Sunday, May 23, 2010

Candied Flowers Everywhere

This coming Friday Kim and I are doing the desserts for a wedding here in town.  My kitchen has become a field of candied white and lavender roses.  Its such slow contemplative work.  Last week Diana and I started with white roses and we might have well been two women from 200 years ago working quietly together.  Hours and hours to produce something fanciful that will be strewn on the wedding guests tables.
Diana is a former missionary with a Mona Lisa calm about her that started working with us a few months ago.
  Her dignified quiet is perfect for work in which you are producing gifts for people that are infused with your energy. It's a simple process to candy flowers and they will last at least a year[although I've always used them way before, but that is what the experts say].  Just take powdered egg whites, I think they call it meringue powder at specialty stores[you'll find it at Michael's] and mix with a little water and a touch of rose extract. You brush that mixture onto each washed and dried petal, being sure to get every spot,and shower superfine sugar to carefully cover every spot.  Anything that is not covered will rot so wear your glasses while you are doing this.  You cannot be impatient so this is all a good exercise and meditative! I use dedicated tweezers to hold the petals as I work and lay them on screens I bought especially at Home Depot for this purpose. Let them lay there drying-sometimes 1 or 2 days. Putting them away before they are absolutely crystallized will make you so sad- your aesthetic wonders will turn into smelly compost ready material.
The white roses we did looked a little too much like the material ones you can buy in a tube so I experimented with making dewdrops for them. I loved the effect! I cooked 1 cup of isomalt{available at the Fancyflours website] and added1/3 cup water.  I boiled that to hardcrack,wiping down the sides of the saucepan with a brush dipped in ice water.  I waited for the fattest bubbles to subside and then carefully dropped small blobs randomly onto the dried candied roses.  I love how it looks-a trompe l'oeil of a rose petal wet from the garden and if it makes one guest smile and wonder next Friday, well, Mona Lisa and I have made our contribution to catching and honoring a moment in time-the rose's as well as the lovely bride's.


  1. Are they edible? Sounds like a daunting task.

  2. I've been thinking about this since your Cornmeal cake. I actually did some research on it, but your instructions are more detailed. I'm waiting for my rosemary to bloom here, and my violets. I have fruit trees too so I'm hoping to gather a stash of different blooms to decorate my cakes.x

  3. They will rot if you don't make them correctly? NASTY!'d you find that out? Personal experience? lol! Or, just reading about it? Cuz you know I'd laugh my butt off if you said personal experience.

  4. I'm so jealous you have fruit trees Wendy!

  5. Have you ever tried this technique on an entire flower..perhaps a rose bud that is partially opened? You could make some pretty amazing bouquets with different colored roses or even lilacs!