I don't normally make a lot of confections but decided recently to try a few new things.
Yesterday I used this recipe for Turkish delight which I originally found on the Hydrocolloid Recipe Collection. It uses agar as the gelling agent and appears relatively easy to prepare (that's why I tried it). Basically you just dissolve some agar in warm water, orange juice, and lemon juice, add sugar, simmer it, then cool and refrigerate to set.
Unfortunately, what I ended up with after refrigerating overnight was closer to the consistency of jam or marmalade than a Turkish delight. It was far, far from delightful.
When I prepared this I didn't actually follow the source URL and noticed a few differences that may account for the problem (but I'm not sure, that's why I'm asking):
- The original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of agar; the one in the collection specifies exactly 1.2 g.
- The original recipe specifically says to cover with a cloth; the collection recipe is not so specific, it just says to cover (I used plastic wrap).
- The original recipe says to refrigerate in an ice-water bath; the collection recipe does not (I just put the dish in the fridge).
Other issues that may have been causes:
It turned out that my scale wasn't precise enough to get exactly 1.2 g. The amount I used could have been anywhere between 1 g and 2 g. In retrospect, I wish I had checked the original recipe and simply used the 1/2 teaspoon that it called for.
I got the agar from an Asian grocery store, and the packaging clearly said "agar agar", but I did notice that it had two ingredients, the second one (after agar) being vanilla. I'm not sure whether this is normal or whether it might have been diluting the agar mix.
I did notice that it did not seem to be gelling at all while it was coming down to room temperature. It was basically a soup until it had been refrigerated.
Can anyone identify the most likely reason why this didn't work out? Did I use too little agar? Too much? Could some of the differences between the two recipe versions be important? Could it be something I haven't thought of yet?
And equally importantly for the purposes of this question, can I fix it or am I going to have to throw it out?