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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sweet Violets

Walking in the back yard today, I discovered a treasure growing just under the edge of the deck- a patch of lovely little violets. In years past there have always been a few violets pop up, but never a clump as large as this one.

I had been reading The Essential Herbal Blog this morning, where directions were given for making crystallized flowers. I have often seen pictures of cakes and other confections garnished with candied flowers and wanted to try it myself. Here was my chance!
I picked about fifty of the flowers, rinsed them off, set them to dry and went back to look at the directions. I didn't have any meringue powder,as called for, but I did have eggs. No superfine sugar, but the directions said you can put sugar in the blender to grind it finer. I gathered up a small paintbrush, beat the egg white, ground the sugar, put it in a bowl, and began to painstakingly paint egg white on each tiny petal, then spoon sugar over each flower.

After painting and dipping about five of them, I decided this may be one of those things I try only once! Wishing I had started with pansies or something with bigger petals, I did manage to do about thirty, setting each flower carefully on parchment paper. I'd read that it takes quite a while for them to dry completely, but perhaps because these were so small, most of them were dry and hard after several hours. They aren't quite as nice as some I've seen pictured, perhaps the sugar crystals were too large, but overall they turned out pretty well for my first attempt. They're quite tasty, too!


Twinville said...

These are absolutely gorgeous!!! Were they yummy?

roosterhen said...

They were yummy- but they faded and are now almost white, despite being kept in a dark place. Although, I guess I'd get kind of pale, too if somebody stuck me in a dark place with no sunlight...;)