Crystallized (sugared) flowers are an elegant garnish for just about any dessert. They’re also surprisingly easy to make.
A small, new paintbrush (such as the size you might find in a children’s watercolor kit) is perfect for coating the flowers with egg white. But you can also dip the flowers directly into the egg white, taking care to squeeze off the excess. If you are worried about a risk of salmonella, use pasteurized egg white.
A small offset spatula will come in handy here.
Be sure to buy or use flowers grown specifically for culinary use.
Make Ahead: The coated flowers need to air-dry on the baking sheet at room temperature at least overnight, and up to 24 hours.
Where to Buy: In Washington, Little Wild Things City Farm sells edible flowers directly to customers. Such flowers are also sometimes available in the fresh herbs section of grocery store produce departments.
Yield: Makes 30 flowers (enough to decorate one layer cake)
- 1 large egg white (see headnote)
- 25 to 30 small edible flowers (see headnote)
- Superfine sugar (may substitute granulated sugar ground in a food processor)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir together the egg white with a few drops of water in a small bowl.
Use a small brush to paint the surface of each flower with a light coating of the egg white mixture. If you are dipping the flower instead, gently squeeze off any excess.
Place each flower coated side up in a shallow dish, such as a glass pie plate, and sprinkle it with the sugar. Don't overdo it — you still want to be able to see the flower through the layer of sugar. Use tweezers, the tips of your fingers or an offset spatula to transfer the flowers to the baking sheet as you work. Discard any excess sugar and egg white mixture.
Allow the flowers to dry at room temperature at least overnight, or up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to use them, gently remove them from the paper, because they will stick a little (an offset spatula is handy for dislodging them).
From Voraciously lead writer Becky Krystal.
Tested by Becky Krystal.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.