This post has nothing to do with the nuptials of a soon to be former EU prince this weekend. Rather, Marie Antoinette would be proud. I just watched the 2006 movie starring Kirsten Dunst and was influenced by the fabrics, landscapes and ridiculously gorgeous food. Pastels everywhere. This reminded me of candied rose petals and mint leaves. Edible garnishes that, like Marie herself, are a bit over the top and gild the lily.
“Let them eat cake!” Well, since I needed to make a dessert for a dinner party anyway, why not do one using candied roses and mint?
The cake, “Torta all’Arancia (Orange Cake Inspired by Ada Boni and Marcella Hazan) was featured on Food52. I’ve made it a few times before, but with two notable changes from the original recipe. The recipe says to bake for 45 minutes, which is too long for my oven. Mine was done in 35-38 minutes each time. I’ve also added mini-chocolate chips (this time) and in the past I have added 1 teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary).
If Marie Antoinette were alive today, I’m convinced she’d be addicted to Instagram. Currently, it seems every other dessert shown on Instagram features a high-gloss, mirror glaze. In keeping with today’s “give it the royal treatment” theme, I thought I’d give one a try. A simple cake, but dressed to the nines.
Are all flowers edible? Definitely not. Here’s a good starting point to guide you.
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Eating Royally (Candied Rose Petals and Mint Leaves)
- 1 egg white, beaten with a fork (pasteurized egg whites are widely available if you have any concerns)
- 1/2 cup superfine granulated sugar (if you don’t have any on hand but happen to have regular white sugar and a food processor, you can just pulse until the sugar is very fine. If you keep pulsing, you’ll make powdered sugar, which you do not want for this purpose)
- 2 roses, (organic and pesticide free if you plan to eat them); or
- 2 dozen mint or spearmint leaves
- Remove rose petals from rose, along with the white base, which can be bitter (or, if you can find or grow simple, single layer roses, try candying them whole. Just be gentle)
- Gently wash and pat dry the petals and/or mint leaves
- Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper or use a wire cooling rack. Brush both sides of each rose petal and/or mint leaf with the beaten egg white. Gently remove extra egg white with your fingers. You only need a very fine coating, just enough to get the sugar to stick
- Dip in the superfine sugar
- Completely dry until crunchy (3-4 hours)
- Store in airtight container for up two days, or in freezer for up to a week. Do not store in your refrigerator, which is too moist and will melt the sugar over time