I have already explained how to make Rose Turkish Delight (Lokum) at home, it is pretty and pink, but I must confess that my favourite Lokum of all is hazelnut, so today I will show you this variations, and a few more. To start follow the recipe here.
Rose Turkish Delight
While the cornflour and sugar syrup are cooking shell and toast a couple of handfuls of hazelnuts. It is better to use fresh hazelnuts and toast them just before making Lokum, for a full hazelnut flavour. Years ago I also had a hazelnut essence which was great, but I cannot find it here, I think that one of the best places to buy it would be in Piedmont, in Italy. Anyway, even without hazelnut essence you can get the best out of hazelnuts if you toast them and use them within a few days. When they are still hot from the oven put them in a clean tea towel and shake and rub them well so as to discard the peel. If some peel stays on don't worry, it is edible, just not as nice. Crush the nuts roughly (I have a nut crusher that my Mother-in-law gave me as a present, very handy for these jobs), and when the Turkish Delight mixture is ready, instead of adding rose water and berries, add the chopped nuts. Mix well and then follow the same steps as for the basic recipe.
A few variations:
Pistachio: same as hazelnuts, but it is also possible to blanch the nuts to remove the skin (for greener pistachio). Almonds could go too!
Orange Blossom: Same as Rose, but add Orange Blossom Water instead or Rose Water, and no need to add berries to colour these: they should be clear.
Lavender: when you make the syrup add a few lavender leaves (yes leaves) and then remove them before pouring the syrup into the cornflour mixture. Your Turkish Delights will smell and taste like lavender. For colours add a few blueberries, they will melt in the hot mixture and give you a light lavender colour.
Lemon and other citruses: Easy, add lots of lemon juice and/or zest (or the juice of your favourite citrus fruit) when you make the sugar syrup (there is also lemon essence, if you like).
And then... endless, there is mint (but I am not keen on that one) and so many more, let me know if you make a special one.
Hazelnut Turkish Delight
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©