HOME MADE CANDIED VIOLETS (SSD #7)

Recently my home made cupcake decorating manifesto extolled the virtues of commercial candied flowers. And beautiful things they are indeed. Brilliantly colored, perfectly formed, splashy, flashy, glamorous. But we can do better with this Simply Spectacularly Delicious (SSD) recipe for Home Made Candied Violets.  

Rather than rush off on a fool's errand to achieve the perfection of a Sylvia Weinstock wedding cake, these candied flowers produce a distinctly different — and dare I say — more lovely result.. 

Created by "loving hands at home" is a virtue here. In some circles this charming phrase more often is comprises equal measures of admiration for effort and sympathy for results. Not so with Home Made Candied Violets.

So gather from your garden (or procure from a farmers' market) a big batch of the freshest violets imaginable. In addition to a variety of blues and purples, did you know violets also include yellows and whites? I didn't, but I do now.

Lay out your flowers. Take an egg white and whisk well with 1 T. water. Use a small artist's brush to paint the faces of the flowers, taking care to get between the overlap between the petals. (This is much easier than it sounds.) Then submerge the flower face-down in the egg white to thoroughly cover the backs.  The brush is handy here to ensure the bottoms are completely coated in egg white. 

When you turn the flower right side up again, the petals will be messy, folded over each other, bunched up. But it's very easy to lay them back out into their original shape. Their dainty appearance belies a surprising resiliency. Again, easier than you'd imagine. Courage!

Did I tell you to have a bowl of extra-fine granulated sugar at the ready? Well now you know.

With the petals returned to their original configuration, quickly flip the flower face down into the sugar. This swift flip prevents the petals from getting all messy again.

Next, bury the backs of the flowers in the sugar. Gently pat and dab the blossoms with sugar so every bit of petal is completely encrusted with the fine crystals. The egg white will make them look gunky at this point. Fear not.  

Place the violets, face up, on a baking sheet to dry. If you live in Phoenix or Dubai, by all means just leave out on the counter them to dry. If you live in climes cooler and more humid, a couple of hours in a 110° is faster and more reliable.

Now not every flower will be a masterpiece. So do allow yourself plenty.

When completely dry, store in an airtight container. 

For maximum effect, these Home Made Candied Violets are best placed outside the spotlight. Insouciantly clustered off to one side of a picture-perfect butter cream frosting will have a much more gratifying effect. "Oh those? You like them? They are pretty, aren't they. I made them myself , silly. Couldn't be easier. It's all on that website I've been raving about, Spectacularly Delicious dot com."

[print_recipe]     


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Written by on June 1, 2011 under ALL RECIPES, Dessert.

  • http://twitter.com/CharlesGT Charles G Thompson

    And the genius-ness just continues!  Thanks for lesson on making these delicate little pieces of perfection.  It actually sounds like therapeutic fun.

    • http://www.spectacularlydelicious.com Sean

      They are a bit twee, no?

  • Karen Raczewski

    Fantastic results! I had to make our superfine sugar in the food processor, did you find yours at a store? We only tried the wild violets in the yard, and I noticed the white ones fared better than the purple ones. Our candied lilacs were the easiest since those blossoms are pretty stiff. Love your blog.

    • http://www.spectacularlydelicious.com Sean

      Actually Domino makes superfine, it’s in all the grocery stores around here
      (NYC/Long Island). Glad grinding your own worked! I got my blossoms at the
      farmer’s market and the smaller blooms were much easier to work with — I
      guess the larger the petal the floppier they get.

  • http://thehospitalityguru.com.au Anna Johnston

    Fabulous Sean, well done :)

  • questing

    Cool. Saw some packaged candied violets, thought, I wonder how hard it would be to make myself? (avoiding the food coloring, too) and found your site. Does not look too hard, and makes me want to stock up on cute violas and violets this spring. Thanks!

    • http://www.spectacularlydelicious.com Sean

      The homemade ones can’t compare to the store-bought ones I’ve seen. You really see the pretty colors of the flowers and they still look like flowers! And when carefully and completely dried they last a long time (air-tight container). I’m going to make a new batch for this summer as soon as the violets are up. The perfect finishing touch to a beautiful dessert. Have fun!



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