A Craft in the Life: Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight is definitely one of all time favourite sweets! The deliciously soft, blush pink rosy squares coated in powdery icing sugar and cornflour, always reminds me of family holidays abroad and Christmases at home. I have wanted to make my own for a very long time, and after being inspired by the latest episode of Sweets Made Simple I decided to give it ago 🙂

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Turkish Delight

You will need:

Sunflower Oil for Greasing

3 oz /90g Cornflour (Plus 2 Tbsps for coating)

2 Tbsps Icing Sugar

1lb 6 oz /750g Caster Sugar

1 Tsp Cream of Tartar

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Rose Water

Pink Gel Food Colouring

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Let’s get started!

  • Grease a 17cm x 17cm tin with sunflower oil and line with cling film (Make sure to also lightly grease the top of the clingfilm too).
  • Mix together 2 tbsps of cornflour and icing sugar in a small bowl. Sift a few tbsps over the greased clingfilm to coat and return the excess to the bowl.

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  • Combine the caster sugar, lemon juice and half the cream of tartar in a medium sized heavy based saucepan and add 350ml water.
  • Over a medium heat, dissolve the sugar then bring to the boil. Insert a sugar thermometer into the sugar syrup, and heat gently until it reads 125ºC/257ºF.

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  • Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  • In another medium sized heavy based saucepan, combine the cornflour, remaining cream of tartar and 400ml water.
  • Whisk together until smooth then bring to the boil until the mixture thickens rapidly turning into a thick, white paste.

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  • Simmer for 15 seconds then carefully pour one quarter of the hot syrup into the pan while whisking constantly.
  • Add the remaining hot syrup in three batches, whisking continuously to prevent it sticking on the bottom of the pan and to ensure the mixture is smooth and lump free.

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  • Bring back to the boil and cook gently over a low heat for around 30 minutes, stirring continuously, until thick and glossy.
  • Take the pan off the heat, pour into a large mixing bowl before adding a dash of pink food colouring and the rose water.

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  • Beat until smooth then pour into the prepared tin, ensuring it is spread level.
  • Allow to cool completely, before covering with clingfilm and chilling overnight in the fridge.
  • Tip the saved cornflour/icing sugar mixture onto a large baking tray, then turn out the set Turkish delight and carefully remove the clingfilm off the bottom.
  • Using a lightly greased knife cut into squares, dusting each piece in cornflour/icing sugar mix as you go.
  • You are all done 🙂

I decided to only make pastel pink rose flavoured Turkish Delight, as this was my first attempt! Although it did take a while I was surprised at how relatively easy it was to make. The most difficult parts were simultaneously pouring the hot syrup and whisking, and then continuously stirring for 30 minutes. However, it is completely worth it for the soft, smooth jelly texture of the final sweet.

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As well as flavouring the Turkish Delight lemon instead of rose, you can also add pistachios/almonds for an interesting combination of smooth/sweet and crunchy/savoury. The final dusted pieces can be kept for up to 10 days between grease proof paper in an air tight container. You can leave the pieces plain or you could coat each piece partly or completely in melted chocolate. If you are as much of a lover of Turkish Delight as I am, definitely try out this recipe!

A Craft in the Life…

A Craft in the Life: Coconut and Courgette Soup

Over the last few weeks me and my mum have brought back several varieties of courgettes from volunteering at Cogges Manor Farm in Witney. The walled garden is currently packed full of courgette and marrow plants, covering the plots with their large green leaves, bright orange flowers with green and yellow courgettes hanging off twisted vines. In order to use up all the courgettes we now have in the fridge, I decided to make a large batch of Coconut and Courgette Soup. This soup is one my family’s favourites, as the combination of soft courgette and sweet coconut milk gives a refreshing and very moreish flavour 🙂

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Coconut and Courgette Soup

You will need:

2.2lb /1kg Courgettes (Around 8) or Marrows

Salt

1 Large Onion, Chopped (Either white or Red)

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tsp Grated Fresh Ginger

2 Garlic Cloves, Crushed

2 Tbsps Chopped Basil and Mint

1L /35 fl oz Vegetable Stock

250ml /8½ fl oz Coconut Milk

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Let’s get started!

  • Peel, de seed and chop the courgettes/marrows into 2cm chunks.
  • Put them into a colander, sprinkle with salt and let them drain for 30 minutes to get rid of the excess water, then pat them dry with a tea towel/kitchen paper.

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  • In a large stock/soup pot, fry the onion gently in oil until softened.
  • Add the ginger and garlic, along with the salted courgettes, basil and mint.
  • Pour over half the stock and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

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  • Once the courgettes are soft, remove the soup from the heat and allow to cool.
  • Blend in a food processor and return to the pot with the rest of the stock and coconut milk, then simmer for 5 minutes.

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  • Season to taste then serve topped with extra chopped basil/mint.
  • You are all done 🙂

This Coconut and Courgette Soup definitely works well as a summer soup, due to it’s light, refreshing flavour and bright green colour. The recipe makes a large batch of soup which you can store in the fridge for 2-3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Make sure to test the soup before you add any final seasoning, as salting the courgettes before cooking can be enough salt. I love the addition of the coconut milk in this soup, as it gives a delicious creamy taste which is really complemented by the mint and basil. Definitely try it out 🙂

A Craft in the Life…

A Craft in the Life: Apple and Cucumber Chutney

Along with bringing home a rather excessive number of very large courgettes last week from Cogges Manor Farm, another vegetable we had quite a lot of was cucumbers! I really liked the look of this apple and cucumber chutney, as the combination of sweet apple, cool refreshing cucumber and a hint of chili sounded delicious. Most chutneys are made in a similar way to the Spiced Courgette Chutney I made alongside this one, however this recipe varied slightly in order to ensure the sugar was properly dissolved in the white wine vinegar.

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Apple and Cucumber Chutney 

You will need:

1lb 4 oz/650g Onions, chopped (Around 3/4 large white or red onions should be enough)

2lb 2 oz/1kg Cucumbers, cut lengthways, seeds removed and chopped

2lb 2 oz/1kg Cooking apples, chopped (Granny Smith work very well!)

15 ½ fl oz/450ml White Wine Vinegar

1lb 7 oz/500g Brown Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1 Red Chili, chopped (This will depend on how spicy you like your chutney, and the strength of your chili!)

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Let’s get started!

  • Add the chopped apples, onions, cucumber and white wine vinegar to a large stock pan and place on a medium heat.
  • Stirring regularly to prevent sticking, bring to the boil then simmer until softened.
  • Add the sugar, chili and salt, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.

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  • Continue to simmer uncovered for around 2 hours until dark and thickened (Make sure to check on the chutney every 15/20 minutes and give it a good stir to prevent sticking!).
  • Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 1/140ºC/275ºF. Carefully wash and dry your jars (You can use large curry/pasta sauce jars or smaller jam/condiment jars depending on what you have! You can of course buy new glass jars, Steamer Trading Company sell 6 400ml jars with lids for £6. Lakeland also sell 6 110ml jars for £5.29, however you often are required to buy the lids separately).
  • Place the jars and lids separately in your preheated oven and allow to sterilise for around 30 minutes.

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  • Carefully remove the jars and lids from the oven. Spoon the chutney into the jars while it is still hot, before topping with a wax disc and replacing the lids.

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  • Label with it’s name and the date before leaving in a cool, dark place for at least 4-6 weeks before opening.

Our cupboards are certainly well and truly stocked full of chutney now! This recipe was easy and simple to make, resulting in a tasty looking chutney flecked with red chili and pieces of green cucumber. I’m a massive fan of cheese and crackers, and this chutney works very well with both 🙂 I would definitely recommend giving this recipe a go if you are looking for a sweet and spicy chutney.

A Craft in the Life…

A Craft in the Life: Spiced Courgette Chutney

Now I am back home in Oxfordshire I have been able to return to volunteering at Cogges Manor Farm in Witney. I started volunteering last year, alongside my mum who has been helping out there for almost 4 years! This week we headed up on Friday to help out with weeding, harvesting and watering in the beautiful walled garden beside the manor house. We arrived just after 9am in order to avoid the very hot weather we have been enjoying this week, as it gets incredibly hot in the walled garden especially when you are working hard! After a catch up with the other volunteers we got the fun job of harvesting the vegetables that were ready to be eaten 🙂 One of the best parts of volunteering in the walled garden is getting to bring home some of this fresh produce, which this week included – courgettes, cucumbers, carrots, beetroot and lettuce! In order to use up all this delicious produce we decided to make some chutney!

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Spiced Courgette Chutney 

You will need:

7 oz/200g Onions, chopped (Around 2 large white or red onions should be enough)

1lb 10 oz/500g Tomatoes, chopped

1lb 10 oz/500g Courgettes, chopped

8 ½ fl oz/250ml White Wine Vinegar

14 oz/400g Cooking apples, chopped (Granny Smith work very well!)

9 oz/250g Brown Sugar

2 tsp Mixed Spice

1 tbsp Mustard Seeds

Thumb sized piece of root ginger, grated

4 Cloves of garlic, crushed

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Let’s get started!

  • Add all chopped vegetables, sugar, white wine vinegar and spices into a large stock pan and place on a low/medium heat.

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  • Stirring regularly to prevent sticking, bring gently to a simmer.
  • Continue to simmer uncovered for around 2 hours until dark and thickened.

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  • Preheat your oven to Gas Mark 1/140ºC/275ºF. Carefully wash and dry your jars (I used a collection of 6 re used jars that were a variety of sizes. You can use large curry/pasta sauce jars or smaller jam/condiment jars depending on what you have! You can of course buy new glass jars, Steamer Trading Company sell 6 400ml jars with lids for £6. Lakeland also sell 6 110ml jars for £5.29, however you often are required to buy the lids separately).
  • Place the jars and lids separately in your preheated oven and allow to sterilise for around 30 minutes.

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  • Carefully remove the jars and lids from the oven. Spoon the chutney into the jars while it is still hot, before topping with a wax disc and replacing the lids.

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  • Label with it’s name and the date before leaving in a cool, dark place for at least 3 weeks before opening.

Although my mum has made quite a lot of different jams, jellies and chutneys, this is actually the first time I have ever made some myself! This recipe was really easy to follow, and the only thing that takes time is all the careful chopping of the vegetables, as you need to prepare them the size you want them in the final cooked chutney. Once it’s on the hob all it needs is a gently stir every 15/20 minutes and a few hours good cooking so that it ends up being that thick delicious chutney texture.

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As the chutney takes 3 weeks to mature we haven’t tried out the batch made here, however I have tasted this particular chutney before once it’s finished and I think it has a good taste and texture. The addition of the mustard seeds gives the final chutney a really interesting look and the combination of spice and vegetables (Especially the courgette!) works well together. If you haven’t made a chutney before I would definitely recommend this as a good beginner’s recipe. It is also a great way to use up any fresh vegetables you have from the garden/allotment or weekly shop!

A Craft in the Life…

A Craft in the Life: Marshmallow Cups

When I made my own Peanut Butter Cups I was surprised with how quick and easy they actually were to make, and of course how delicious they tasted! Since first making them, I have received quite a few requests to make them again and the mixture of salty peanuts with sweet chocolate is definitely one of my favourites. I really wanted to try something along the same lines of these cups, and an idea that has been on my to do list for a while seemed perfect – Marshmallow Cups!

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Marshmallow Cups

You will need:

3½ oz/100g Marshmallow Fluff

10½ oz/300g Milk Chocolate

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Let’s get started!

  • Begin by lining a 12 mini muffin tray (Or regular if you don’t have one – just be aware that you may need to use a little more chocolate as the cases will have a wider area to spread out).
  • Melt the milk chocolate and gently warm the marshmallow fluff, carefully in the microwave, or in a bowl over gently simmering water – ensuring that the bowl doesn’t touch the water.

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  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Spoon 1-2 tsp of the melted milk chocolate into each mini muffin case, allowing it to spread evenly across the base of the case.
  • Using a teaspoon, pick up 1 spoon full of marshmallow fluff.
  • Carefully allow the spoonful of marshmallow to drip into the centre of the chocolate base in each case.

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  • Ensure the marshmallow fluff is flat before spooning 1-2 tsp of milk chocolate over the top to cover.

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  • Gently tap the tray to spread the chocolate evenly before chilling until completely set.
  • You are all done! 🙂

This recipe was even simpler than peanut butter cups! I found that it was easier to warm the marshmallow fluff in the microwave for a few seconds before placing it on top of the first layer of chocolate, as it can be a bit of a nightmare to work with. You could of course make your own marshmallow fluff – something I think I would love to have a go at myself.

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As I expected, the combination of soft sticky marshmallow fluff with crisp chocolate was delicious and very moreish! Everyone who tried my peanut butter cups really enjoyed them, so I was worried that these marshmallow cups wouldn’t be able to compare. I was therefore pretty happy when they received just as much praise, with plenty of requests for another batch – as well as a request for a batch of both peanut butter and marshmallow! I would definitely recommend giving these marshmallow cups a go, as not only do they taste amazing but they look impressive and are super easy to make!

A Craft in the Life…