Ways Of Decorating Cakes. Learn To Make Candied Fruit Yourself!

Probably, every person has pleasant memories from the childhood when his or her mother cooks a tasty fruit cake. Usually, women use candied cherries or other fruit which can be bought in containers of different colors - red or green. The contemporary market offers a great variety of attractive and tasty candied fruit which can be used not only for making fruitcakes but also other desserts and dishes.

But home-made candied fruit is always tastier than the bought one. You can make it for further usage in cooking diverse dishes, cookies, snacks, as well as for cake decorating. Besides, making candied fruit isn't difficult. You'll need to infuse fruits and citrus peelings in sugar syrup. One can also candy orange peel, orange wedges, lemon peel, pineapple and fresh cherries, grapefruit peel, etc. Even carrots can be candied.

So, in order to candy fruits you'll need two sauce pans - one for making sugar syrup, and another to blanch the fruit. The following is the recipe for making Candied orange peel.

Syrup is necessary for making candied fruits, giving flavor to different drinks, as well as giving moisture to sponge cake. Sugar syrup can have different strengths for various uses. Thus, thin simple syrup that's cooked from one part of sugar and two parts of water is used to brush on cake layers, for instance, sponge cake, to offer additional sweetness and moisture. Medium simple syrup is cooked from equal parts of sugar and water. It can be added to mixed drinks, coffee, iced tea offering more sweetness. The syrup made of two parts of sugar and one part of water serves excellent base for sorbet and cooking rock candy.

So, mix equal parts of sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil until the sugar dissolves. Don't stir the syrup, flavor the syrup if you wish. Cool the syrup slightly, add some vanilla if you want. This syrup can be kept in a jar in the refrigerator for a few weeks.

Take off the bottom and top of a big orange. Put the flat side of the orange on a cutting board and slice the peel off in strips with a sharp knife, beginning from the top and slicing it down. The white pith of the peel can be also cut off, though it's somewhat bitter.

One can candy this peel or cut it into strips of 1/4 inch wide that will be good for decorating cake and garnishes. It can be also dipped in chocolate to be further used for a snack. Bigger peels, for instance, of grapefruit are recommended to be cut into strips for proper cooking. Put the peel into a pot with cool water, then bring water to a boil, take it off from heat and put the peel into a colander to drain. This process should be repeated three times. Grapefruit peels should be blanched seven or eight times. Pineapple and cherry don't need blanching and can be put directly into the syrup. While blanching, taste the peel whether it's tender enough. Put the peel into the pot of syrup and make it simmer slightly 15-30 minutes until the orange peel becomes translucent and tastes sweet.

Let the pot cool. The orange peel can be stored in the syrup for several weeks in the refrigerator. Bon appetit!