Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sweet Candied Violets and Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

Happy Mother's Day, to Mothers everywhere....this bud is for you!

Every year as I walk past the sweet, budding violets that have volunteered to grow in my garden, I vow to candy them with a crystalline coating of sugar. Some years I find the time, and some I don't. I'm glad I did this year. Different shades of violet blue, purple and lavender give these old fashioned flowers
their name. Just picking them makes me happy. The process of candying them can take patience and time, but the rewards are worth it. I have candied almost all types of edible flowers to grace the top of a cake or other confection. Just make sure they are nonpoisonous and pesticide free. Some flowers are edible and some are just pretty. Small roses and large single rose petals are stunning coated with sugar. The best flowers to candy are ones you have grown yourself to assure they are pesticide free. You may use larger flowers, but will need to coat each petal. Before starting, I always give them a dunking rinse to remove any dust or dirt. They are now ready for your sweet artistry.

Crystallized Flowers

flowers
colander
artists watercolor brush
a small bowl of superfine sugar (regular granulated sugar works also)
spoon
1 egg white, slightly beaten
optional: silicone mat


With the artists brush, give the flowers a light coating of the egg white.
Then sprinkle lightly with sugar.
Place the colander upside down on a plate and then put the flower stem through a hole in the colander to dry.
Keep repeating until all flowers have been sugared. Let air dry. While drying, gently loosen from the colander to make sure they don't stick.
Once they are partially dry, I put them on a silicone mat or other similar surface, to finish drying. This prevents any sticking to the colander. Occasionally, gently shift them so they dry evenly. After about 24 hours, a small flower is dry enough to use as a decoration. To store, make sure they are thoroughly dry and then put in an airtight container. I have kept them for 4-6 weeks. Again, make sure they are dry before storing.

I made my Lemon Poppy Seed Cake in a rose shaped cake mold, dusted with powdered sugar and decorated it with the Sweet Candied Violets.Oh, Happy Day!

Written and photographed by Diane.

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12 comments:

Pearl said...

oh my gosh - the violets are so pretty!

La Table De Nana said...

Happy Mother's Day to you also!
I am a violet lover~
I have pressed some between the pages of a book already this year~

That's how much I love them..
Your candied violets w/ the cake are so pretty together.
So feminine and beautiful..
AS always a lovely sweet post~

Bluetiful indeed:)

Lori (All That Splatters) said...

So beautiful! The hues are so inviting - a gorgeous cake!

pigpigscorner said...

So lovely! The violets add a really nice touch!

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

I've always wondered how this was done...and you've done it beautifully...gorgeous post...I love it...

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Oh, thank you soo much for the tip about using the colander ~ that is brilliant!

It's always such a treat to come visit. :) xo~m.

bittersweetblog said...

Another fantastic use for those violets- This is so gorgeous!

Martha said...

Love crystalized flowers -- I do pansies as well as violets -- they do bring a touch of spring to winter days when you use them for decoration.

Ry @ Sotto Il Monte Vineyards said...

What a beautiful post! I've always had in my mind to make crystalized flowers. One of the things on my very long list of things to try. You have inspired me to move it to the top.

jenn said...

So pretty! I've never had Lemon Poppy seed cake!

That might be next on my list!

Thanks for sharing, the flowers look beautiful

www.slim-shoppin.com

once in a blue moon... said...

you so know i am doing this with roses...

this is so darn pretty, your blog is such a thing of beauty!

Jessica39 said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing! I followed you recipe and it turned out great. The only difference is that I used crystallized violets from France.
You can find them here: http://www.histoiresucree.com/meta_categories/crystallized_flowers.html