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I made lokum, or Turkish Delights yesterday. I used the more traditional ingredients - cornstach, cream of tartar, sugar. From what I've researched of the dish, you can have flavors of lokum different than the traditional one (rosewater), usually using some form of flavor extract. But, I didn't have any extracts laying around my house.

So, instead... I used coffee. I figured it would probably end up tasting lightly of coffee, given all the sweeteners. But, instead, it ended up tasting... acidic, citrus-like. It tastes like candied orange peel. I figure I must have done something wrong, but I don't understand how I got to this flavor. Should I have used espresso? Stronger coffee? The grounds? A coffee extract?

Here are the ingredients:

4 cups sugar

4 1/2 cups water

1 cup cornstarch

2 tsp cream of tartar

2 tbsp medium roast coffee, liquid

Red + green food coloring

1:1 powdered sugar & cornstarch coating

  • Did you mix both food colorings in to make brown, or did you make some green and some brown? What kind of food coloring and how much did you use? – GdD May 31 '18 at 7:42
  • I mixed equal amounts green and red to get a deeper brown shade than the coffe itself allowed for. – harmothic May 31 '18 at 8:06
  • Did you use liquid coloring or gel @windmoth? – GdD May 31 '18 at 8:09
  • Liquid coloring. – harmothic May 31 '18 at 10:59
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I strongly suspect that your food coloring may have had something to do with it if you were using liquid food coloring as these often have flavors you wouldn't expect. That plus the acidity from the coffee (yes, coffee is acidic) and the cream of tartar (powdered acid) could simulate an orange flavor.

Gel colorings are much better as they give much more color without flavors, I'd suggest those in the future, just remember a very little bit goes a long way.

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    It seems unlikely that 2tbsp of normal brewed coffee in 4 1/2 cups of water would add any noticeable acidity, if indeed any flavour at all. As you say, food colouring is by far the most likely culprit – canardgras May 31 '18 at 10:35
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It may be the type of coffee (probably is the coffee) or the amount of tartar (gives that taste your talking about if too much is added), though many Turkish delights have lemon or orange zest, juice or flavoring in addition so the taste of orange isn't a bad thing.

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    Come to think of it, I might have added two tablespoons of cream of tartar instead of two teaspoons. That's probably what's wrong. – harmothic May 31 '18 at 8:06

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