From garden to kitchen: Crystallised flowers

This business of eating edible flowers is all pretty new to me. It started off quite innocently with lunch last year at Hentley Farm Wines, where the chef added rocket, rosemary and other edible flowers to a few of his dishes. You know how much I love flowers, right? Well, it made me really happy when I realised I could eat them too.

Mostly, I've been using herb flowers in my salads, but last weekend, I took it one step further and crystallised my homegrown nasturtiums for use as cupcake toppers.
On their own, nasturtiums are mild and peppery. When crystallised, however, they impart a sweet aromatic taste. They look incredibly pretty piled up on a single cupcake and adds a crunch to every bite.

Before I proceed with instructions, I feel compelled to say something glaringly obvious. When attempting this, use only flowers that are edible. There's a pretty comprehensive list here. Don't just rely on photos to identity the flowers, you need to be 100% sure of what you are consuming. Also, use only flowers that are free from pesticides and other nasty chemicals. For these reasons, I think it's safest to use homegrown edible flowers or buy from a reputable vendor (I hear Harris Farm stocks them from time to time).
 Ingredients

1 egg white
A few drops of vodka (optional)
2 tablespoon caster sugar
10-12 edible flowers

 Method

1. Wash the flowers thoroughly but gently, removing any dirt or insects. Dry on tea towel.

2. Whisk egg white until frothy. You may add a few drops of vodka to speed up the drying process.

3. Using a small kitchen brush, lightly coat the petals on both sides.

4. Using a teaspoon or your fingers, sprinkle caster sugar over the flower and shake to remove excess. Repeat until each flower is coated with sugar.
5. Place flowers on a wire rack lined with baking paper to dry for 24 hours.
6. Once completely dry, use as cake toppers or store in airtight container for future use.

PS: Printer friendly version of this recipe available here.

54 Responses to From garden to kitchen: Crystallised flowers

Jenee C. said...

What a creative way to use and store flowers! I am so in awe of how much thought you always put into your posts. I really love visiting your little blog. Also, who knew a few drops of vodka helps dry up egg whites!

xx Jenee C.
{camo meets couture}

:: Lavender's Green :: said...

I remember when I watched 'Because I Said So' (the Mandy Moore movie) and she talked about edible flowers and the adorable little kid bit a flower from her bouquet, and I was all, "Say what?!" But since then I've seen it more and more. They are super cute on top of cupcakes and add a bright splash of colour to salads!

x Jasmine

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

The flowers look beautiful on the cupcakes. I've used rose petals before and my mum always used to come up with the (in a child's mind) strangest ideas of plants to eat :-) Lovely post. Have a great week xo

Allison said...

these are so pretty....almost a shame to eat them!
Allison x

Allison said...

these are so pretty...almost a shame to eat!
Allison x

Alice said...

So beautiful. You get some great ideas Trishie!

Sarah Jane said...

These are gorgeous! We used to make a dip using cream cheese and our own herbs, then stuff the flowers with the dip. They were delicious!

I never thought of crystallising them though - thanks so much for sharing!
xox

Pieces of Sunshine said...

They looks delightful but it must seem strange to eat them at first.

Janna said...

Wow this is awesome. It looks gorgeous. And it doesn't look hard to do at all :) Thanks for sharing!

Milynn {Love + Whimsy} said...

So creative and beautiful!

Jane said...

so interesting! they are very pretty too! makes the cupcake have a romantic feel to them :)

rooth said...

Gosh, this is so pretty I don't think I could bear to eat them

aliceinbo said...

Trishie,

Love flowers and so cakes...
Both things together, is absolutely great!

aliceinbo2.blogspot.com

christina said...

that is so interesting and really pretty!

Juanita said...

They must be so delicate and precious like unique snowflakes. I won't bear to eat them!

Sharlynn said...

This is such a great decoration item! I used to have a teacher who loved to preserve various types of flowers for pretty cupcakes!

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

These look almost too pretty to eat. Thanks for sharing this how to Trishie!

Rowena @ rolala loves
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Mary Jo at TrustYourStyle said...

Wow, gorgeous Trishie! I've always wanted to make these for cupcakes, and now you've inspired me!

xo Mary Jo

Gillian said...

How cool! And very pretty. So much nicer than the synthetic, sugar paste flower toppers you can buy.

Gillian x

jo said...

These flowers are so pretty!

xo Jo

http://www.whiterosesandcoffee.com/

helen said...

you are amazing! i have never thought of crystalizing flowers before. they look so gorgeous on those cupcakes. :)

Liv Lundelius said...

Oh I love these, they are growing in my Mums garden and we used to have them in summer salads! So pretty!

Anouka said...

A very original idea! I wonder what they taste like... They sure look very appealing!

honey my heart said...

oh wow, these are beautiful flowers. adds such a delicate touch to the cupcakes.

Valerie Price said...

These are amazing...absolutely gorgeous!

Oh Sunnie Day said...

Gorgeous! I had no idea you could do that with flowers :)

xx

jen

Natalie said...

These are beautiful! Perfect on top of the cupcakes :)

Lisa - respect the shoes said...

Wow, I have never tried edible flowers before - not only are they pretty but they're yummy? They look great on the cupcakes!

NaNa said...

wow that is a beautiful method indeed =) loving those flowers on the cupcakes. really good job =)

love from the NANA girls xoxo

lizchewy said...

This is amazing!! These crystallized flowers look so beautiful~

Liz
chewylove.blogspot.com

Jo N said...

Wow. Crystallised edible flowers. You are so creative. You have so many wonderful ideas.

criscrascrus said...

wow! It's really cool to decorate.

little t said...

Too pretty to eat :)

Nikki | The Ginger Diaries said...

Pretty AND tasty? I like! Mind sharing one of those cupcakes? ;) x

Il Mare Atelier said...

Very impressed with this idea of yours!

Chai Chen said...

Whoooaaaa I am hungry again! I love these types of sweets! :)


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Gloria said...

Oooh these are too pretty to eat!

Erica said...

Food that is pretty enough to eat! I never thought of coating flowers like that. They look so pretty... and yummy!

Arni @ Travel Gourmande said...

I went to my sister's wedding and was surprised. It was my first time eating flowers in a salad and having seen this..it's very creative. I can imagine floral topped cupcakes perfect in weddings and at tea parties.

Marsa said...

so pretty! where do you think of these things?? seriously :)

The DayLee Journal

Sam said...

You always have the best food inspired ideas, love this one, the flowers look so beautiful!

Stephanie G said...

i've definitely seen edible flowers in harris farm, i think it was something like $6.99 a box. have used them before for food but definitely liking this idea of them as cupcake/dessert toppers!

steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

Punctuation Mark said...

this is such a great idea... flowers are a little peppery and adding sugar to them adds a nice sweet touch!

Latrina said...

So pretty! I have always wanted to try this... what a lovely embellish to a cupcake or any dessert even. So delicious looking too!

Elly @ Caribbean Living said...

Oooh, these look so pretty! I just might have to give this a go...thanks for sharing!

kayleigh maryon said...

That looks fantastic. What a creative idea. I bet they were delicious.
kayleigh http://www.thewayiwanderlust.blogspot.com.au

Gracie said...

This is such a great idea. It looks amazing on the cupcakes and I bet it tastes even better. x

indie by heart said...

They look so beautiful.. I wouldn't dare to eat those sweet things, they're far too pretty! [Well, maybe just a bit ;]

Thanks for the comments love!

Satu
Indie by heart

emily fitzgerald {once in a blue room} said...

this is too cool! love it.

Heather said...

So pretty!

Carrie said...

do you have any idea how gorgeous this looks for me?! i'm kind of speechless actually. it's such a cool idea!!! and it's beautiful when placed on top of the cupcake!

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:)
Carrie
http://readmylifeascarrie.blogspot.com/

Vanisha @ Vanishas Life In...Australia said...

Ahh! You did such a great job with these!

Camila Carneiro said...

I loved this post!
The cupcakes look delish and beautiful altogether :)
xoxo, The Brazilian Way of Life
www.camilagcarneiro.blogspot.com.br

Kelsey Price said...

These look beautiful! Flowers always add such a pretty, fresh touch & pop of colour to bakes.