Crystallising flowers is a Victorian art that's a really wonderful way to decorate anything from a showstopper cake to individual little cupcakes for a bake sale. These edible flowers for cakes not only look really pretty but they're tasty too and make a lovely sweet treat!
You can crystallise most flowers but you might want to start with lavender, mint leaves, pansies, rose petals or violas and violets. If you choose a selection, then you'll have a wide variety of shapes and colours that'll make your cake even more colourful and fun. You'll be surprised how easy it is to do - here's a step-by-step on how you can crystallise your own flowers at home.
1. Beat egg whites
You only really need three ingredients to crystallise flowers - you need the flowers themselves, egg white and sugar, which means they're not only really easy to make, but they're inexpensive too.
Separate the egg white from the yolks and gently beat the white with a fork.
2. Paint the petals with the egg whites
Then, gently using a fine paint brush, paint the petals all over with the egg white. Make sure you cover them completely, even the parts of the flowers where the petals might overlap.
3. Sprinkle each flower or petal with crystallised sugar
Once the flowers have been evenly coated in egg white, sprinkle over with sugar so the petals are completely covered. Make sure you get the sugar over the entire petal - if not they won't harden and set properly.
4. Leave the petals to dry out somewhere cool and dry overnight
Lay the sugar-coated petals onto baking parchment and leave to set. It's best to leave them to set overnight and by the morning they'll have crystallised and will be ready to use to decorate your cake!
Make a really special cake for someone by going that extra mile and making your own crystallised flowers. If you do them yourself you have much more freedom over what kind of flowers, or petals you want to use, the colours and you can easily mix them up a bit!
Once you've tried them a few times, you'll want to experiment more and more and try with different kinds of flowers. This is a foolproof way to crystallise flowers that you can use over and over and the key is simply to make sure the flowers are well coated in the egg white and then sugar.
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