How to crystallise edible flowers
Fresh flowers are a great, natural way to decorate cakes, desserts and even salads. They look beautiful – every Instagrammer’s dream. It’s important to only use edible flowers when coming into direct contact with food, as some flowers are poisonous, and if you are serving to guests with allergies it’s probably best to check with them first. I would also recommend using organic flowers, as if you are going to eat them, it’s best not to digest the chemical fertilisers and pesticides used in non-organic farming. Maddocks Farm are a great supplier of edible flowers in the UK.
A great way to extend the life of fresh flowers used for decoration and give them a little bit more flavour, is crystallising them. Here is my guide to this process, that was first published in the May 2015 issue of Cake Masters Magazine.
Crystallised Edible Flowers
edible flowers, a handful
1 egg white
a few drops of filtered water
fairtrade caster sugar
a tray or wire rack, covered with baking paper
a fine paintbrush
1 Clip the flower stems as close to the base as possible, keeping the flower whole, and remove any leaves on the back.
2 Check the flowers are clean; rinse and leave the petals to dry if necessary.
3 Whisk the egg white with the water until a little frothy and smooth, but still be liquid.
4 Use a paintbrush to gently coat the petals with egg white on both sides.
5 Hold the coated flower with tweezers over a bowl of sugar and use a spoon or a sieve to dust each flower with sugar, front and back. Gently shake off any excess sugar.
6 Place the flower on the lined rack or tray to dry. Repeat with the remaining flowers. Leave to dry and harden, about 45 minutes.
Store the crystallised flowers in an airtight container for up to two weeks or use straight away to decorate a cake or dessert. See how I’ve used crystallised edible flowers to decorate my Lemon & Blueberry Drizzle Cake and get the recipe here.