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.

Butter Tart Squares

Here is a Canadian classic… in square form! These are even easier than making butter tarts, because you just make one big batch. Paul was a little out of sorts, because he firmly believes that raisins belong in butter tarts, but I didn’t have any on hand, so I took the “optional” directive for the raisins.

These are so easy to make, and how could you go wrong with such a classic treat? I found the original recipe here, and as I said, the only thing I changed was to leave out the aforementioned optional raisins.

I made these for a New Year’s Party, and had a ton leftover, so we decided to freeze them and have them later. These were a hit, so go make them!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 3 dozen squares, depending on cut side

For the crust:

2 c. flour
4 tbsp. icing sugar
1 c. butter, cold and cubed
1-2 tbsp. cold water

For the filling:

½ c. butter
3 c. brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. vanilla
¾ c. golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and icing sugar. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until pea-sized lumps of butter remain. Add water as needed to get mixture to hold together when you squeeze a lump of it.

Transfer mixture to prepared pan, and press into a firm layer. Bake for 10 minutes.

Prepare the filling by melting the butter in a microwave safe measuring cup. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and the brown sugar. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until smooth. Add in the vanilla and the vinegar, and whisk again. Stir in the raisins, if using.

Pour the filling over the baked crust and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the filling center is almost set – just a slight jiggle.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, and refrigerate for several hours before slicing and serving.

No-Bake Chocolate Tart

If you love chocolate, but don’t want to turn on your oven, this tart is the perfect dessert for you! It’s only a few simple ingredients, takes no time to whip up, and gives high-quality delicious results.

I’m a sucker for a smooth, velvety ganache. This tart has just that. It is simple, only two components, but so, so rich and chocolatey. I found the recipe here, and didn’t change a thing, except I did make a little bit extra of the crust because I like a thicker crust sometimes!

I’ve been incredibly busy the past few weeks, and this is also the haul to the end. We’re almost to the end of the school year. At the end of this week I also go to Edmonton to mark Diploma exams, so unfortunately, don’t expect a post next week, as I won’t even be in town!

When July hits I’ll be able to spend a bit more time with the things I’ve been neglecting lately: the blog, my saxophone, my cats… the list seems to be endless when you are busy and have no time for anything. (Thankfully Paul and I have scheduled a few date nights to actually be able to see one another.)

Either way, bring on the chocolate!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9-inch tart

For the crust:

2½ c. chocolate baking crumbs
½ c. butter, melted

For the ganache filling:

1 c. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 c. milk or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 c. heavy cream
¼ c. butter

To make the crust, in a heat-proof bowl, melt the butter, and add the chocolate baking crumbs. Stir together until combined, and press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Place in the refrigerator to chill and set for at least 30 minutes. (If you want the crust a little crisper, you can bake it at 350°F for 5-6 minutes… but that’s if you want to turn on your oven.)

In a small saucepan, combine the butter and heavy cream. Heat until the butter is melted and the mixture is at a low boil. In a large heat-proof bowl, place the chopped chocolate. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate, and leave for 1-2 minutes. Using a spatula, stir the mixture until melted and smooth. Pour ganache over crust and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.

I also whipped some heavy cream with some vanilla and powdered sugar to make a whipped cream topping. Delish!

Keep in the fridge, and slice and serve.

Nanaimo Bar Tart


Well, another original recipe. This recipe came about quite suddenly. Paul and I had been talking about tortes and tarts, and my mind just started wandering when Paul went to work.

I wondered if a Nanaimo Bar Tart could possibly work, and started thinking…. I took a shortbread recipe for the crust, and changed it up a bit, as well as using the custard powder and turning it into a thick custard, topping it off with a smooth chocolate topping.


I threw it all in the fridge to set up. That was the hard part – waiting for it to set to make sure that everything tasted good and worked together. However, the waiting and experimentation paid off, because WOW did taste good!

The tart turned out very good, but very rich, and already I’m cursing the slightly-bigger-than-normal piece that I cut for myself and finished with gusto because it was just THAT good. Either way, if you are a Nanaimo Bar fan, then this tart should be right up your alley!

Enjoy an original recipe! 🙂

Ingredients

Yield: 1 8-9 inch tart

For the tart shell:

1 c. butter
1¼ c. flour
¾c. coconut
½ c. sugar
¼ c. cocoa

For the custard layer:

¼ c. plus 1 tbsp. custard powder
1 tsp. vanilla
3 tbsp. sugar
2½ c. milk

For the chocolate layer:

½ c. butter
1 c. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium microwave safe mixing bowl, melt the butter. Add in the flour, coconut, sugar, and cocoa. Mix together until combined, and press into the tart pan and up the sides, trying to make as uniform and even as possible.

Bake the tart shell in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, and set aside to cool while making the filling.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the custard powder and sugar, then gradually pour in the vanilla and milk while whisking to create a cohesive sauce with no lumps. Whisk over a medium heat until a full boil and the custard thickens, whisking frequently. Once the custard thickens, pour into the cooled tart shell and let thicken and cool.

In a small microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate chips and melt on short bursts, combining until smooth.

Once the custard has thickened more, and formed a skin on top, pour the chocolate over top of the tart and even out, being careful not to mix the custard into the chocolate.

Let cool and set completely, in the fridge or on a wire rack, then slice and serve. Store in the refrigerator.