9.10.11

Candied Miniature Carrots

My garden took second seat to the Farmer's Market this summer.  That almost does not seem right, does it.  I did use herbs from my little garden in the salads and dips I made for the market, but mostly the garden was for my own use.

I planted the carrots and did not thin the planting.  Now that it is fall, it is time to dig up everything.  To my delight I had a lot of these tiny little carrots!  I have always wanted to make candied carrots for decorating carrot cupcakes iced with cream cheese frosting.

Each carrot is between 1 and 2 inches long.  I washed and cleaned them and then I painstakingly peeled each little one.  I think I have about 3 dozen.

The first step is to blanch them in salted water.  This is necessary so that the cell structure will change and accept the sugar in replacement for the water in the carrot.  But you don't want to cook them either.  This is truly 'cooking by braille'.  I guessed at a short blanching time and drained them and then shocked them in ice water.

I made a heavy sugar syrup of water and sugar.  I boiled the miniature carrots in this syrup for two or three minutes and turned off the heat.  I let them sit in the sugar syrup for 2 days.  After 2 days, I added another 1/2 cup of sugar and heated them again.  When the new sugar was dissolved and the syrup was bubbling, I turned off the heat and let them sit in the sugar syrup for 3 days.  During this time the water in the carrots is being replaced with sugar through osmosis.

After this, I warmed them so the sugar syrup was thin.  I removed the little carrots and dried them on a cake rack for one day.  Now they are arranged in layers separated by parchment paper in an airtight container.  I will keep them in my cold room until I use them in two weeks for my cupcakes at the market.

Everyone is asking how they taste!  That did not even cross my mind!  I was only thinking of appearances.  So I just ate one.  It tastes faintly of carrot in a jellied candy kind of way.  The green part was just as candied as the orange part.  Very pleasant.

12 comments:

  1. That is super cool! I must try this with what is left on the side garden!

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  2. How cute! A lot of work, but I'm sure it was well worth it. Can't wait to see the cupcakes :)

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  3. These are so pretty! I bet the carrot cake cupcakes topped with them will go quickly. Did they taste good?

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  4. Oh, that will look so gorgeous... I would probably blow them all out on a big cake with a Busby Berkley arrangement. I bet they taste great too!!

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  5. That is a whole lot of work, but they look amazing! How do they taste?

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  6. A sweet way to use up the remaining bounty in your garden.

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  7. It never occurred to me to ask how they taste, because they are so pretty!

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  8. Those look amazing!

    Happy belated Thanksgiving, by the way :D

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  9. Absolutely amazing! They look gorgeous!
    Cheers

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  10. If the cupcakes don't sell at the market (of course they will fly of the shelves), the carrots are so beautiful, you could add a clip and sell them as earrings. Gorgeous, and a clever use, brava!

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  11. These is lovely; I am sure the cupcakes will look so beautiful with these dainty lilliputian carrots!

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  12. Sarah, those are so adorable. I love that first photo! They're going to look super on your cupcakes. (always a plus when something decorative tastes good too!)

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