Some of the most gorgeous wedding desserts are those that have been decked out in flowers. Be they cakes resplendent with gum-paste peonies, or chocolate truffles with tiny rosettes perched upon them.
Using real flowers adds another dimension of delicate charm to your celebration, so let’s take a look at some of the loveliest edible petals out there.
Sugared Flowers for Desserts
Edible flowers have been used to decorate desserts for well over a thousand years, but never before have people had access to such a wide variety of blooms, or the means with which to preserve them and display them so beautifully.
Although they’ve been eaten since the Roman era, violets rose to popularity during the Victorian era, when they were used in salads along with borage and primroses.
Sugared violets were used to decorate wedding cakes and other special occasion desserts, and violet candies were nibbled on by high society ladies. If your wedding is taking place in springtime or early summer, and purple is one of the main hues in your palette, definitely consider incorporating violets into your dessert menu.
Violet Decorated Cupcakes
As violets are rather tiny flowers, it’s best to use them in (or on) desserts that are fairly small, so the blossoms don’t end up getting dwarfed. Cake pops that have been coated in white chocolate would look adorable with a candied violet attached to the top, and cupcakes with buttercream or coconut frosting can become elegant little works of art with these sugary blooms perched atop them.
You can also add candied violets to tiny bowls of custard, garnish ice cream or sorbet with some of the blooms, or even float them in your champagne for toasting.
Tin of Violet Pastille Candy
In addition, violet pastille candies with tiny anise seeds at their centres have been made in Flavigny, France since the early 700s (not 1700s: a thousand years earlier!) and these perfect little spheres are as delightful as they are refreshing. Tins of them would be lovely as take-away gifts for guests, or even to just keep around the rooms where the bridal party is getting ready.
Candied rose petals came to be used as decorations during the medieval era, and maintained their popularity ever since. Cookbooks from the renaissance period always included recipes for sugared petals, and roses were the most sought-after and beloved of all. These are still popular decorations for wedding desserts, especially since any colour of rose can be used (although pink petals seem to work the best).
Ombre Rose Petal Cake
Should you decide that you’d like to incorporate candied rose petals into your dessert menu, sit down with your caterers and baker to determine what your best options are. Since petals won’t candy evenly – some may end up with more sugar than others, while some might discolour a bit – it’s often recommended that you use only a few petals to garnish a cake.
That way, additional petals can be added to each individual slice as it’s served. You can also have a cake decorated with petals made from sugar or fondant, and have real candied petals inside the cake, pressed into the filling layers. Any leftover petals can be gathered up and used in the bath later…