A Birthday Trip to Narnia: White Witch Cake and Turkish Delight

Every now and then I will get an email from a young aspiring baker who gets a real kick-start from this blog.  Shealey is one such person.  She’s a dessert enthusiast who loves photography, puppy dogs and painting pictures – sound familiar?  She’s definitely a kindred spirit.  Last Christmas she emailed me to share how much she enjoys reading Sprinkle Bakes, and I thought that was so very nice of her.

I recently received another email from Shealey saying that she is turning 13 years old this month, and asked if I would consider featuring Turkish Delight on my blog.  She and her friends plan to watch the Narnia movie trilogy on her birthday, and instead of popcorn they’ll be having Turkish Delight.  I love the Chronicles of Narnia and was more than happy to oblige.  In fact, I’ve wanted to make a White Witch cake ever since I saw the Snow Queen cake in the book Enchanted Cakes by Debbie Brown.  This was a perfect opportunity! Although the cake structure is much the same as the one in Debbie’s book, my White Witch cake was scaled down to one 9″ layer and the rest of the decorating was very much improvised.

“It is dull, Son of Adam, to drink without eating,” said the Queen presently.  “What would you like best to eat?”

“Turkish Delight, please, your Majesty,” said Edmund.

The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow, and
instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon,
which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best
Turkish Delight. Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and
Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious.

–excerpt,  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

 I was intrigued (and skeptical) when I heard that Turkish Delight can be made in the microwave.  I’ve only sampled the treat one other time from the shelves of Williams-Sonoma, so my comparison is limited.  This version has a less sticky texture than the store-bought stuff, and it is delicately soft  – a bit like a fruit jelly crossed with a soft gummy snack.  I adapted a recipe- almost beyond recognition- from this New York Times article and was pleased when everything went according plan.

Littledetails:  birthday candle-turned-magic staff from Bake it Pretty;   a queenly side-braid.  
Happy birthday Shea!  I hope all your birthday wishes come true.

Microwave Turkish Delight                                    [ printable version ] 

Yield: 40-60 pieces of candy 

Note: Make candy the day before serving so it will have time to set.

Equipment:

4 qt. microwave safe glass bowl – such as Pyrex

Whisk

8×8 pan or standard loaf pan

Two pot holders

Knife or scissors

Make the candy:

2 1/2 cups of cold water

3/4 cup cornstarch, plus 1/2 cup for dusting candy squares

3 cups sugar

1/4 cup light corn syrup

1 tbsp. pure lemon extract

2 drops red or pink liquid food coloring

Cooking spray, or cooking oil (light taste, like canola) for greasing pan

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Ground pistachios *optional

Pour the water into a 4-quart glass bowl.  Whisk in the 3/4 cup cornstarch 1/4 cup at a time until dissolved.  Microwave mixture for 2 minutes; whisk smooth.  Return to microwave and heat for 2-3 more minutes, or until the mixture starts to turn opaque.  Whisk again – mixture should have the appearance of white paste.

Add sugar and corn syrup.  Heat for 5 minutes in microwave.  Remove bowl with pot holders and whisk smooth.  Heat for 5 more minutes; remove and whisk smooth again.  At this point the mixture will be thick and translucent.  Heat for an additional 5 minutes and whisk in lemon juice and food coloring.  Whisk until mixture is smooth and color is evenly distributed.  Heat 3 more minutes in microwave.  You’ll know when the mixture is done when you try to whisk the mixture and a large portion of the candy batter holds in the balloon of your whisk.  Mixture will be very thick.  You can check consistency by letting a small bit candy batter sit for a few minutes in a condiment cup.  When cooled a little, you should be able to pick it up and roll it into a ball without it being tacky.  If your batter has not reached consistency, heat at 3 minute intervals until consistency is achieved.

Grease the 8×8 or loaf pan with cooking spray or oil and pour in candy batter.  Spray/grease the back of a spoon -the batter doesn’t spread well, so just do the best you can to spread it evenly with the back of greased spoon.  Let candy set up at room temperature until firm enough to handle. This may take several hours – mine set up in about two.

Cut candy with a sharp knife or scissors into even squares. You can do this in the pan or turn the block of candy out on a cutting board dusted with cornstarch.  I cut mine a little larger than usual at about 1 1/2″ square.  In a bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup powdered sugar.  Roll candy in mixture.  Serve candy topped with pistachios on a tray with cocktail picks, or in individual paper cups.

Variations:

Rosewater may be used in place of the lemon extract – though you may want to start with 1/2 tsp. and increase amount to taste.

Seeds of one vanilla bean may be added to both rosewater and lemon batters.

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Jessica @ How Sweet
Jessica @ How Sweet
9 years ago

I am often blown away by your creations Heather, but this… is just breathtaking. Beautiful my friend!

Maja
Maja
9 years ago

i've never tasted turkish delight before.. But you sure do make me wanna try it out!

Rosa's Yummy Yums
Rosa's Yummy Yums
9 years ago

What a dreamlike post. Those Turkish Delights look so pretty. I don't have a microwave and I am still looking for a recipe that uses no corn syrup.

That miniature Art Nouveau woardrobe! Why did you buy it?

Cheers,

Rosa

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
9 years ago

Hi Rosa!

I received the mini wardrobe as a gift years ago. It's a jewelry box. I'm not sure where my friend picked it up. I adore anything art nouveau – seriously, what has happened to design since!?

xo

Ilke
Ilke
9 years ago

As a Turkish person, i have to say that delights (lokum) always intimated me and i nevet tried! Yours look like absolutely the real deal! Lovely blog!

A Spoonful of YUMM !
A Spoonful of YUMM !
9 years ago

what a magical post ! i love this movie….

The Dragonfly On Iron Gate
The Dragonfly On Iron Gate
9 years ago

Amazing, this is so clever. The narnia series is some of my all time favorite books ! The cake is perfect ! I'm going to have to try to make the turkish delight this winter. Hugs Jules ♥

A Spoonful of YUMM !
A Spoonful of YUMM !
9 years ago

that mini wardrobe is perfect for this post…so cute !

Lauren at Keep It Sweet
Lauren at Keep It Sweet
9 years ago

Your photos are gorgeous! I love that you take young reader requests:-)

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga
9 years ago

the fact that you can make this in the microwave just ups the cool factor to it. and the wow factor…beautiful!

Paula
Paula
9 years ago

Outstanding!

Sara
Sara
9 years ago

Gorgeous cake! And I love those Turkish delights…so pretty! 🙂

cookies and cups
cookies and cups
9 years ago

do you know that i used to crave turkish delight when I was little because of this book! I had no idea what it was..but I I wanted it 🙂
So pretty, both the candy and the cake…which is straight up amazing!

Lauren Hairston
Lauren Hairston
9 years ago

I've always wanted to try Turkish Delight (because of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe). I like that yours has lemon instead of rosewater, because I'm not the biggest fan of candy tasting like my perfume! I'll have to give it a try. I'll have to make it on the stove, though, because I don't have a microwave.

jenna
jenna
9 years ago

you are amazing! this looks so beautiful and delish! 🙂

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Watch the comments roll in with this one Heather!!! Unbelievable. So enchanting, so imaginative and over the top. We adore the Chronicles and have read them, watched them, read them…. We even gave tours of the traveling exhibit when it was in Houston recently. Every Christmas, I search wherever we are living and somehow find a box of Turkish Delights for my son. At Xmas, they can often be found at a Marshall's or TJMaxx. How sweet the little girl wanted this for her birthday. I should introduce her to my TD loving son!! There is a shop in Seattle,… Read more »

Karyn
Karyn
9 years ago

Oh My Gosh! Get Out! That White Witch is Amazing!! The details are spectacular. I am always "delighted" with your photography and settings. Another lovely entry! Thanks

megan @ whatmegansmaking
megan @ whatmegansmaking
9 years ago

wow, this is absolutely incredible. I am in awe of this!

Lora
Lora
9 years ago

A treat fit for a queen, the one on your incredible cake or a real live one. WOW!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

Truly breathtaking, Heather! Had I known you were so sweet, I would've requested a panda cake for my birthday :)love the details on this cake and the turkish delight looks delicious.
Happy Birthday, Shealey!

In Katrin'a skitchen
In Katrin'a skitchen
9 years ago

Truly ah-mazing!! And microwave turkish delight?! Knock my socks off!!

Rachael
Rachael
9 years ago

My mom read us the Chronicles of Narnia yearly when we were little, and we always thought Turkish Delight sounded so incredible, so light and delicious. I think we all envisioned it more like nougat, because when I saw it for the first time (at Marshall's, like Sarah mentioned above), I was shocked. I don't like fruit-flavored candy, so I was so disappointed! Your recipe looks pretty awesome, though, so I might have to try it anyway!

Heather
Heather
9 years ago

This is so beautiful!

SF50
SF50
9 years ago

Girl! You. YOU. Mind blown. That is all. XO

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

Absolutely stunning!!! Im sure Shea is delighted with this post…it is amazing! Great job {and now Im craving Turkish Delight and feeling the need to read all the books again!}

Emma
Emma
9 years ago

Photographed from the front, the Queen is all smiles. Hence, the Turkish Delight. But… your photos taken from above her head definitely turn her into the White Witch that she is! She looks tough:)

I love the delicate light blue dye you used, and the cover artwork on the novel. I also agree with your sentiments on art nouveau!

Anonymous
Anonymous
9 years ago

This is a really cool idea! I've never even dreamed of making Turkish Delight until right now!

brooke
brooke
9 years ago

How perfectly original!!! Love it

Michael
Michael
9 years ago

You have some serious mad talent girl!
Aimee

Josh
Josh
9 years ago

Strange timing. I just read this chapter about Edmund & the Witch a couple days ago. Looks amazing!

Unknown
Unknown
9 years ago

I need to hire you for july? pweeeze. You could obviously create the disney, yo gabba gabba, pirate, dora diego cake I need.

THis is gorgeous, and very special.

Sue
Sue
9 years ago

Well Heather, Your artistic wizardry is certainly showing! Your queen is amazing! I especially love her face and her braid:) Love your little wardrobe too:)
Shea must surely feel special.

luna
luna
9 years ago

Looks like Japanese mochi.

Lili
Lili
9 years ago

You just blow me away Heather! What magic you have created. I love everything about this. Happy 13th Birthday to Shea! xo ~Lili

Jun
Jun
9 years ago

Beautiful! I've never tried making turkish delight though! Thanks for sharing! Happy Birthday to Shea!

Burnt Mill Candles and Soap
Burnt Mill Candles and Soap
9 years ago

Beautiful!!!

kouky
kouky
9 years ago

waou!! féerique billet! simplement sublime!! c'est toujours un grand plaisir de venir chez toi!bonne journée! bises!

Heather Ozee
Heather Ozee
9 years ago

When my mother-in-law who is Turkish returns from a trip visiting family in Turkey she always brings back Turkish delights! We love them. But my favorite thing she makes from scratch at here is her Dolma, which is rolled grape leaves with rice and ground beef in them. Here she usually subs the grape leaves for collards 🙂 And she also makes the most amazing baklava! how lucky am I 😉
Love you… fabulous job on the cake!

Voe
Voe
9 years ago

Your blog is truly stunning and all fo your recipes are beautiful. I am now a loyal follower!

All the best,
Voe.
_______________________________
http://pearlwhisk.blogspot.com

Samantha
Samantha
9 years ago

This is so adorable.

I haven't eaten a Turkish Delight since my grandmother passed away. She used to make the best ones I had ever had.

anh@anhsfoodblog.com
anh@anhsfoodblog.com
9 years ago

Amazingly creative!

Kimber
Kimber
9 years ago

Heather, this is gorgeous!

Love the white witch…and I'm incredibly intrigued with the Turkish Delight!

Happy Birthday, Shea!

Nina
Nina
9 years ago

I ♥ this post! Brilliant and what a treat for us who *love* that book. Gorgeous photos and a delightful birthday treat for Shea!

Denver Car Accident Attorney
Denver Car Accident Attorney
9 years ago

Beautiful and clever creation. I love this so much! Such yummy treats. =)

Lori @ Girl Meets Oven
Lori @ Girl Meets Oven
9 years ago

I love making candy in the microwave. I usually make peanut brittle that way. This Turkish Delight looks incredible. Love the pink color.

Nessie @ bakingequalslove
Nessie @ bakingequalslove
9 years ago

This is a revelation! Thanks so much for posting! Also LOVE your copy of the Chronicles of Narnia. Is it a vintage copy? Could I ask where you purchased it? Thanks so much! 🙂

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
9 years ago

Hi Nessie!

It's a recent re-issue from Barnes and Noble. It looks to be available and if you don't have one locally, they ship internationally.

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-chronicles-of-narnia-c-s-lewis/1016333747?ean=9781435117150&itm=6&usri=chronicles%2bof%2bnarnia

Erika Beth, the Messy Chef
Erika Beth, the Messy Chef
9 years ago

How delightful! When I was young I thought Turkish Delight involved turkey and never understood why it would be ordered if you could have anything. lol

Jenn Erickson
Jenn Erickson
9 years ago

I was such a huge fan of The Chronicles of Narnia as a child (still am), and longed, all my childhood through, for just a taste of Turkish Delight. When I got married, my honeymoon took me through Turkey and I was at last able to fulfill that childhood wish.

I'm now enjoying sharing the books with my children, and can't wait to try your Turkish Delight recipe with them!

Best,
Jenn/Rook No. 17

marla
marla
9 years ago

Heather, I love this sweet dedication to Shealey on her birthday! Amazing that she is only 13 – with impeccable taste. I hope this is the kind of content my kids crave when they are that age. Your tribute to Narnia is beautiful. The "Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe" has always been one of my all time favorites! Have never tried Turkish Delight thought it has always intrigued me…..xo