Rose pistachio sweets

• Makes about 28 • 

While not strictly traditional, this recipe contains two distinctively Turkish flavours- pistachio and rose water. They make the perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee. They’re also super simple to make and, while a sugar thermometer does make things easier, you can make them without one. The way to test if the sugar mixture is cooked to ‘soft ball’ stage is to place a few drops, off the end of a teaspoon, into a small glass of very cold water. It should form a ‘soft’, pliable ball on contact with the water. 

250g (9 oz) pistachio kernels
30g (1 oz / ¼ cup) icing (confectioner’s) sugar
220g (7 ¾ oz / 1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tablespoons liquid glucose
3 teaspoons rosewater
pink cachous, to decorate

Combine the pistachios and icing sugar in a food processor then process until a very fine meal forms.

Combine the caster sugar, liquid glucose and 2 ½ tablespoons of water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat . Bring to a simmer then cook for about 8 minutes, without stirring, or until the mixture reaches 118 ˚C (235 ˚F) on a sugar thermometer. Remove from the heat then, with the motor running, add to the pistachio mixture in the food processor along with the rosewater. Process until the mixture forms a firm, cohesive paste then transfer to a bowl and cool slightly. 

When cool enough to handle (the mixture should still be quite hot), use your hands to knead it until it is smooth and pliable. Take 1 heaped tablespoon of the mixture at a time then use your hands to roll it into neat balls. While still warm, press a pink cachous into the top of each, then place in paper cases. These sweets will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container. 

Photography by Amanda McLauchlan, www.amphoto.com.au