Crystallizing flowers will give your cakes that special touch all bakers long for – although it takes a little bit of work, the end result is well worth it. Here’s how:
- 1 Tbsp. gelatin (Knox can be used, but it tends to lump)
- 6 Tbsp. Water at room temperature
Sprinkle the gelatin over water and mix right away – if bubbles form, skim them off the top. Allow mixture to rest for 2-3 minutes until it reaches a sponge-like consistency. Take hardened gelatin and place in microwave oven for 10 seconds intervals – do a set of 10, 10, 5 – stirring after each set. This process will melt the gelatin – make sure that before you dip your flower and/or petals that gelatin is at room temperature.
In the meantime, prepare a shallow bowl filled with superfine sugar. If you don’t have superfine sugar, place regular granulated sugar into a food processor and pulse until very fine.
Make sure your flowers/petals are clean and pesticide-free. To crystallize, hold a flower (or leaf) by its stem and very carefully paint it with the gelatin mixture on both sides – try not to coat it too heavily. You could also dip the flower, but it won’t be as delicate.
Hold the wet flower over the bowl of sugar and (using a teaspoon) sprinkle it evenly. Turn it over and do the back side, too. Shake off excess sugar (tap your hand on the side of the bowl) and then place the coated flower on the wax-covered tray. Allow to dry for a minimum of 24 hours.
After the flowers or leaves are dry, clip off their stems and place them in an airtight container. if you store them away from light and heat, they should be usable and will retain their color for a year. Handle flowers/petals with care as they are very fragile.
I learned this method at a class I attended and it works beautifully every time.
-- DJ - Funfetticakes