Saturday, 17 July 2010

Candied Alexander stem

This is a recipe that I made up and tried in early April when the Alexander’s were shooting up their beautiful new stems. All the children I offered these 'homemade sweets' to loved them and I even used them in them in the same way to decorate cakes as you would use candied Angelica.It went especially well with lemon icing.

I neglected to share the recipe with you then so here it is.

Alexander’s have a fragrant taste not unlike myrtle and this candying process works really well with the younger stems. Try not to use the really new stems. They have to have a bit of 'substance' to them or they will disintegrate in the candying process.

How to make Candied Alexander stem.

Cut the stems into sections about 6 inches long then soak in cold water for about 8 hours.

Add the stems to boiling water with 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (per Gallon). The Bicarb helps the Alexanders retain its colour. Boil until the stems have softened. Cool in cold water and soak in syrup of 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water. Do this for 24 hours.

After 24 hours drain and heat the syrup to 110 degrees Celsius. It helps if you have a cooking thermometer for this.

Pour the Syrup over the Alexander stems and repeat the syrup process for the next 3 days. On the fourth day cook the syrup to 120 degrees Celsius and then pop the stems in. Boil and then lift the stems out and drain them on a cake rack.

When they are cooled eat! I found them a little sticky so rolled them in icing sugar then stored then in a kilner jar. I don't know how long they would last like this. Quite a long time I feel. I never got the chance to find out as Oskar and his school friend ate the lot. I was extremely popular :)

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