Introduction: Lemon Lavender Lollies

About: I'm a twentysomething baking obsessive, working as a baker and cake decorator, and gradually fattening up my housemates one recipe idea at a time.
Sweet and delicate, with the fragrance of summer in Provence, these are little more grown up than your average lollipop.

  • 1 tbsp edible dried lavender (make sure it's labelled edible or organic, or you'll be consuming some nasty chemicals)
  • 4 strips fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup liquid glucose (corn syrup)
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • Purple food colouring (optional)
You'll also need measuring cups, a small saucepan with a lid, a sugar thermometer, a baking tray, baking parchment and some lollipop sticks. This recipe makes around 12 lollies.

To get the floral flavour without filling your teeth with flowers, first make an infusion. Put the lavender, lemon and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and boil for a couple of minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and leave to cool down.

While this is cooling you can do some preparation, since working with candy is all about moving fast once the sugar hits the right temperature. To prepare, put your baking tray in the freezer to chill it, which will help the lollies cool quickly later, and cut a sheet of baking paper large enough to cover it. Fill a large bowl/your sink with cold water. Have all the ingredients out & ready to hand.

When the infusion is cold, strain out the lemon & lavender and return the liquid to the pan. Add the sugar and glucose syrup and bring up to the boil. Once its boiling, cover with the lid and boil rapidly for two minutes. Take the lid back off and put your sugar thermometer in. Keep a close eye on it, stirring occasionally, until the temperature rises to 300 F, hard crack stage.

Once at temperature remove the pan from the heat and dip the bottom in your bowl of cold water for a couple of seconds to stop it heating further. Stir in the food colouring if you're using it. Get the baking tray out of the freezer, put it out upside down (the air underneath with cool the candy faster), and line it with the parchment. Spoon out small blobs of candy onto the parchment. Place a lollipop stick on each one, and seal with another drop of candy.

If the candy gets too cold to work with, put it back on the heat for about 30 seconds to heat up and liquify again and keep on going.

Leave the lollies to cool. Once they're cold you can peel them off the baking paper, and wrap them individually in cellophane or greaseproof paper.

Enjoy as a sweet treat on a sunny summer's day!

(This candy method uses a sugar thermometer to find hard crack temperature. This is the stage at which almost all of the water has evaporated from the sugar syrup,and the candy will set hard like a boiled sweet. If you don't have  thermometer you can use the cold water test, a good explanation of which can be found here.

I added a few drops of food colouring, which thanks to yellow tint from the lemons sent the colour a little more red than I desired. For a true purple pleasure increase the amount of colour, or replace the lemon zest with a few drops of lemon extract.)
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