Candied Miniature Carrots
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.