempt!

Ingredients

Yield: About 50 candies, depending on cut size

2 2/3 c. cold water, divided
2 tbsp. rosewater
½ tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. powdered gelatin
2¾ c. sugar
2 tbsp. honey
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
½ c. cornstarch
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2-3 drops red or pink food colouring

For dusting:

½ c. cornstarch
¼ c. icing sugar

Grease and line an 8×8 inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides.

In a small bowl, combine the dusting mixture of cornstarch and icing sugar. Dust a small amount into the parchment lined pan.

In a medium bowl or a liquid measuring cup, combine ½ cup of cold water, rosewater, and vanilla. Sprinkle the gelatin over the mixture and set aside to bloom.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, 1 1/3 c. water, honey, and cream of tartar. Stir, then place on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the saucepan, making sure the tip doesn’t hit the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat to medium, and keep an eye on it, making sure it gets to 255°F. It might take about 15 minutes. Remove pot from the heat.

While the sugar syrup is coming to temperature, whisk together the cornstarch and lemon juice in a small pot. Whisk in the remaining water, 1 cup (200 ml), and whisk until no lumps remain.

Boil, whisking continually, until the mixture thickens and turns into a thick paste, like the consistency of petroleum jelly.

Pour a small amount of the sugar syrup (once at temperature) into the cornstarch mixture. Pour the mixture back into the sugar syrup mixture, and whisk over low heat until combined with no lumps and fully incorporated.

Remove from heat, and whisk in the gelatin mixture and food colouring. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

Transfer the mixture into the prepared square pan. Cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours, then cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool 8-10 hours, or overnight.

Spread a bit of the dusting mixture on a large work surface, and lift the Turkish Delight out of the pan. Using a knife that has been sprayed with oil, cut the candies to size and dust on all sides with the cornstarch dusting mixture.

Keep in an airtight container.

Chocolate Marble Bundt Cake

It’s cake time! It’s been a while since I’ve made some cake, and I figured it was high time for cake.The nice thing about this cake recipe is that it calls for a significant amount of buttermilk. The best part of this is if you ever have a surplus of milk, or if you have some that is on the point of turning, that makes it perfect for buttermilk. I had a ton of milk, so I figured, let’s make some cake!If you don’t want to buy actual buttermilk, a great substitute is milk with some white vinegar or lemon juice mixed in. You let it sit for about 10 minutes, and bam! DIY buttermilk that works perfectly.I found the original recipe here, and the only thing I changed was that I didn’t make the glaze to go on top. I figured that the cake was going to be sweet enough, so instead I just sprinkled some icing sugar on top as garnish.Let’s make some cake!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 10 inch Bundt cake

For the yellow cake batter:

¾ c. butter
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2¼ c. flour
1½ c. buttermilk

For the chocolate cake batter:

2/3 c. cocoa powder
5 tbsp. hot coffee
2 tbsp. sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-cup Bundt pan. Spraying with non-stick spray or brushing with Miracle Cake Release also works.In the bowl of a mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each addition.Stir in vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well combined.Add all the flour and buttermilk. Stir until combined, and don’t overmix.In a medium sized bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, coffee, and the sugar until well combined. Stir in 2 cups of the yellow cake batter, and mix until well combined.Place about a quarter of the yellow cake batter into the bottom of the cake pan, then alternate between the chocolate and yellow batter, until all batter has been used. Feel free to dollop the batter in uneven lumps.Use a knife and swirl the batter around together, not too much. Tap the cake on the counter to dislodge any bubbles.Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, before inverting on a wire rack and cooling completely, removing the pan when able and cool enough.

Chocolate Marzipan Cookies

It was Teacher’s Convention last week, and I went to my brother-in-law’s house and hung out with him and his wife, Serena. I’m lucky and married into a pretty great family. Well, Serena had a tube of marzipan that she didn’t know what to do with, so I took to Pinterest.I found this recipe, and Serena and I attempted it, and it was incredible! The cookies are thick, crispy on the edges, and chewy and tender in the middle.Really, I don’t want to continue writing. Please just make these cookies!!

Ingredients

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

½ c. butter, very soft
1/3 c. sugar
½c. brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1½ c. flour
1 c. chocolate chips
½ c. chopped dark chocolate
½ c. chopped marzipan
Sea salt, to finish

In a large bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together. Add the egg and the vanilla, and beat again.Mix in the baking soda and salt, then add in the flour and mix on slow until flour is incorporated.Fold in the chocolate chips, chopped chocolate, and marzipan. Chill the dough for 1-2 hours.Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Scoop out large tablespoon sized balls of cookie dough, roll into balls, place about 2 inches apart, and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.Bake in the preheated oven for 11-15 minutes, until the edges are light golden. Once out of the oven, sprinkle cookies with salt, let cool on the trays for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Double Chocolate Pecan Bread Pudding

This recipe is fantastic! It makes enough for a 9×13 pan, but when I made it I used an 8×8 square pan and a loaf pan. It’s delicious. Chocolate in the custard and chocolate chips in the actual bread pudding – heck yes a double load of chocolate.I found the original recipe here, and the only thing I changed was I ran out of Kahlua (the travesty!), and substituted milk for the heavy cream and the remainder of the Kahlua I didn’t have.The more I write on the blog, as in number of posts, I realize how much I just want to get to the recipe. So, I hope that my readers don’t mind when I have a short post, because I just want to share the food. Enjoy this!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9×13 pan

5 c. cubed bread (day old, or stale)
½ c. chocolate chips
½ c. chopped pecans
1 c. brown sugar, packed
¼ c. cocoa powder
1½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. cardamom
Pinch of salt
5 eggs, lightly beaten
2 c. milk
½ c. Kahlua
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a 9×13 pan with non-stick stray. Put the cubed bread in a baking dish. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and pecans over the bread. Set aside.In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Add the eggs, and whisk until combined.Add the milk, Kahlua and vanilla. Whisk until thoroughly incorporated.Pour the mixture over the bread cubes, and let sit 45 minutes to an hour, or until soaked through.Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the bread pudding for 60-75 minutes, or until the custard is set. Check halfway. If the bread is getting dark, cover with aluminum foil. Let cool before serving.Best if served warm with ice cream or whipped cream on top!

Carrot Cake Loaf

I love carrot cake, but I’ve never really made it because it isn’t one of Paul’s favourite types of cake. I went to go make this the other day, and the original recipe, found here, made 2 loaf cakes.

As I went rooting through my fridge, I realized I only had enough ingredients for half that, one loaf, and was perfectly happy. I’m putting the original measurements down, for 2 loaf cakes, but it was really not hard to halve.

I love the warm spiciness of a carrot cake, and the fact that carrots themselves are a bit sweet, so that you don’t need to add tons and tons of sugar. The cream cheese icing on top is decadent, and absolutely delicious. Mine is a little different, in that I didn’t colour the icing to make an icing carrot on top, but instead I used sprinkles – orange and green dino feet sprinkles to be exact – to indicate that it is supposed to be a carrot cake. I think the sprinkles add a touch of whimsy (and texture) to a really delicious cake. If you like carrot cake, you’ll definitely like this.

As a bonus, even though Paul explicitly told me he really doesn’t like carrot cake, he clammed up when I asked him what he thought, then, with the most sheepish grin on his face told me that it was a good cake. Guys, I made a carrot cake hater turn into a carrot cake liker. (Not lover – not yet at least!) Obviously, this still means that the carrot cake is a WIN.

Ingredients

Yield: 2 loaf cakes

For the cake:

2½ c. flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1¼ tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
½ tsp. salt

1 lb. whole carrots, peeled
1½ c. sugar

½ c. dark brown sugar, packed
4 eggs
1½ c. vegetable (I used canola) oil

For the cream cheese frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 tbsp. butter, softened
3½ c. icing sugar
½ tsp. vanilla
Green and orange food colouring (or sprinkles)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.

In a food processor with the grater attachment, shred the carrots, and set aside. Wipe out the food processor.

With the standard food processor blade, add white sugar, brown sugar, and eggs. Process until thoroughly combined. With the food processor running, drizzle the oil into the egg mixture until mixture is thick and emulsified, about 30 seconds.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and whisk until combined into a thick mixture. Fold in shredded carrots using a spatula.

Pour batter evenly into the loaf pans, and bake in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs.

Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting. I also removed the cakes from the pans to help them cool faster.

To make the cream cheese frosting, in a large bowl of a mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add the icing sugar, a half cup at a time, until smooth. Add in vanilla, then mix again.

Pipe or spread onto cooled loaves.

If you want to decorate with tiny carrots then separate two ¼ cup portions of frosting into separate bowls. Add a few drops of orange and green food coloring into each bowl and mix, adjusting colors to your preference.

Spoon dyed frosting into small ziplock bags, and cut a tiny opening in the corner of each bag.

Gently pipe carrot designs all over the top of the cake, as desired. Carrots are made by squeezing a blob of orange frosting then quickly drawing the frosting in a downward motion. Add “leaves” by making 1-2 small dots on the top of the orange “carrot.”