Peppermint Turkish delight

Peppermint Turkish delight

B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself
a small roasting tinful

For the last 80 years, all the builders in my family have had lunch on a Friday afternoon in the same café. The café has been through at least four owners during my tenure alone, leaving us and our fellow builders as pretty much the only constant fixture. Next to this café is a Turkish supermarket, where my dad and I buy all our treats for the weekend: usually exotic fruit, baklava and loads of flavours of Turkish delight. This recipe only scrapes the surface of a sweet on which you could write a whole book!


Quantity Ingredient
a few drops vegetable oil
600g caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
145g cornflour
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
blue liquid food colour, (not gel food colour)
green liquid food colour, (not gel food colour)
25g icing sugar

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
small baking tin or dish, (mine is 23 x 15 cm)
pastry brush
confectionery thermometer
electric whisk, (optional)
offset palette knife


  1. Line a small, baking tin or dish (mine is 23 x 15 cm) with baking parchment, then brush the paper with a little oil.
  2. Mix the caster sugar, lemon juice and 220 ml water in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add a confectionery thermometer and bring the temperature to 118°C (‘soft ball’ stage on some thermometers).
  3. Meanwhile, mix 120 g of the cornflour in a large saucepan with 380 ml of water. When the syrup reaches the soft ball stage, take it off the heat, then place the cornflour mixture over a medium heat (the syrup needs a few minutes to cool down or it turns the mix lumpy).
  4. As the cornflour mixture begins to warm up, mix with a whisk – this is easier with an electric whisk but perfectly possible with a manual version; it will thicken up as it heats.
  5. Once the cornflour has formed a thick paste, pour in one-quarter of the syrup and beat until smooth. Continue to beat in the remaining syrup, one-quarter at a time, until it is all incorporated. Do not mix in all the syrup at once, or the mixture will turn lumpy.
  6. Reduce the heat to as low as it will go and heat for 45 minutes, stirring every 2–3 minutes to stop it burning. The mixture should get thicker and turn slightly yellow.
  7. Stir in the peppermint extract thoroughly. Add food colour; I use about 20 drops of blue and 5 drops of green, but add it in increments and use your judgement to get the colour you want.
  8. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin or dish and smooth out with a palette knife. Leave to cool and set overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
  9. Once set, mix the remaining cornflour and the icing sugar and use 1 tablespoon of it to dust the top of the Turkish delight. Turn the slab out on a clean work surface and spoon more cornflour mixture over.
  10. Cut into 2–3 cm squares and dust with the cornflour mixture. Eat!


  • This recipe has a level 2 (intermediate) difficulty.


  • Make traditional Turkish delight using 1 teaspoon of rose water and a few drops of red food colour. Or add 100 g of chopped pistachios (after 45 minutes of mixing) and flavour with rose water or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Or pour in 3 tablespoons of runny honey and add pistachios or toasted almonds. Experiment with orange blossom water, finely grated citrus zests and preserved ginger.
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