It’s always a pleasure to discover violets in the garden. These secretive blooms multiply year on year, peeping out from the undergrowth before self-seeding so that new plants pop up in unexpected places. That is all part of their charm. And one of the reasons I love them so much, is because they make such pretty additions to cakes and bakes.
All they need is a wash of egg white and a sprinkle of sugar to transform them into the daintiest of decorations. Here’s how:
Pick twenty or so violets, keeping the stems on, as this will make them easier to handle. Give them a quick rinse and dry gently on paper towel.
Beat an egg white, and coat the petals using a soft brush (I use a clean paint brush).
Sprinkle with caster sugar while the egg white is still wet, so the sugar sticks to the petals. I use a tiny jug to pour the sugar, holding the violet up by its stem and rotating so that both sides are thoroughly sprinkled.
Place the violets on to paper towel and leave to dry (preferably overnight). They will become hard and crunchy.
Once dry they can be used straight away, or stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Over the Bank Holiday weekend, I used them to decorate fairy cakes topped with lemon curd and buttercream, and lemony icing.
What do you think?