My husband and I went to Brother’s Beer Bistro downtown Ottawa a few weeks ago. We have never been there and we were very impressed. Almost everything were infused with beer – this fact alone has won over my husband’s heart. Their beer list was extensive. Even the butter they served was whipped with beer.
If I have to pick a favourite cake, carrot cake would probably be it. When I saw carrot cake on their menu, I knew there was no way I could say no.
Their carrot cake was served with orange carrot curd, maple porter cream cheese frosting, gingered carrot and smoked dates. I was very intrigued. Smoke dates? Gingered carrot? Mmm….
I cut a small chunk of carrot cake with my fork, scoop a bit of the maple porter cream cheese frosting and orange carrot curd, top it up with a quarter smoked date and gingered carrot – it was the perfect bite. I could taste everything and it just works.
The smoked dates were incredible. I’ve never had carrot cake like that. This plate of awesomeness inspired me to try different things with my baking.
Hence the sugared lemon peels. Although these sugared lemon peels are a far cry from the meal I had at Brother’s Beer Bistro, it was still a really fun experiment.
First, you want organic lemons. Find some nice unblemished ones…
I used a vegetable peeler to peel the lemon. You can do it vertically or around like you’re peeling an apple, depending if you want it longer or shorter. You want to just peel the yellow zest, not the white pith if you can.
Cut the lemon peel into thinner strips. Or if you’re fancy, you can call it julienne…
I combine the peels with 2 cups of cold water. Bring to boil and drain the water. Add another 2 cups of cold water, bring to boil again and drain. Repeat a third time.
For 1 large lemon, use 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 water.
Add water and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until sugar dissolves.
Add the peels and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered.
It should start to look like this.
And finally this. A little translucent.
Drain and set aside. Find some toothpicks…
While they are still hot (please use caution here, it can be very hot), curl them with toothpicks tightly and let cool. Doesn’t matter if it is not perfectly curled. Art is not perfect. 😉
Remove the toothpicks once they are cooled. I curled some, I left some as is.
Add a handful of sugar…
Mix them around to coat the lemon peels. I only added sugar to half the peels as I can’t decide which one I would like better.
Shake the excess off and store them in a ziplock bag. They can keep for several weeks.
Ahhh…don’t they look oh just so fancy?
Have you tried making your own candied lemon peels? Do you use the same way like I do? If you have any tips on how to curl them I would love to hear them.
I thought it might be fun to show you how I did it with a video.
- 1 organic lemon
- 1 cup sugar
- With a vegetable peeler, remove peel from lemon in vertical or horizontal strips around the lemon. Try to get only the zest and not the white pith.
- Combine peels with 2 cups of cold water in a saucepan. Bring to boil and drain. Repeat for two more times. Set aside peels.
- Mix 1/2 cup sugar with 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add peels and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until peels are translucent. Drain peels and set aside onto a plate.
- While peel is still warm, curl peel around toothpick tightly and let cool on plate. Once cooled, remove toothpicks. You should see the lemon peels stay curled.
- Add remaining sugar to lemon peels and toss to coat. Remove peels by shaking excess sugar. Keep sugared peels in a ziplock bag.