Planning a tea party or already thinking of ideas for an Easter brunch? Why not create elaborate molded sugars infused with the heady scent of garden roses?
Laying sugar and rose petals in a jar allows the flower's scent and flavor to infuse the crystals after just one week. “Rose petal sugar is perfect in hot tea or cider, Champagne toasts, at parties and as party favors,” says Sally Effman of Trio3 in Westport, Connecticut. “It has a beautiful rose scent and a slightly sweet-spiced rose flavor. They can be molded into shapes or left as granulated sugar for tea, lemonade or baking recipes.”
Rose Petal Sugar
- Pesticide free rose petals
- White granulated sugar
- 1- 2 drops red food coloring
- Mason jar, pint or quart capacity
Gather a bowl of pesticide-free rose petals, the more heavily scented the better. It is especially important that the roses have no pesticides or any chemical treatment or it will be imparted into the sugar. You may want to remove the small white part of the petal, as it can be bitter.
Pour a 1-inch layer of sugar into the jar, layer the petals on top of the sugar, cover with more sugar. Repeat the alternating layers until the jar is filled to about 1 inch from the top. Layers of sugar can be about 1 to 2 inches with petals placed on top.
Fill to about 1 inch from the top of the jar, and make sure top is securely fastened. It must be airtight or there is the risk of mold developing from the moisture of the petals.
Leave for at least 1 week for the rose petal flavor to be infused into the sugar, and shake it around every couple of days to distribute the flavor. The longer it stays in contact with the sugar, the more flavorful the sugar will be (though it is a very subtle flavor). Keep out of direct light.
After about 2-3 weeks, strain the sugar through a colander or mesh strainer to remove the petals.
In a small bowl, add 2 teaspoons of water with 1 drop of red food coloring to the sugar. It should feel like wet sand.
If too wet, add more sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. If too dry, add a few drops of water at a time until it’s the right consistency.
To color and mold into shapes, pack it firmly into a mold (small 1/2" ice cube mold, hearts, stars, domes, etc.), then turn over onto wax paper covered wire rack. Tap each cell and gently lift mold to uncover the damp formed sugar.
Allow to harden overnight.
You can also mold the damp sugar into a block and hand cut, or use cookie cutters, to form cubes or shapes.