Soggy Turkish Delight

by Danielle

Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight

Strictly speaking this isn't a chocolate candy question as Turkish Delight doesn't contain chocolate (although it can be dipped in chocolate as a variation!).

But as you were so helpful with a previous query, I thought I'd try you on this one.

I've made a batch of Turkish Delight with a recipe found on the internet. Once it's made, it is sliced into cubes and covered in a mix of confectionery sugar and cornflour.

Despite storing it in an airtight container, between sheets of waxed paper, it has gone all gloopy. Basically it's soaked up all the sugar and even seems to leak liquid.

I can't find any advice on the internet about this although I have found others whose Turkish Delight has similarly gone gloopy!

Grateful for any solutions on keeping dry and non-gloopy. Thanks.

Hi Danielle,

I've really learned to love Turkish Delight. I never had it in the US, but it's pretty popular here in Australia.

I thought it was disgusting the first time I tried it. :-) I thought it tasted like perfume. Anyway, it grew on me. Now I love it.

I haven't made homemade Turkish Delight myself, but there's a little kebab shop in town that sells it. I think they make it themselves. I'll dash in today when I'm running errands and see if they can give me the answer to your soggy Turkish Delight dilemma.

I did have a quick look around online, too, to see if I could come up with anything you may have missed. The two things I discovered was that apparently the weather (temperature and humidity) can contribute to gloopy Turkish Delight.

And also, it apparently is quite a science to getting it right. You have to be careful not to overcook or under-cook the mixture. That wasn't very helpful because they didn't have exact times, etc. listed!

Well, watch this space. I'll let you know what this lady has to say if I can catch her today.

Now that we're discussing the subject, others are bound to want to give it a try! Here's a step by step recipe for those interested.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 4 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4
    cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rose water
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • vegetable oil for greasing
  • candy thermometer

Step 1 - Making the Syrup
Combine 1 1/2 cups water, lemon juice, and sugar in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and it comes to the boil.

Reduce heat to low and insert a candy thermometer. Simmer until the temperature reaches 240 degrees. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 2 - Making the Base

Combine remaining 3 cups of water, cream of tartar, and cornstarch in saucepan over medium heat. Stir until mixture becomes smooth and begins to boil. When the mixture achieves a glue-like consistency, stop stirring.

Add the syrup mixture that you made earlier and stir together for about 5 minutes until it is well combined. On low heat, simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally to keep it from burning on the bottom.

The mixture will become a lovely golden color. When it does, add in the rosewater and stir well.

Step 3 - Pouring the Turkish Delight

Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a baking dish. (In the video she uses a loaf pan, but I think you'll find it easier with a cake pan.)

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, spread evenly, and allow to set overnight. You can refrigerate it if you like.

Tip Turkish Delight out of the pan and cut into cubes. Toss each cube in the bowl of confectioners (powdered) sugar until thoroughly coated.

You can store your Turkish Delight in an airtight container, separated in layers by wax or parchment paper.

For those who don't want to make Turkish Delight themselves, but are still interested in trying this unique sweet, you can order it from Hotel Chocolat in the UK. Hotel Chocolat also has a US site (just click on the little flag at the top to switch), but I don't think they have Turkish Delight available on the US site.

Like I said, it's not that popular in the States. But that's no reason why you can't have it sent 'across the pond.' :-) It's worth it!


Comments for Soggy Turkish Delight

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Dec 10, 2021
Texture - lokum gooey fudgy, caramel like NEW
by: Kunal

My lokum turn out like a sturdy jelly, where as the one that i like (have eaten earlier) are more caramel in texture, more gooey/fudgy. I don’t know what i am doing wrong.

The first batch i prepared came out fudgy, but everything after that was like a sturdy jelly.
Example, when i bite into it, it cuts clean, where as the first batch, i felt resistance and it stuck to the tooth, felt much denser.

How i make it. (first batch)
boil sugar, lemon juice, water to 240F
Mix cornflour water, lemon juice (i didn't have cream of tartar), then heat it to get it glutenous, add the sugar syrup, and cook in low flame for 1 hr 10 min. cool it over night, cut and dust with cornflour and sugar.

In the second/third batch, i used cream of tartar.
is the cream of tartar the difference or what else i am i doing wrong?
the caramel, stick to the tooth, fudgy texture is what i want.
i have a kilo of lokum that i don't know what to do as i have been experimenting to get the right texture.
please do help.

Dec 12, 2017
Turkish Delight Issues NEW
by: Anne

I had similar problems when I first started making Turkish Delight. The issue wasn't with the cooking, or the recipe but with the storage instructions. I made it in the traditional way (using no gelatin -- only cornstarch to thicken).

I ran a few experiments to see what kind of solution would work. This dessert when made with cornstarch during the cooking (instead of gelatin) does NOT need to be kept in the fridge. In fact, that is a BAD place to put it as the fridge is a high-humidity environment (which will encourage your sweets and other high-sugar-content items to melt). We were taught in cooking school that sugar is hydroscopic (meaning that it will pull moisture from the surrounding air in order to keep itself moist) This is why when you bake cookies or cakes with high sugar contents they don't go stale as quickly as something like a loaf of bread. It is also why commercial bakeries use high-fructose corn syrups to help extend shelf life of baked goods.

If we take that info (moisture is bad, and sugar loves moisture) and apply it to Turkish Delight, rolling the cubes in powdered sugar (on top of the high sugar content already inside the sweets) it is going to cause a problem. The powdered sugar on the outside is actually pulling moisture OUT of the Turkish delight in order to moisten itself, resulting in that outside layer of slime-like goop.

What I did to deal with this, is for storage purposes, roll/toss all the cubes in cornstarch only! No icing sugar at all. Store at room temp basically buried in cornstarch. Shake or gently toss them every few days to keep them coated with the cornstarch and try to keep them away from moisture (no fridge, not near where you shower or near the dishwasher when it is steaming etc.).

When you are ready to actually serve them, by all means toss them in powdered sugar. They will last about a day or maybe 2 if you are lucky once the powdered sugar gets on them. If you've tossed them in sugar, don't put them back in with the stored pieces (so just sugar what you intend to use).

I made about 7 batches of Turkish Delight and lost the first 2 batches purely because of trying to store them with the sugar on. You can even serve the pieces with just the cornstarch on them (and skip the powdered sugar entirely) without really making much difference (depending on the flavour you've made).

Apr 16, 2017
Turkish Delight NEW

In past I tried making Turkish Delight with method similar to that posted on this website i e using cornstarch (cornflour) but it gloopy, lumpy & did not set properly.
No, the best way to make it and by far the easiest is with 'Leaf Gelatine'.
8 Leaves of gelatine, a pound (16 ozs or 450 gms)of sugar & 1/2 pint of water. Let Gelatine melt, then add sugar & disolve; boil for 20 minutes. Turn out into pan & let set. When set cut up into squares (I use scissors for this--easy) & dust all cut edges with cornflour/icing sugar mix (1 part to part mix).

Jan 29, 2015
Leaking Lokums! NEW
by: Catherine


I have recently become interested in making Turkish Delight (called Lokum in Turkish)and I have run into the same problem that is described above with the bits of delight becoming soggy and leaking a bit. The first time I made it it was really bad. The second time I made it it was significantly better, but still leaked a bit. Did you ever end up finding out why this might be happening?

Dec 21, 2014
That does not NEW
by: Nicole

Look like the Turkish Delight I buy out of Stater Brothers, British section of the store.

Dec 23, 2011
Don't put Turkish Delight in the fridge NEW
by: Angie

I think the problem with your Turkish Delight getting wet is from putting it in the refrigerator. There's a lot of condensation in the fridge, so that would naturally create that moisture situation and create soggy Turkish Delight.

Once the candy is made and placed in the airtight container, you should be able to leave it at room temperature.

May 12, 2011
Soggy Turkish Delight
by: Tracy


I too have tried this recipe, the TD has set and i've cut it into cubes and covered in confectioners sugar/icing sugar, layered them between baking sheets with extra icing sugar and put in the fridge, they have soaked up the sugar and gone WET, they still taste good but feel slimy :-(.. where did i go wrong??

Jan 23, 2009
Could It Be The Weather?
by: Angie

What was the weather like when you made the Turkish Delight? Was it damp or humid? That could have contributed to soggy Turkish Delight.

Another option may be that you didn't cook it long enough. Did you test your thermometer before cooking to be sure it was accurate? It should read 212 ° when water comes to the boil.

Other than those two things, I don't know what could be the problem. Anyone else have any ideas?

Jan 23, 2009
My base went soggy and did not set
by: Judy

I followed the recipe to the "T" but the base ended up going soggy and did not set. Where might I have gone wrong?

Nov 20, 2008
Making Turkish Delight
by: Angie

Hi Danielle,

Well, I went to the kebab shop as promised. Unfortunately, they don't make it themselves as I had hoped. That didn't stop me from buying a delicious rose flavored piece and savoring every morsel.

I then went to another deli in town that also, happily, sells Turkish Delight. They only had vanilla yesterday. I couldn't be biased, of course, so I had to get a piece of that one, too. Mmmmm.

Sadly, they don't make it there either. Angelina, the deli owner, said she does know a lady in town who makes it herself. I described your dilemma and gave her my card. She's supposed to get back with me.

If I don't hear from her, I'll be forced to return to the deli and ask again - tasting the current Turkish Delight on offer.

I hope you see my true dedication to this task! :-)

I'll keep you posted,

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