Growing up the daughter of a florist, a chef shows us how flowers are not just for vases — they can actually be edible art
Most recipes for candied flowers use egg whites. Here is an alternative recipe that uses simple syrup and super fine powdered sugar instead.
To start, rub the petals gently between your fingers to help the simple syrup stick. Take your time, this is not a quick project, but there’s something delightful about painting each petal with the syrup — a chance to notice how each petal is different and unique from the other. Enjoy the process and the finished product!
Choose flowers from a garden that have not been sprayed with pesticides! Edible flowers can be found in high-end markets such as Whole Foods or Wegmans, or even online at Etsy or Amazon. And of course, don’t forget local farms and nurseries near you. You just may be so inspired by this project to start planting your own garden.
But before anything, be very clear on which flowers are safe to be consumed. Here is a list of a few that are edible and a few that are poisonous and should be avoided.
Some Edible Flowers that Can Be Candied:
Poisnous Flowers, Do Not Eat:
Datura (Jimson Weed)
- 1 part sugar
- 1 part water
- Mix together in a small pot over a low flame and simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Let it cool down, as the heat will change the color of the flowers.
Set Up Your Work Station With:
- A sheet of wax paper
- A small clean paintbrush used only for food
- Superfine powdered sugar (you can put powdered sugar into the blender to make it superfine)
- Flowers of choice
- Tweezers (for very tiny flowers such as lilacs)
- A damp cloth to clean your fingers (they will get sticky)
- A sieve for sprinkling the powdered sugar
- For flowers with petals, paint the front and the back of the flower with the syrup and set down on the wax paper. Repeat with all of your flowers.
- Using the sieve, sprinkle the powdered sugar over the surface of the flowers.
- Set aside in a warm dry place and allow to dry. It can take anywhere from 4 hours to 24 hours to dry depending upon the humidity and the size of your flowers.
- Once the flowers have dried, peel them up off of the wax paper very slowly and carefully. Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.
- For flowers such as lilacs and apple blossoms, use the tweezers to pick up each one and dip it into the simple syrup instead of using a paintbrush.
Et voila! Garnish a plate or the top of a cake or dessert. Your creations will sing of delight and natural beauty — and the process will have your creative juices flowing. Here’s to flower power!
You may also enjoy Rustic Berry Tarts & Flamenco: Recipe & Musings From A Chef, by Christine Moss