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Elderflower Turkish Delight

Top tip: This is definitely a recipe for two pairs of hands! That was a lesson I learnt the hard way.
Cook Time 2 hrs


  • 400 g Granulated Sugar
  • 300 ml Water
  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 75 g Cornstarch
  • Elderflower Cordial To taste
  • Extra Cornstarch/Icing Sugar For dusting


  • This recipe is a sticky one! So to start, grease an oven dish with a flavourless oil (I used vegetable) and line with baking paper.
  • Grab a large, heavy bottomed pan and mix together your first three ingredients: your sugar, lemon juice and 180ml of your water.
  • Bring this mix up to boil over a medium-low heat, and keep it rolling until your sugar thermometer reaches 120 Celsius or 250 Fahrenheit. You don’t need to stir one the sugar’s dissolved, but be sure to scrape down any crystals that form on the sides.
  • Whilst this mixture heats, combine your cornstarch, cream of tartar and remaining water in a separate pan. Be sure to whisk thoroughly and continuously to avoid lumps! These would form hard lumps in your sweets, so should be avoided at all costs.
  • Place this mix over a medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. The mixture will gradually thicken. Now would be a good time to bring in your second pair of hands!
  • Once the syrup has reached 120C, remove it from the heat. Gradually combine it with your cornstarch mix- adding a little at a time and- you guessed it- whisking continuously.
  • Once fully incorporated, reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer. You (and your helper) can rest your well whisked arms, as at this point it only needs whisking every 6- 10 minutes to avoid the sugar caramelizing on the bottom of the pan.
  • Leave over the heat for up to an hour, stirring every 6-10 minutes to ensure the bottom does not burn. Your mixture will become golden and transparent, and will reduce in volume.
  • What you’re waiting to judge here is consistency. To test this, dip a little on the end of the spoon into a glass of ice water. Once cooled, give the mix a taste test- has it reached the chewy yet soft consistency of your favourite Turkish delight? If so, it’s time to add your Elderflower! If not, leave to simmer a little longer.
  • It’s Elderflower Time! Stir in your cordial to taste- using the same ice-water technique to judge the flavour. Keep an eye on the texture too- adding liquids may make your sweet a little too soft. If so, keep over a low simmer for a short while longer.
  • When you’re happy with your mix, pour it into your lined baking tray. Use a spatula to even it out.
  • Once cooled, dust a clean surface with your cornstarch/icing sugar. Turn out the cooled Turkish delights and slice into cubes. Ensure all sides are well dusted and enjoy!


Be careful when working with hot sugar, as it can cause serious burns.