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I've made a few batches of Turkish Delight in different flavours. The Rosewater, Vanilla and Ginger flavours have set beautifully but the Orange and Mint flavours have set to a point, and are delicious if eaten immediately, but the cut squares remain wet and keep absorbing the icing mixture coating. As I'd like to package them together in cellophane packets (for Easter gifts) I'm afraid that the wet ones will ruin the lot. Can I do anything to fix them now, after the fact, or should I just start again? I've currently got them in the fridge, uncovered, with as much as the icing mixture dusted off as possible in the hope that this will dry them out.

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1 Answer 1

What you're observing is called syneresis. Most gelling agents such as gelatin and agar will tend to lose water over time, especially as the temperature goes up (i.e. from refrigerator to room temperature).

What is in fact happening is that the squares are drying out and pushing water out to the surface, which is why the powdered sugar gets soggy or even absorbed (the starch in that powdered sugar keeps it stuck to the jellies).

Gelatin being thermoreversible, you can simply melt it and set it again; it'll be a little on the sweet side due to the increased sugar but otherwise fine. Of course, you'll just end up with the same results. You need to add a stabilizer.

Xanthan gum is very good at controlling syneresis and is pretty easy to obtain in health food stores or even supermarkets nowadays. Add a pinch of that and you'll get much stabler results. Another additive I've used to stabilize agar-based Turkish Delight is locust bean gum (carob), although I'm not 100% sure if it works as well with gelatin.

Sometimes, you can just let them dry out - periodically wipe the excess water off the surface and hope that it stabilizes. But be careful; if it's not stable because you didn't use enough gelatin (or didn't use strong enough gelatin) then you might end up with a puddle of goo instead. So if you plan to try this, monitor it carefully.

Personally, I'd recommend tossing it all in a pot, melting it, throwing in a bit of xanthan gum, and setting it again. It'll be fine.

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I'm a bit puzzled why you mention gelatin since Turkish Delight isn't made with gelatin, but starch. I, too, have had the problem described. My understanding is that it can happen if you don't scald the starch at a high enough temperature at the start of the process. –  Francis Davey Jul 29 '12 at 19:07
    
@FrancisDavey: Did you happen to look at the question tags? –  Aaronut Jul 29 '12 at 21:53
    
Yes! But, as I understand it, the tags might be added by other people - or does SE software not work like that? –  Francis Davey Jul 30 '12 at 14:28
    
@FrancisDavey: The tags were added by the author, otherwise you'd see edit history. –  Aaronut Jul 31 '12 at 0:39

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