Scented Sugars30/06/2013 10:36
Sugar absorbs the sweet scents of petals, leaves, herbs & spices and can be used to impart a subtle aroma to cakes, biscuits, ice creams, custards, jams and teas.
A selection of Scented sugars is a pretty and useful gift, especially when presented in decorative glass jars. A wonderful gift idea for keen bakers.
LAVENDER is really a herb so not surprising that the flowers are edible as well as the leaves. This multipurpose flower can be used in jams, jellies, ice cream, biscuits and vinegars. The flowers can also be crystallized, added to salads or used to make a tea. Lavender pairs beautifully with citrus. Cooking with lavender can add a unique flavour to a variety of dishes. Just keep in mind that, when it comes to food a little lavender goes along way!
LAVENDER SUGAR ~ Use about 2 tablespoons of culinary lavender buds for a quart jar of Caster sugar and let it sit for a month before the first use. Replace the amount you take out with the same amount in new sugar and you have a bottomless jar of lavender sugar for years to come. Use this where you would use regular sugar to add an aromatic flavour. Try making some shortbread or fairy cakes with the scented sugar. Delicious!
VANILLA is one of the finest flavours, used almost exclusively in sweet cookery, added to cakes, biscuits, puddings and desserts. It is used to flavour confectionery, and has a special affinity for chocolate.
VANILLA SUGAR ~ add a split vanilla pod to a jar of caster sugar, and allow three or four weeks for the flavours to develop, then just keep topping your jar up with sugar as you go. This gloriously fragrant vanilla sugar is marvelous used in cakes, ice-creams, sweet pies and milk puddings. A good-quality pod which has plenty of vanillin crystals, will remain potent for as long as four years.
SWEET VIOLETS have scented small blue or white flowers. Sweet violets 'Viola odorata' can be candied or used in violet tea, violet cake, and violet syrup. While commonly added to salads, you can also use violet flowers to make vinegars, butters, spreads, and jellies. Sweet violet flowers are as beautiful as they are edible.
In the past sweet violet flowers were used quite extensively in cooking for their fragrance and decorative qualities. In the fourteenth century they were beaten into a ground rice pudding along with ground almonds - they still make a wonderful flavouring for rice puds today.
SWEET VIOLET SUGAR ~ wash the fresh violets in cool water, then pat them dry on paper towels. Pluck the purple petals away form the green part of the flowers. Layer the fresh violets in a jar, alternating with layers of caster sugar. Seal the jar and allow to infuse in a dark cool place. Violet Sugar can be used in cakes, bakes, desserts and ice creams.
** Leave the sugars to infuse for at least a couple of weeks or more for the flavours to develop and sift before using.
* Caster sugar / Superfine Sugar ~ Very fine crystals make this sugar excellent for sprinkling and including in creamed mixtures, meringues and baking.