These honey-rich gluten-free Turkish delights can be stored for up to two months at room temperature.
100g roasted almonds or chopped dried fruit (optional)
extra nuts and dried fruits to finish
oil for the tins (coconut oil is excellent)
For the cornflour mixture
220g cold water
30g tapioca starch, or more cornflour
50g brown sugar
50g boldly flavoured honey, like red gum
For the honey-flavoured syrup
130g brown sugar
30g honey, as before
juice of ½ lemon, about 15g
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp rosewater
Have the nuts and fruits ready, and oil three 10cm-diameter mini flan or quiche tins.
Put the ingredients for the cornflour mixture in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring all the time, until very thick, translucent and smooth. Be warned, beating it takes some muscle. Leave on a warm part of the stove.
Put the syrup ingredients in another pan, bring to the boil and check the temperature with a thermometer: it should be about 120C. Pour half the syrup into the cornflour mixture and beat in well. You may get a few lumps, but the nuts and fruit added later will mask them. Then re-boil the remaining syrup until it reaches about 125C and pour this into the cornflour mixture, beatingagain until smooth. Keep hot while you stir in the nuts or chopped dried fruit. Spoon the warm mixture into the oiled tins, press dried fruit or nuts into the top, then cover and leave to set.
To wrap, transfer each round carefully to a 10cm diameter cardboard or foil cake base and wrap in cellophane.
Tip: Tapioca starch is used in some old recipes to help give the requisite stringiness, but if you can't find it, replace both that and the cornflour with a white gluten-free flour mix, which will usually contain tapioca. Unrefined sugar turns the mix very dark. If you want light delight, use white sugar and acacia honey.