Earlier this week I was on the subway reading Stephanie LaCava’s book An Extraordinary Theory of Objects, and halted when I read “sugar-dusted violet candies.” I pulled out my notebook and wrote it down. Such a simple phrase, and no doubt one I have come across before, but it made me long for spring like nothing else. Then Amy posted a photo of a bouquet of violets, then Amy, Becka and I discussed making our own candied flowers, then a recipe for candied rose petals appeared on the Wilder Quarterly blog, and then Geoff came home on Valentine’s Day with a beautiful, demure bouquet from Coriander Girl that featured two perfect roses, one cream and one blush, with the most intoxicating scent. Candied flower petals were definitely in the air, so I decided to try making them. It sounded so easy and yet so decadent, and it was.
BHLDN sent me these vases to try out from their decor collection, and they are so pretty & feel light as air. If they had been available when we were planning our wedding I would have used them for the centrepieces! Just a small posy is enough to fill them (we actually used hobnail vessels I ordered from BHLDN, which were also lovely).
Geoff & I were given this Diptyque candle as a wedding gift. It is precious, and I light it maybe once every two weeks for a few minutes at a time, drawing out its life as though I were Charlie with his birthday chocolate bar. The candle and this blush rose smell the way roses are meant to smell, a true rose scent I encounter so infrequently and that always makes me inhale deeply.
Plucking the petals was bittersweet as I would have loved to look at the roses until they turned brown, but candying them would give them a different sort of life. That bit of cheerful yellow that popped out was a happy surprise. Coriander Girl uses high-quality locally grown flowers have not been sprayed with pesticides (thank you, Alison!), so I felt safe turning them into candy. My dining room smelled so good.
I followed the Wilder post, which was based on this Chez Panisse tribute post, painting the egg white onto the petals and dipping them into the sugar. Pony was fascinated and wound up with some sugar in her whiskers despite my attempts to shoo her away.
I don’t know of any reasonable substitute for egg whites, personally, if one doesn’t want to take risks or doesn’t consume eggs, but there must be one out there.
I baked a simple cake (boxed mix of course, shhh) and topped it with the petals once they were dry. This cake stand is also from BHLDN—I love the bold coral paired with the subtle creams and pale pink in the rose petals.
The petals taste incredible, delicate and divinely sweet, with a slight crunch. Come, spring!