16.2.13

roman de la rose


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.


Petals, drying.


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!


38 comments:

  1. oh anabela, this is beautiful. i love coriander girl's bouquets. i am awaiting spring with bated breath!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, how light and beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Diptyque Roses scent is really incredible! My boyfriend (also a Jeff) wears it from time to time and I find it so intoxicating. We love the flavor of rose, so I can't wait to try these. Did they pair well with the chocolate cake?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought it did, although to be honest I'll have to give it another try—my senses were really off last week because I was ill!

      Delete
  4. Ahhhhhh you are so good! I'm dying to try.

    ReplyDelete
  5. There are pasteurized liquid egg whites and powdered egg whites for reconstituting made for this exact procedure. Your cake turned out lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thanks so much for letting me know! Luckily we didn't get sick this time!

      Delete
    2. Anonymous26.2.13

      also, you can use unflavored gelatin thinned out instead of egg whites

      Delete
    3. Cool, thanks! Maybe I'll try that next time.

      Delete
  6. For future reference, here's an extremely easy chocolate cake recipe that is super moist and flavourful:
    http://maefood.blogspot.ca/2007/10/she-didnt-hate-to-cook.html
    A family favourite! Versatile, fast, delicious, and adaptable. Sometimes I just melt some chocolate chips on top of the freshly baked cake, and spread that around as the icing. Another fun version is to add red wine instead of 1/2 the water, and make a red velvet cake.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yum!! Thanks for passing that along.

      Delete
  7. How pretty. And what a treat that cake with your candied rose petals must have been.

    ReplyDelete
  8. oh this is absolutely amazing!! how gorgeous! xo

    ReplyDelete
  9. gorgeous, i must try this once my garden starts blooming! i thought Pony couldn't get cuter but sugar dusted whiskers?!? omg.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Omg so jealous. Although I do have my lone peony... maybe I can candy it!

      Delete
  10. That vase is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  11. oh my gawd. the most divine of posts! must try immediately. i recently found this post on roost: http://www.roostblog.com/roost/rose-water-video.html and have had rose petals on the brain non-stop just wishing for spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We just can't take it anymore! And man, that looks so good.

      Delete
  12. Gorgeous, the petals are so perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Simply beautiful! Love the petal decoration!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, this is lovely! I was planning to make this cake http://www.ruemag.com/lifestyle-entertaining/in-the-kitchen-with-jennifer-martine for my upcoming birthday, and candied rose petals would be the perfect decoration. Also, Pony! So cute with that little paw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dang, that cake looks so good!

      Delete
  15. This is so pretty and lovely!
    (Ofcourse it's too fancy for the "cake club" ahahahaaa! ;D)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha nothing I touch is really that fancy!

      Delete
  16. Ooh, I've never tried sugaring petals but these look so pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  17. what a fantastic cake!! too pretty to eat....
    from Claire.

    ReplyDelete
  18. ooo wax flower is my favourite, Geoff knows his stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is so cool. Lovely!!
    Hey, boxed cake is fine :)

    Valentina
    Valentina Duracinsky

    ReplyDelete
  20. looks so lovely. i can taste the spring

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just clicked on the link to the book and then clicked on the blog...and there they were, the violet candies (I now recall seeing them before, but have never tried them): http://stephanielacava.tumblr.com/post/43509633943/marcjacobsintl-thejournalinc

    Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yum! I need those. When I was reading the book I pictured them as bulk, loose candies (not sure why, just did!)

      Delete
  22. this post made me fall in love AND made my mouth water. not often that happens....

    ps. those BHLDN vases are stunning. they make nothing but solid gold.
    pps. sugar whiskers = best mental image

    jamie
    inconsistency rang the horse

    ReplyDelete
  23. They look incredible! I love that you actually did it, I've been dreaming of candied flowers ever since we had that conversation. Delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  24. beautiful - never had candied flowers on cake before, would love to try!
    (thought, for a moment, that your title refers to the medieval French romance "Roman de La Rose"!)

    gz x
    wherewearwe're

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does! I love the Roman de la Rose, was just playing with the title :)

      Delete
  25. *gasp* well suddenly I want to do nothing but candy roses! Also Pony with sugar-whiskers is just the cutest thing, and so continues my vicarious cat-living. I love the blushy pinks and yellows against the chocolate and the coral cakestand, it's a glorious combination.

    ReplyDelete