I’ve always associated Turkish delight with the snowy landscape of Narnia (remember the White Witch cake I made in 2011?). I long for some snowfall outside my own window, but it looks like our Christmas Day forecast is for 70 degree weather. That’s okay. Even if I can’t have a white Christmas, I can still have a bit of winter magic in my candy dish,
This is my favorite Turkish Delight recipe because you can make it in the microwave and you don’t need a candy thermometer. This version is bouncy and brightly scented with pure orange extract. The powdered sugar coating has ground cloves mixed in, and the scent combination is so Christmassy! If you love the fragrance of clove-studded oranges, then you’ll love this candy.
These candies look pretty in festive holiday tins. Generously dust the insides of the tins with extra powdered sugar and cornstarch mixture before placing the squares inside. This will keep them from getting sticky.
Microwave Orange Spice Turkish Delight
- 4 qt. microwave safe glass bowl – such as Pyrex
- 8×8 pan or standard loaf pan
- Two pot holders
- Knife or scissors
- 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 orange extract
- 2 drops orange gel food color
- Cooking spray or cooking oil (light taste, like canola) for greasing pan
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 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 orange extract 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 1 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, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and ground cloves. Dust squares in mixture. Serve with cocktail picks, or in individual paper cups.