June 14, 2013

DIY Sugared Violets for Cake, Cookie, and Cupcake Decorating

I haven't done a DIY/tutorial in ages, so I finally have one again for you today! (I'll be adding some jewelry ones over the next month as well.) Today's DIY will show you how to make your own sugared violets for decorating cupcakes, cakes, and cookies. Who needs fancy and expensive fondant flowers when you can just sugar edible flowers yourself?

I used a mix of purple violets and white violets. I think the white ones are my favorites - I love the purple veins in the middle! Double-check/Google that you have the right variety and species before you pick your own and make sure they haven't been sprayed with pesticides or animal urine/waste! If you can't find any in your area that are safe to pick, try ordering them from a local florist. Sidenote: roses, pansies, and nasturtiums are also edible! (But, again, double-check that you have the right kinds, parts, and are not pregnant.) 101 Cookbooks recently posted a great and much more extensive piece on edible flowers, you can read it here!

Carefully wash your flowers and let them air dry. You could wash them the day before and then sugar them the next. The sugaring part takes less than an hour to do, not counting drying time after.

Crack an egg into a bowl or cup, separate out the white, and lightly beat it with a little bit of water. I don't have an approximate amount, I think I added roughly "a splash". First, I tried just dunking the violets. This was a mess. The petals bent back on each other and stuck to each other. So I tried a new method. Take your violet, and flatten one petal against a sheet of wax paper as if you were getting the bloom ready for a flower press (don't unattach it from the rest of the flower). Then take a soft brush, dab off the excess against the rim of the bowl/cup, and "paint" the petal as if you were painting a fingernail. You only need a fairly thin coat, so don't put it on too thickly. Do the next petal, until you've done all five. Don't do the backs just yet, just the face of the violet! Because of the egg white involved, don't eat these if you have a compromised immune system in any way (are young, old, sick, etc.).

Spread sugar on a plate or in a bowl. I used maybe a cup, but had plenty leftover. I used regular sugar, but superfine sugar would work even better! Use a spoon or your fingers to gently sprinkle an even layer of sugar onto the violet. Don't layer on too much, you don't want the petals to bend too much or break off under the weight of too much sugar. Sugar all five petals, then lift up your flower and let the excess fall back onto the plate/bowl. You can give it a very gentle shake to help this happen.

Lay your sugar-faced violets face down on a sheet of waxed paper. Then brush the backs with the egg white mixture, and sugar the backs in the same way. Transfer to a clean sheet of waxed paper to dry. I dried mine face down, but you could do the opposite if you prefer. Depending on humidity levels, it may take them as little as a day or as much as several days. The sugar takes on more of a white, almost rock candy-esque look when they've dried and they will feel crusty to the touch. Let them dry for at least a day before checking, though, so you don't wipe off sugar by accident if you touch them to check. Whichever way you lay them down on the paper, turn them over at least once to the opposite face during this time to help both sides dry evenly.

You might be thinking you could just sugar one side, since the back won't show. I tried this the first time I did these, and it just didn't end well. Because the fronts of the petals were so much heavier than the backs, when I picked them up to move them, petals broke off. They were just too delicate with only one side done. So do both! After they've dried, transfer them to a waxed paper lined airtight container and keep them at room temp. They'll last for about a week.

Here's a close-up of one of the purple violets, laying on a violet leaf.

Here's the white violet version. Though they're edible (and again, make sure you have the right kind, that they haven't been sprayed, and that you don't have a compromised immune system because of the raw egg white, etc.), I think they're too pretty to eat! The sugar turns the bright purple to a pastel lavender, and it makes them sparkle. They'd look lovely perched on top of a cupcake, frosted sugar cookie, or ringing the base or top of a cake. They'd look lovely ringed around the bottom of each tier of wedding cake at a reception as well, with more arranged in the center of the top tier. If you had enough violets, you could completely cover the sides of a cake with them. Wouldn't that be stunning?

No comments:

Post a Comment

You Might Also Like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...