by Heather Harris Brady
Judging from the comments I’ve been getting it seems like people are in a candying mood, so I’ll keep the ball rolling! Plus, it’s prime time for a lot of roses right now. There are tons of recipes online for candied roses, but the vast majority of them are actually sugared roses – i.e., coating each petal in egg white and then sprinkling it with sugar. This recipe is the real deal, hot sugar syrup and the whole bit.
It probably goes without saying that you need to find organic, unsprayed roses for this recipe. It’s a good excuse to go wandering around outside looking for neglected rose bushes. Try and find ones that have a lot of scent, so you get more of the rose essence.
If you were to buy candied rose petals you could expect to pay around $10/ounce and up, before shipping. Very few places still make them, but they are easy to make at home! I’m making these to use for future batches of macarons and cake garnishes. I started with bright red rose petals, but they turned dark purple as soon as they hit the hot sugar syrup. I imagine each different rose will have a different reaction.
Candied Rose Petals, Makes about 1 cup
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. water
1/2 t. vinegar
3 c. fresh rose petals
Super-fine sugar for coating
Rinse the petals in a colander and wash off any bits of leaves or stamens.
See those tiny white tips at the bottom, where the petal connected to the flower? Pinch those off and throw them away. It took me around 10 minutes to do the whole batch. You can stack them on top of each other and do multiple petals at a time.
Combine the sugar, water and vinegar in a saucepan; then cover a work surface with a thick dusting of superfine sugar.
After the sugar syrup reaches the firm ball stage (245 degrees), dump the petals in all at once. Sorry I don’t have a picture for you here, but I use an abundance of caution around hot sugar. Swirl them around and let the syrup climb to the hard ball stage (250-260 degrees). Use a fork to drop the petals onto the waiting superfine sugar.
There will be clumps. You can use two forks to pull them apart and once it cools a bit you can separate them by hand. You probably won’t be able to separate them all, just do your best.
Make sure each petal gets thoroughly coated with the sugar. The syrup will harden as you go, so you have some time but work as fast you can.
Dust the petals with one final coating of sugar and store in an airtight container until ready to use. Since there are no preservatives it would probably be best to use them within a month.
These would be lovely on a wedding cake or petit fours, if you use them send me links in the comments! I love to see what you guys have cooking.