Floral Lollipops

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About: Hi, I'm Éva from Hungary. I love baking, cooking, and gardening, not to mention the perfect combination: cooking using fruits and veggies from our garden. I often experiment with new ingredients and try to u...

After the long, dark winter days I am craving for fresh greens and in fact all other colors to watch and eat. Every year I end up buying loads of pockets of flower seeds to scatter. Then I usually forget what went where and I have to wait quite a while tillI I can tell flowers and weeds apart.

My true favorites are edible flowers, they look lovely on top of salads, you can also use them to make stunning cake decorations and many other ways. There are a lot of flowers that are edible, we have nasturtium, various types of roses, violets, apple and cherry blossom, lilacs and elderflower in the garden.

I made these floral lollipops for a kids' garden party, but their parents happened to love them, too.

There are a few rules to be followed when using edible flowers.

1. NOT ALL flowers are edible. That' s vital. Some could be poisonous. It's your responsibility to identify them correctly, when in doubt, let them bloom.

2. Eat organically grown flowers, free of pesticides.

3. Don’t collect flowers on road sides.

Step 1: You'll Need

Ingredients:

2 cups sugar

2/3 cups glycose syrup (most recipes suggest corn syrup, but that's not available around here)

2/3 cups water

organic edible flowers

optional:

some sort of extract (I used a few drops of orange blossom extract)

food coloring (it"s in the photo but finally I decided not to use it)

Tools and materials:

lollipop sticks

candy thermometer

saucepan

corn starch

silicone baking tray liner

or hard candy mould and cooking spray instead of the previos two things on the list

Step 2: The Mold

To give a short explanation: hard candy mold greased with cooking spray could be the most straightforward choice for pouring the hot syrup in, but I did not have one, so I searched for alternatives.

I spread one and a half boxes (that is about 750 g) of cornstarch evenly in a pan, so that it was about two fingers high, and I made hollows into it using a 25 mm diameter plastic cap.

My plan was to make all of the lollipops this way but then it occured to me along the way that I might as well just use a simple silicone mat and make free-hand, irregular lollipops. It worked pretty well!

Step 3: Making the Syrup

Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. As the temperature increases, liquid boils away, and the concentration of sugar becomes bigger. Use a sugar thermometer for best results, cook until mixture reaches 150 Celsius (or 300-305 Fahrenheit). That is the so called hard crack stage we need for making lollipops. Pull it off from the heat, if you wish add a few drops of orange or vanilla extract and / or food coloring paste and mix. Once the mixture stopped bubbling, pour the syrup into a small saucepan with a pour spout so that it is easier to direct the syrup to the desired place in the desired quantities.

Step 4: The Fun Part

Pour the syrup into the "molds" half way up (or onto the silicone mat). Carefully place a flower facing down onto the candy. Take good care, it's still hot, but you have to work fast. Quickly pour a little more candy on top to cover your flower completely. Place the lollipop stick in the candy and rotate it to make sure that it is fully covered with candy.

I cheated a little bit, I put the syrup back on the induction - at very low heat - until I placed the flowers in the candies to avoid it solidifying in the saucepan and it proved a good idea.

Allow the candy to harden completely (I left them overnight) then remove from the "molds", give them a quick rinse to get rid of cornstarch and let them dry again.

Step 5: The Outcome

The more regular ones were made with the improvised mold, the others free-hand. As you see, not only the form but also the color differs. Don't ask why, that's a mystery to me.

I think they work well as hand - made favors as well.

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