I combed the supermarket shelves for crystallised flowers for a cake I was planning to make and could only find some rather garish sugar nonsense.
But the garden is full of primroses and violets so I decided to make my own.
It’s very easy but it is extremely fiddly and sticky.
I have the attention span of a gnat and a corresponding boredom threshold so I have to confess the last few violets ended up in the bin.
The results are pretty though. Bigger flowers, like primroses, are easier than tiny, fragile ones like violets and I might have another go in the summer when the roses are in bloom.
If you feel like giving it a try you will need, in addition to your edible flowers, some caster sugar, a lightly whisked egg white, a pair of tweezers and a fine paint brush.
Line a tray with some baking parchment, put the egg white in one bowl and the sugar in another.
Pick up a flower with the tweezers and carefully paint every bit of it on both sides with the egg white.
Sprinkle it with caster sugar, again making sure that it’s completely covered.
Put it on the tray and repeat until you’ve done all your flowers (except the ones you bin when you get bored).
Put the tray in a warm, dry place – an airing cupboard is ideal – overnight or until the flowers are completely hard and dry.
They’re very fragile, so either use them straight away or store them between baking parchment in a tin, but don’t layer them up too much or they’ll break.