Turkish delight from The Little Library Christmas by Kate Young.


"During Edmund’s first visit to Narnia, he finds himself wrapped in furs on the White Witch’s sleigh. At this point in the story, of course, it is still always winter, but never Christmas.

"Yet, in spite of this, that image of the snow and the sleigh means that the squidgy pink squares of Turkish delight that she plies him with make most sense to me as a festive treat," says food writer Kate Young. "To abandon your siblings in hopes of a kingship takes something pretty memorable; happily, Turkish delight delivers."

Makes: around 30 squares

  • 450g cups granulated sugar
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 475ml water
  • 90g cornflour/cornstarch
  • ½tsp cream of tartar
  • 1tbsp rosewater
  • Pink food colouring (ideally paste)

To Decorate:

  • 40g cornflour/cornstarch
  • 40g icing/confectioners’ sugar
  • Edible glitter (optional)


  1. Place the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan with 175ml of the water. Put the pan over a medium-low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Once the liquid is clear, stop stirring and heat until the sugar syrup reaches 118C/245F (around 15 minutes).
  3. Line the baking pan with plastic wrap, smoothing the base and sides as much as possible. Sift the cornflour and cream of tartar into a saucepan, along with the remaining 300ml of water.
  4. Place over a low heat and stir continuously. The mixture will start to thicken. Keep cooking it until it resembles hair gel – thick and gloopy.
  5. Stirring constantly, slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup. Continue to stir over a low heat for around an hour. The mixture will look strange (and separated) at first, but it will come together.
  6. When it's done, it will have taken on a golden tinge and be very thick and difficult to stir. I know this is a long time to keep stirring, but I find it soothing – it’s something you can do with a Christmas film playing.
  7. Remove from the heat and beat in the rosewater and food colouring. Scoop the Turkish delight into the lined baking pan – this will be messy. Smooth the top with a wet spatula and push down.
  8. Cover with a tea towel and allow it to set overnight in a cool room.
  9. The next day, turn the Turkish delight out of the pan and peel off the plastic wrap. Wet a knife with hot water and slice into squares. To decorate, sift the cornflour and icing sugar into a shallow bowl (along with the edible glitter if you’re using it). Drop the squares into the bowl and toss to coat each piece.
  10. Gift it as soon as you can after this (or add a little extra cornflour to the box before you do), as the damp squares of Turkish delight will eventually soak up the powder. Store in a cool, dry place, with greaseproof/wax paper between the layers.

The Little Library Christmas by Kate Young is published by Head of Zeus. Photography by Lean Timms. Available now.