880g (4 cups) caster sugar
1 1/4 litres (5 cups) water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
150g (1 cup) cornflour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon rose water
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red or pink food colouring or cochineal
1/2 cup (75g) pure icing sugar
1/4 cup (35g) cornflour for dusting
1. Place sugar, 1 1/2 cups of the water and lemon juice into a medium sized heavy-based saucepan. Cook, stirring, over low heat until sugar dissolves, brush down sides of pan with water to remove any remaining sugar crystals. Bring to the boil. Continue to boil until syrup reaches 116Â°C on a sugar thermometer.
2. Meanwhile, combine cornflour and cream of tartar with remaining water in a large bowl or jug. As soon as syrup reaches the correct temperature add cornflour mixture stirring continuously.
3. Gently bring back to a boil; stirring continuously. Reduce heat. Simmer, stirring often, to ensure mixture does not stick to bottom of pan. Eventually mixture will thicken considerably and will start to turn a golden amber colour. It will also be thick enough to enable you to draw a distinct line across the bottom of the pan. This will take anywhere from 45 mins to 1 1/2 hours.
4. Meanwhile line a 20cm x 20cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.
5. Add the rosewater and colouring to the mixture, stirring well to thoroughly combine. Pour into prepared tin. Tap tin on the bench to smooth out the mixture, stand covered at least 8 hours or until very firm. Do not refrigerate.
6. Turn out onto bench lightly dusted with combined cornflour and icing sugar mixture.
7. Cut into squares and dust liberally with remaining cornflour and icing sugar mixture. Store in an airtight container, with baking paper between the layers.