On the French Riviera, Spring is announced in March when violets start blossoming all over the gardens.
At the renowned Violets Festival in Tourettes-sur-Loup you can eat them in different ways: ice cream, jam, jelly, candy. .
Tourettes-sur-Loup is just across the valley from our garden and the seeds must have spread naturally.
You can find violets everywhere!
This year my son Francesco decided to have our own Violet Festival in our garden.
So he started a treasure hunt searching around the garden to find as many as he could.
I must say he was successful, having found enough to get a project going: 50 gr of violets with a nice intense perfume.
We do not use any chemical treatment in our garden, so our violets are safe to eat.
Francesco loves sweets, so he decided to make caramelized violets.
The petals are very delicate and a hot caramel would ruin the beauty of the flower.
As I wanted to keep them intact for decorating cakes, I decided to use a method that would preserve them, and here is the recipe.
For 50gr of violets we used 1 egg white and caster sugar.
I did not use icing sugar as I wanted a nice crystal effect.
We picked the flowers with long stems so we could hold them without damaging them.
I prepared a bowl full of fresh water and we rinsed the flowers one by one.
We placed them on a cloth to dry, not under the direct sun, but on the kitchen counter.
We slightly whisked the egg white and with a brush we spread it inside and outside the flower.
Then laying them on a parchment paper, we removed the stems.
Sprinkled the flowers with castor sugar we let them dry out in a warm and dark place for a couple of days.
Once dried we stored them in an air tight container covering them with sugar.
Having such a beautiful colour and scent, I decided to use them to decorate a Swiss Roll Sponge. To contrast the colour as well as the flavour, I filled it with a butter cream and sprinkled with pistachios. You can also use them to decorate the Almond Meringue and Butter Cream Cake
All recipes below.
Enjoy your own Violet Festival!