I am no chef. Nor an amateur cook, so Masterchef is not on my radar. But I do like variety in food. I love spice and challenges. Culinary experimentation is fun! And potentially dangerous as I don’t know what the heck I am doing.

Father’s Day 2011. My hubby loves homemade presents. Last year it was Panforte. He liked it but didn’t really want it for every celebration requiring a present. Once I master something I like to keep the good times rolling. So, the challenge for this year was to make him his favourite snacky foods without being repetitive. Because, after all, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach and the power of effort and food cannot be underestimated.

So, I embarked on a culinary journey into the bowels of cooking. Into the depths of sugary greatness I trod. It required a sugar thermometer, care and bubbling… Turkish Delight. Squeak! This was the hardest thing I’ve ever cooked. Partly because my sugar thermometer had the thinnest red line imaginable and couldn’t really read the thing and partly because I didn’t know what the heck I was doing…again. Adventure land. I bought the gelatine, the rose water essence, the sugar, the lemon to juice yadda yadda yadda and off I went. Bubble, squeal, arghhh, slight burning flavour (adding more rose water = problem solved), more stirring, more watching the thin red line (wasn’t that a movie), focus, stir, tip, refrigerate 8 hours. Sigh.

The second thing I made was Rocky Road. Compared to the Turkish Delight this was something I could cook blindfolded. Now that would be interesting! Recently I had a disastrous experience with melting chocolate so I was a little gun (or saucepan) shy. No lumpy chocolate globbing with runny watery chocolate on the side hooray! Success! Lovely macadamia rocky road with shop bought turkish delight. A triumph.

When the hours had passed I gingerly cut up my Turkish Delight and rolled it in icing sugar mixture. For a brief second all was right with the world. There was a shaft of light shining through my window and onto my beautiful cubes of sugary goodness ( I wish!). That is, until, the darn squares started absorbing the icing sugar. Glob, glob, glob! Nooooooooo. Still, it tasted great. Just looked like a snowman threw up on them. Hubby was suitably impressed however and that’s all that mattered.

I love the panic-filled adventure of culinary experimentation. There’s nothing like the rush of the final moments before presenting your fancy pants dish to others. Deep down inside you know that even if it is a disaster, if it has sugar in it, it will still taste amazing and that is really all that matters!

What adventurous dish have you cooked! Recipe please…

Here’s the recipe for the turkish delight:

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/19820/lokum+turkish+delight

And the easiest Rocky Road recipe ever!

Easy Rocky Road

 

200g Slivered Almonds (or macadamias)

1 Cup Desiccated coconut

5 fry turkish delight bars roughly chopped

250g marshmallows cut in half

500g cadbury chocolate

 

1. Line a deep baking dish with baking paper

2. In a large bowl, combine AlmondsDesiccated Coconut, Turkish Delight Bars and  Marshmallows 

3. Melt Cadbury Chocolate 

4. Combine melted chocolate with the other ingredients and poor into baking dish

5. Set in fridge over-night and then chop up into rough pieces

 

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