How to make sugar edible flowers to decorate cakes
Sugared flowers, or crystallized flowers make perfect cake decorations
Using real, edible flowers in the kitchen is fun, fashionable and good for you and sugared flowers make the prettiest cake decorations! Sometimes these are called sugared flowers, but they are also known as crystallized flowers frosted flowers and candied flowers. Whatever you call them sugar frosted flowers are just as sweet.
Your guests will be delighted when they see these delicate decorations made from fresh, edible flowers from your garden and sugaring flowers and blossom is cheap and straightforward - anyone can do it!
Use them for cupcake decorations, Valentine's Day cakes, wedding cakes birthday cakes, celebration cakes and desserts instead of or as well as flowers that are made from sugar. Sugared flowers and sugar flowers are not the same thing.
What you will need to make sugared flowers
I love making sugar flowers from real flowers and sugaring flowers is a simple affair! You need only the following implements and ingredients:
- Egg white
- A whisk
- Fine sugar
- A fine sieve
- A fine paint brush
- Baking paper
The egg white
Carefully separate the egg white from the yolk. (You can keep the yolk and cook it later with any left-over egg white - 'Waste not want not'!)
Put the white into a clean bowl and whisk it lightly until just frothy. Now you are ready to go.
Flowers to eat from our garden
Can you sugar all edible flower petals?
In theory, yes, but in practise some ebible flowers work better than others.
Choose your flowers carefully. The pictures on this page and video below give you some guidance as to which flowers are edible, but there could be some flowers that are best avoided.
The flowers shown here are just those that bloom in May in our garden at 'Les Trois Chenes' in Limousin, France. Some are better or easier to sugar than others. There are many more, but for a starter list of suitable flowers see Flowers are Vegetables Too!
Candied violets, cake decorating classics
For sugaring, the best flowers to use whole are simple, single flowers, like violets and pansies or single roses. Dandelions or clover, for example, are difficult to deal with. You can also take off the petals and use them individually; rose petals and peonies, for example, are excellent.
Most fruit tree blossoms are edible so you could try these too.
Pick your flowers on a sunny afternoon when they are open and dry. Gather them just before you intend to start so they are fresh and crisp.
Video copyright of the author
A few words of warning
Not all flowers in the garden are edible, and some flowers are poisonous, so never eat anything from the garden or from the wild unless you are certain that you have identified it correctly!
Having said this, most of us know our roses and pansies. Get a good book on edible plants, have a look at this Video, although it only shows flowers from the spring garden , and read up a little about the subject if you have any doubts. If you have allergies or medical problems, always consult your doctor first.
Make sure that the flowers you use have not been sprayed with herbicides, pesticides or fouled by animals.
How to make candied flowers for cakes
The technique is easy - paint your flower carefully with the egg white, using just enough to cover the petals but not to soak them, then sprinkle them with a fine layer of sugar. Do this on both sides and carefully lay them onto a sheet of baking paper.
Put them somewhere warm to dry, and leave them until they are crisp and stiff. Small flowers will be ready overnight, but larger ones may take longer. I turned mine over a couple of times during drying. You could use tweezers for this. Then place them in airtight containers on sheets of baking paper. Make sure they don't touch each other and store them in layers divided with baking paper. Seal the box and put them in a cool, dry place. They will keep for several months, but are better used within days.
Having said this, actually sugaring the flowers is easier said than done! You must work carefully, and I couldn't find any shortcuts.
If you have a close look at the cover and carnations in the illustration below, you'll see that they are sitting in a little pool of liquid. This is not good! I tried dipping my flowers in the egg white to speed things up, but they simply don't work. On the other hand, the pansies, single rose and petals dried stiff and crisp. They were delicious.
So take your time - there is no getting away from it, settle down to the job when you have a free afternoon to yourself - or why not invite friends around and make a party of it?
Hold a Flower-Sugaring Party
Sugaring flowers is fun, but, as you can see, it is time consuming and fiddly! I gathered all my equipment together and sat down in front of the TV with a nice glass of cold white wine, (well, we are in France!), and settled down for the evening to patiently paint my petals!
But for a special occasion, why not hold a flower-sugaring party? Sugared flowers are wonderful for wedding cakes or birthday cakes. How nice it would be to have a golden wedding anniversary cake decorated with golden rose petals. If your little girl is called Violet (or Rose, Fleur, Pansy, etc) using that flower to decorate her birthday cake would make it so personal.
So invite all the guests around one sunny afternoon to pick the flowers, have a drink and a nibble and sugar flowers.
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Find this and other recipes in the Les Trois Chenes Recipe Book
- The Les Trois Chenes Recipe Book
I'm an enthusastic cook and gardener and when we moved out into rural Limousin, I was delighted to embrace the rural lifestyle and local recipes. I have qui
© 2010 Les Trois Chenes
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