Food & Entertaining - Garden to Table

Pick colourful blooms to create candied flowers

Select the perfect edible blooms to adorn cakes and other sweet treats


You’ll need
  • 2 or 3 dozen edible flower blossoms
  • 1 egg white (or about 1/4 cup pasteurized egg whites)
  • 3 to 4 tsp water
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  • Fine tipped artist’s brush
  • Sieve and dish for sugar
  • Wire rack or parchment paper


Preparation
1. Make sure the flowers are clean and insect-free. Rinse and dry the petals if necessary.

2. Whisk the egg white with the water until smooth and just a little frothy. You want the white to be liquid, not halfway to meringue.

3. Candy one flower at a time. Using the artist’s brush and holding the flower by the stem, coat each petal, front and back with a thin layer of egg white. Resist the urge to dip the entire flower. This will coat the petals too heavily and make the sugar clump.

4. Working over a dish to catch the excess sugar, use a sieve to dust each egg-painted flower front and back with the sugar. Gently shake off any excess sugar.

5. Place the flower on the rack or sheet of parchment to dry. Snip the stem and arrange the petals as desired. Once the sugar dries, the flower is set and can’t be rearranged.

6. Repeat the process with the next flower until you have candied as many as you wish. You don’t have to candy the whole bouquet. A mixture of fresh and candied flowers is just as impressive.

7. Once the sugar has dried and hardened, about 30 to 45 minutes, the flowers are ready to be used.

Storing your blooms
Sugared flowers can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Place them in layers between parchment or waxed paper and be careful not to crush them. Candied flowers are fragile and break easily, so make sure your sweet creations have plenty of room.

Note: Your fingers might become candied along with the flowers. Sticky hands can tear delicate petals, so rinse or wipe your fingers with a wet towel every few flowers to avoid undoing your handiwork.

Charmian Christie is an avid gardener and home cook. When she's not digging in the dirt, she's charting her culinary adventures on her blog, Christie's Corner.

 

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