Once I wrote a blog post about how to make vegan sugared flowers (also called candied flowers).
These days I candy my homegrown flowers every week or so (helloooooo summer!) for these simple flower tablets I’ve been making for sale in the shop (too delicate to ship, sorry!)—just candied flowers and pure chocolate, inspired by this—and Maresa makes a lot for her cupcakes too, so the two of us have learned a lot of tips since I wrote that post.
Here’s an update to the above-mentioned post:
- Don’t use the flax seed eggs I recommend in that blog post. In time, your flowers will get yellowy/brown from it. Also, it’s a bit of a pain to make.
- These days we just use any old starch instead of the flax seed eggs: Maresa started using that egg replacer powder stuff you can get in health food stores, then I used cornstarch one day, and now we mostly just use a quick cornstarch slurry. Heavy on the cornstarch, light on the water. You need to stir it up pretty often. I have a feeling xanthan gum or potato starch would work just fine too.
- Maresa and I do this technique of roughing up super fresh flowers with our thumbs before we paint on the starch slurry—just-picked flowers are sometimes so dewy that the starch just slides right off.
- Obviously, be sure to use organic cornstarch, since you don’t want some gross GMO cornstarch on your beautiful flowers! (And if you aren’t using organic cornstarch, it almost definitely is genetically modified.)
- My newest thing is backwards candying. I really like the effect of putting flowers on whatever you’re putting them on (in my case, chocolate) backwards, so I often candy the least-pretty side. Backwards flowers have a pretty sugary edge, and a brighter (non-sugary) face, and they seem to hold up just as well as ones that are candied on both sides (I can’t say for sure how long they hold up because the tablets usually sell within a few days…). I’ll try to remember to take a photo to show you.
- Like this guy, I spent a lot of time this spring candying lilac petals. I cannot tell you what a giant pain this was. I have no tip. Just giant pains.
- Like Joe Pastry mentioned above, I also color my sugar (regular organic evaporated cane juice sugar I make superfine by whizzing it in a food processor for a few seconds, as mentioned in the original post). I use organic food colorings from Nature’s Flavors. They’re hella expensive, beware.
- Did you know peonies are edible? Neither did we. Did you know peonies taste awful? Neither did we. Now we know both.
OK, that’s all I’ve got.
Have fun! HAPPY SUMMAH!