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

artists watercolor brush
a small bowl of superfine sugar (regular granulated sugar works also)
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.

Stumble Upon Toolbar