|Lemon Lavender Lollies|
It's the adventure that I love most. It is a thrill to come up with something pretty and new and unusual but compatible in flavor. It's even more exciting when someone who has resisted unusual flavors decides to take the plunge and try something they'd never thought they'd like.
Yesterday marked the beginning of the farmer's market season in my wee little town. It is at this market where my little baking venture can reach the most palates. I have plenty of classics on my table: chocolate chip cookies (with Belgian chocolate chips), cinnamon twists, croissants, scones, artisan breads. But I also like to add a touch of the unexpected.
This week's surprises were lemon and cracked pepper artisan bread, dark Belgian chocolate and cherry cookies and lemon lavender lollies. You might be thinking, "those seem like rather orthodox choices where I'm from," but in a town that is largely fueled by prefab donuts, coffee and pizza chains I definitely get the "she must be bonkers" looks from some of my patrons. I don't mind it a bit. Because there are many whose eyes widen and feel the call to something different. Call me crazy, but I think there is movement toward tantalizing and unexpected cuisine in this town and I am pleased as punch to bring my tiny contribution to it.
LEMON LAVENDER LOLLIES
These delightful, pretty little numbers were inspired by artist/baker Heather from SprinkleBakes. She used edible flowers, which I will attempt for a wedding in the summer, but I wanted to try the candy making part before launching into it at the time of the wedding.
I had on hand lemons and culinary lavender, two of my favorite flavors, so I gave it a whirl and what transpired was a little taste of heaven...or the aroma of walking in a field in Provence...they taste like what I imagine pretty to taste like.
Here's what to do:
- get a lollipop mold...you want the kind that can withstand heat up to 350 degrees
- Gather:2 cups sugar2/3 cup light corn syrup2/3 cup water1 dram bottle candy flavoring oil (such as LorAnn, I used lemon oil)flowers, or rind or whatever you wish to put into themCandy thermometercanola oil spray (for the mold - trust me, if you want to get the lollies out of the mold, you'll need this)
Bring water, sugar and corn syrup to a boil and let boil until it reaches 302 degrees F, the hard crack stage, on your candy thermometer. Make sure said candy thermometer is working. Mine was not and I ended up with a black mess on my first round. I asked Heather from SprinkeBakes and she said to test the thermometer by placing it in boiling water and it should read 212 degrees F. Mine had a hard time moving past 200 degrees F.
|sugar caramelizes at 350-ish so if you're getting a golden hue, you're well past the hard crack stage!|
|boil to hard crack stage, about 302 degrees F|
Spoon into molds about half way, add your bits and then spoon a little more candy on top to cover the bits.
|lemon rind and culinary lavender|
|lollipop mold that can withstand heat up to 375 degrees F|
Can be consumed as a lollipop or try stirring it your earl grey tea.
I'd love to hear about your adventures into the culinary world. The first 3 people to tell me about their interesting or unusual flavor combinations will get a lemon lavender lollie!