Turkish Delights are a Must-Try

If you’re yet to delve into the delightfully rich cuisine of Turkish desserts, you’re in for a world full of deliciously strange and excitingly well-balanced flavors and textures. These Turkish sweets and pastries are prepared in large batches in almost every Middle-Eastern bakery and are devoured with friends and family during celebratory occasions. Some of the most famous being Lokum (gelatinous cubes with unique flavors), Baklava (thin, buttered, and multi-layered phyllo sheets), and Tavuk göğsü (shredded chicken in milk pudding).

hand taking turkish delight from tray

Getty Images / DigitalVision / Tara Moore

Pismaniye (fairy floss) is the Turkish adaptation of cotton candy. However, one key distinction between the both is that pismaniye, instead of only using sugar, also requires butter and flour. Additionally, pismaniye isn’t as fluffy and has more of a thin strand texture in comparison to cotton candy. To make it home, cream together a cup of butter and six tablespoons of sugar in a bowl. Add two cups of wheat flour and mix vigorously whilst gradually introducing a cup of vegetable margarine. Next, mix in a teaspoon of vanilla powder and two cups of shredded coconut flakes as you beat the ingredients together. Finally, refrigerate the mix for a couple of hours before shaping them into tiny balls and stretching the tough dough into thin strands that cling to each other. This is an extremely strenuous and exhausting process, traditionally taking two to three people several hours to get it to the desired texture. Once you’ve accomplished that, bake the strings at 340°F for 15 minutes maximum.

If you like crème brûlée, you’ll absolutely adore Kazandibi. For this delicious Turkish burnt pudding, grind a tablespoon of sugar and one gram of mastic gum in a mortar and pestle. Simultaneously, mix 200 ml of milk with 45 grams of wheat starch and an additional 45 grams of cornflour into a slurry. Then, bring 600 ml of whole milk and 200 ml of heavy cream to a boil in a saucepan. Add the slurry to the boiling milk and stir continuously until the pudding thickens. Finally, remove from the stove and whisk in a teaspoon of vanilla extract, cinnamon powder, and 20 grams of butter. Now, caramelize a few tablespoons of sugar on a glass tray of your preferred size. Then, add half of the pudding to the tray and place it over high heat for 12 minutes. Add the rest of the pudding to the tray after removing it from the heat, and refrigerate for 6 hours. Sprinkle the powder previously ground before cutting it into squares and serving.