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Candied flowers


Lior
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You could try doing a site search for Candiflor. I know someone was talking about them here on EG. PM them to ask how they contacted them...

There is quite a difference between the SweetFields flowers and Candiflor's flowers... Knowing you Ilana, I don't know if you would be happy with Candiflor's product - they use artificial colours. Here is a link to a merchant who carries their product. Take a look at the 'ingredients' tab...

http://www.histoiresucree.com/product_page...onbonniere.html

Also, Candiflor's flowers don't really look like flowers anymore - more like coloured sugar blobs. SweetFields flowers still look like flowers and don't contain artificial colours.

I just bought a bunch of pansies and violas and planted them the other day. I'm going to try crystallizing my own. If it's fairly straight-forward to do, I could either do it myself or I was thinking of hiring my mother and her friends to sit out in the garden one day and crystallize flowers. Sounds like a nice job hey?! It would still be much cheaper than ordering from SweetFields.

However, if you've never experienced a SweetFields flower 'in person' I recommend you order at least once to see what they're all about. I think you'll be impressed! They're so beautiful!

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ugh! I can't believe they use junk!! Nope, not for me!! Doing it by myself sound very interesting! I will also go buy pansies and violas. DO you have a method/instructions? Maybe we could start an online making crystallized flowers "crystal off" ! I read up about it once, but eggwhites? Is that ok?

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ugh! I can't believe they use junk!! Nope, not for me!! Doing it by myself sound very interesting! I will also go buy pansies and violas. DO you have a method/instructions? Maybe we could start an online making crystallized flowers "crystal off" ! I read up about it once, but eggwhites? Is that ok?

Here are the sites I bookmarked:

http://www.essortment.com/all/crystallizedflo_rylj.htm

http://baking-decorating-cakes.suite101.co...allized_flowers

http://www.gardenerscorner.org/subject060880.htm

http://www.wonderhowto.com/how-to/video/ho...-flowers-50044/

http://www.teapartydiva.com/how-to-make-cr...rty-decoration/

I've read you can use meringue powder or gum arabic instead of egg white. I'll attach an amazon.com site at the end that shows SweetFields flowers and lists the ingredients for them. It looks like they use both meringue powder and gum arabic. Here's the ingredients list from the site:

Sugar, natural flower, starch solution (water, gum arabic, sucrose, corn syrup), meringue powder (dextrose, egg whites, monocalcium phosphate, propylene glycol alginate, salt, artificial flavor), refined confectioner’s glaze, natural and artificial flavors.

SweetFields flowers taste fruity. I thought I would add a little rose water or lavender water (or oil) to the 'glue' mixture.

Sweetfields Flowers ingredients on Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Sweetfields-Candied-...t/dp/B000UM15GQ

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Disregard the one that says not to eat them. That being said, you must be sure you are using edible flowers! Pansies and violas are COMPLETELY edible - the petals, stem - everything. Roses are also edible.

Sweetfields says that their flowers will last indefinitely if kept in a cool, dry place. Dry is key! Sites for make your own differ in what they say but a general consensus is 1 year. Although one site I read said what SweetFields said - indefinitely if candied and dried properly and then stored properly.

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It is safer to use pasteurized egg whites. however, now don't quote me as i'm not a health inspector, but i believe whites have less risk than yolks so using unpasteurized is fairly safe. however, you are not actually "cooking" the whites, you are just drying them out. think about how the french actually leave a bucket of whites with the lid off by the back door so that they make better meringues. However, you may want to just ask your inspector as they are usually happy to help especially if you're trying to make sure your food is safe. powdered whites are safer if you don't have access to pasteurized.

the deal with the process is the whites are drying out and the sugar acts as a preservative/mold inhibitor. you want to avoid adding water or flavorings...just keep it natural and it will be safer. use superfine sugar and let them air dry on a metal rack overnite. they are very labor intensive, but if you make a bunch of them when the flowers are in season, it will go fairly quickly once you get all set up.

like everybody else said, be sure to use edible flowers, and also try to source them where they are not sprayed, as the sprays used on flowers are probably not as safe to eat as sprays used on foods. well, neither is actually safe, but i'm opening a can of worms that will change the topic.

i like the idea of you making your own, as that keeps it local. Roses are absolutely delicious, especially pink ones...i love to snack on them!

Edited by sugarseattle (log)

Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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I have successfully used meringue powder which is available from many vendors and is fairly inexpensive. Just add water until it is brushable.

And here is a list of edible flowers.

I have candied violets, rose petals, nasturtiums, calendula petals, pansies and day lilies. The latter are tricky because the petals are a bit thick and have to be handled carefully or they will bruise and discolor but they are spectacular when finished.

Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have successfully used meringue powder which is available from many vendors and is fairly inexpensive.  Just add water until it is brushable.

And here is a list of edible flowers.

I have candied violets, rose petals, nasturtiums, calendula petals, pansies and day lilies.  The latter are tricky because the petals are a bit thick and have to be handled carefully or they will bruise and discolor but they are spectacular when finished.

Excellent tips! As you have experience crystallizing flowers, would you have an idea why SweetFields uses a starch solution and the meringue powder? I'm thinking it's to give more structure to the flowers so they are less prone to breaking???

You know, like starching a shirt...

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I have successfully used meringue powder which is available from many vendors and is fairly inexpensive.  Just add water until it is brushable.

And here is a list of edible flowers.

I have candied violets, rose petals, nasturtiums, calendula petals, pansies and day lilies.  The latter are tricky because the petals are a bit thick and have to be handled carefully or they will bruise and discolor but they are spectacular when finished.

Excellent tips! As you have experience crystallizing flowers, would you have an idea why SweetFields uses a starch solution and the meringue powder? I'm thinking it's to give more structure to the flowers so they are less prone to breaking???

You know, like starching a shirt...

I would guess so. Once the flowers are completely dry, they are a bit fragile but can be handled with care.

I don't see any advantage to using starch unless the flowers have to be packaged and shipped.

I have seen rose petals for decoration only, not for consumption, dried in fine sand and they look as fresh as when first picked but they are intended for strewing, not for eating or decoration on foods.

I've tried drying petals in superfine sugar, so they will hold their shape and putting the tray in my dehydrator to process them and that works okay for rose petals, calendula petals and similar flower parts.

There is a site with detailed instructions for preserving flowers for edible decor but I have lost the link and have been trying various searches for it. I know I posted it in an eG post a few years back but can't find that either.

If I do come across it, I will post it.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thank you for all the info-everyone!! I know what the process of pasteuration is (Louis Pasteur etc!!), obviously for milk and dairy. I just don't understand how it can be done to an egg. If you heat it enough to kill bacteria, wouldn't the egg get cooked? I now have to find out if our eggs are. Are your supermarket eggs pasteurized? Does it say this on the carton? I will go look at mine. And now to that list of edible flowers!

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Thank you for all the info-everyone!! I know what the process of pasteuration is (Louis Pasteur etc!!), obviously for milk and dairy. I just don't understand how it can be done to an egg. If you heat it enough to kill bacteria, wouldn't the egg get cooked? I now have to find out if our eggs are. Are your supermarket eggs pasteurized? Does it say this on the carton? I will go look at mine. And now to that list of edible flowers!

Hey Ilana,

Look at the info I found about pasteurized eggs. Scroll down to the last part to see how you can pasteurize your own eggs at home! I didn't know that!

from: http://www.homemade-dessert-recipes.com/eg...salmonella.html

Pasteurized Egg Products

Pasteurized Eggs

Pasteurized eggs are pasteurized right in the shell using a patented all-natural process to kill the bacteria effectively so that eggs and salmonella is no longer an issue. Pasteurized eggs are completely safe to use uncooked; however, they are not widely available in food stores yet.

Powdered Eggs, Egg Yolks And Egg Whites

These products are pasteurized and are a good substitute when uncooked eggs, egg yolks, or egg whites are called for in a recipe. You can whip reconstituted egg white powder similar to fresh egg white.

These products are sold at some food stores along with supplies for cake baking. Camping and wilderness outfitters may also sell powdered egg products.

Refrigerated Liquid Eggs And Egg Whites

These products are pasteurized and are an excellent substitute when uncooked eggs or egg whites are called for in a recipe. They are sold at most food stores along with refrigerated dairy products.

One brand sold at our local supermarket packages two 250-mL (1-cup) containers of liquid eggs in a small carton. Since each 250-mL container holds the equivalent of 5 whole eggs, you get the equivalent of 10 eggs in a carton for around the same cost as one dozen fresh Grade-A Eggs.

Each 250-mL container of liquid egg whites holds the equivalent of 8 egg whites, so you actually get the equivalent of 16 egg whites in a carton for around the same cost as one dozen fresh Grade-A Eggs. The cost is very reasonable, and the product is excellent.

from: http://www.melindalee.com/hardboileggs.html

*PASTEURIZING EGGS AT HOME

The more we learn about food safety, the higher our standards become - and, of course, the more things we find to worry about. Take raw eggs, for example. Folks used to think nothing of breaking a raw egg into their morning milkshake for extra vitamins and protein. Raw cookie dough was only a slightly guilty pleasure - like licking the bowl of cake batter. No one thought anything about the safety or lack thereof in Hollandaise or Bearnaise sauce, or homemade mayonnaise. Poached and fried eggs with runny yolks were simply a matter of preference - not a risky choice. Recipes galore call for beaten egg whites - and even whole eggs - that are never cooked. But then we found out about salmonella bacteria - and how dangerous it can be - and even the hardiest among us started to worry.

For the very young, the elderly, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems, raw eggs can be quite dangerous. Even though the FDA says that only about one egg in 20,000 contains salmonella bacteria - the risk is not worth taking if you are among these groups of people - or if you are cooking for them. There is a company that produces pasteurized eggs in the shell - a fabulous solution, because the egg remains as viable as a completely uncooked egg in a recipe - but those pasteurized eggs can be very difficult to find consistently.

Now, a solution has come to our attention. It is possible to pasteurize eggs at home - and easily, too! Pasteurization is simply a process of heating a food to a specific temperature for a specific amount of time - designed to kill specific bacteria. It is known that salmonella bacteria are killed at temperatures of 140 degrees in about 3 1/2 minutes (or a higher temperature in less time). If a room temperature egg is held in a bowl of warm water - say, 142 degrees to be safe - for 3 1/2 minutes, the bacteria will be killed. It takes 5 minutes for extra large or jumbo eggs.

Place the room temperature eggs in a colander, and lower them into a pan or bowl of 142-degree water. Use an instant-read thermometer to be sure of the water temperature, and leave the thermometer in the water, to be sure that the temoerature is maintained. For medium or large eggs, leave them in the water for 3 1/2 minutes; for extra large or jumbo eggs, allow 5 minutes. Then remove the eggs, dry them, and refrigerate them, in a tightly-covered container.

Eggs begin to cook at about 160 degrees, and will be "scrambled eggs" at 180 - but if the 142 degree temperature is maintained, the result is a safe egg that will act like a raw egg in recipes.

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Absolutely fascinating! Thank you so much! I know we cannot get liquid egg in our supermarkets! And my carton only said how long the eggs will be fresh at refrigeration. So I assume they are not pasteurized, since no one eats raw or undercooked eggs, as instructed by news and various sources of info. I will try the pasteurized method-sounds simple. Lana thanks again!!

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In the link above from Melinda Lee, you will see the note at the bottom that mentions Andie and that is me and I do indeed pasteurize all my eggs immediately after I get them home from the store or my local egg man delivers them. The process is easy for me because I have my water heater (tankless) set at 145 degrees but it is not difficult to maintain water at the correct temp for 3 1/2 to 5 minutes as long as you are handling eggs that are not chilled.

Duck eggs also should be pasteurized if they are not going to be fully cooked and they can take up to 8 minutes. I tested one by inserting the probe of a ThermoPen and once it reached the correct temp, setting a timer. However, duck eggs can vary in size and if you use them, you can test one with this method yourself, just to be on the safe side.

Incidentally, I have also pasteurized quail eggs without problems.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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In the link above from Melinda Lee, you will see the note at the bottom that mentions Andie and that is me and I do indeed pasteurize all my eggs immediately after I get them home from the store or my local egg man delivers them.  The process is easy for me because I have my water heater (tankless) set at 145 degrees but it is not difficult to maintain water at the correct temp for 3 1/2 to 5 minutes as long as you are handling eggs that are not chilled. 

Duck eggs also should be pasteurized if they are not going to be fully cooked and they can take up to 8 minutes. I tested one by inserting the probe of a ThermoPen and once it reached the correct temp, setting a timer.  However, duck eggs can vary in size and if you use them, you can test one with this method yourself, just to be on the safe side.

Incidentally, I have also pasteurized quail eggs without problems.

Wow, amazing. I didn't know eggs could be pasteurized at home... And how cool that you're the Andie in the article! :biggrin: Well my craziness slows down near the end of June - so I'll be trying my candied flowers then. I'm pretty excited to give it a try...

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  • 1 month later...

Well, I'm about to try my hand at crystallizing violas, rose petals and mint leaves in the next few days. I'm pretty excited!

I've done all my reading and I'm hoping the experts can give me a few tips on the technique...

I've read that you brush the egg white mixture on with a soft brush (I'll be using meringue powder + water). However, I've also read that you can dip the whole viola into the egg white mixture by holding the stem and dunking. Any comments on which way is better?

I'm also wondering what would be the easiest way to do the rose petals and mint leaves given that they don't have stems... just hold with tweezers and paint away?

For the sugar part I've read different ways of applying: sprinkle on with fingers, with a spoon, using a sieve. Any comments on the best way?

Once dipped and sugared, the flowers are to be put on a rack. Some say a wire rack, others say parchment. I would think parchment would be preferable so they don't stick?? I guess I would have to turn them so they can dry all around?

Once they've dried in a warm place for 24 hours, do they need to be dried further? Some sites say to leave them on racks for days before storing.

Thanks for any advice you can offer! I'll post pictures!

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Well, I'm about to try my hand at crystallizing violas, rose petals and mint leaves in the next few days.  I'm pretty excited! 

I've done all my reading and I'm hoping the experts can give me a few tips on the technique...

I've read that you brush the egg white mixture on with a soft brush (I'll be using meringue powder + water).  However, I've also read that you can dip the whole viola into the egg white mixture by holding the stem and dunking.  Any comments on which way is better?

I'm also wondering what would be the easiest way to do the rose petals and mint leaves given that they don't have stems...  just hold with tweezers and paint away?

For the sugar part I've read different ways of applying:  sprinkle on with fingers, with a spoon, using a sieve.  Any comments on the best way?

Once dipped and sugared, the flowers are to be put on a rack.  Some say a wire rack, others say parchment.  I would think parchment would be preferable so they don't stick??  I guess I would have to turn them so they can dry all around?

Once they've dried in a warm place for 24 hours, do they need to be dried further?  Some sites say to leave them on racks for days before storing.

Thanks for any advice you can offer!  I'll post pictures!

If you dunk a whole viola, the shape will collapse from the weight of the white; also the coating will be too thick. You want to brush the white on very lightly, to prevent too much sugar soaking in which masks the color of your flower.

Use superfine sugar - regular granulated will result in too thick a layer.

And don't try to make your own superfine by whizzing sugar in a blender - it will produce too much dull dust - you want very fine uniform grains of sparkly sugar. Strain it with a fine sieve onto a large tray.

I usually sprinkle the sugar on to the flower with a spoon, then briefly bury the flower in the sugar. By the time I have finished the next flower, I unbury the first, and holding it tightly, give my hand a good whack on the side of the tray; this works better than shaking to get rid of the excess sugar.

I don't use tweezers, you can just hold the edge with your fingers.

Don't lay violas on bare parchment - the petals are now heavy and will fall from the center so you will lose the shape - instead pour out a little layer of sugar, and scoop out a little bed to hold the flower in its' original shape to dry.

you don't have to turn them around; petals are very thin and will dry quickly.

I store them in tins on a sprinkling of sugar over paper towels to absorb any lingering moisture.

Keep them out of the light! They will fade to a dirty white in no time (ask me how I know this).

here's a recent cake, with spanish lavender petals, purple & double white lilacs , and native wild roses, whose petals are natural hearts:

gallery_8512_4054_21336.jpg

flat single petals like roses and mint leaves will beare a lot easier than three-D blossoms, and though pansies and violas are flat they are made more difficult by the fact that they consist of overlapping petals.

here are two macros of pansies. the first was done fairly well; the sugar layer is thin and relatively even, so the color shows through:

gallery_8512_4054_629718.jpg

the second is not done as well; there is a small spot on the left which was missed altogether, and the center contains an area where the sugar is too thick, obscuring the color altogether; this was due to the egg white being applied too thickly:

gallery_8512_4054_13811.jpg

here are both of the pansies on the finished cake:

gallery_8512_4054_17938.jpg

it's a fairly tedious process, you might want to have the tv on or do it with a friend so you're not bored to tears.

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