Candied Carrot Roses

Usually, candied fruits don’t have an appealing appearance because they are dried and coated with a white layer of sugar. However, this isn’t the case with candied carrot roses. Candied carrot juliennes are rolled into beautiful, edible roses that are not only delicious but also visually stunning.

candied carrot roses

Candied carrots, like candied orange peel, candied pomelo peel, candied mandarin peel, cadied lotus seeds, or candied coconut, are special confections for Lunar New Year. About a week before Lunar New Year’s Eve, my mom and I make them, which are called “Mứt Tết” in Vietnamese. Carrots differ from other types of fruits as they can be sliced into thin, long juliennes, and they are soft and flexible enough to shape. That’s why we can create beautiful roses from candied carrots.

For me, making candied carrot roses is straightforward from start to finish, except that you need to let the carrots rest for quite a long time between each step. This is to increase their flexibility, maintain their vibrant color, and retain their slightly crunchy, firm texture. Then, the actual time you need to focus on preparing and cooking is only around 30-45 minutes.

Ingredients of Candied Carrot Roses

In general, ingredients for candied fruits are very simple with sugar, the fruits, and vanilla. For a batch of candied carrot, of course, you’ll need sugar, carrots, and vanilla. Besides, some more ingredients are required to proceed carrots, including lime/lemon, salt, and rice water.

Here’s the detailed recipe:

  • 500g (17.6 oz) carrots
  • 250g (8.8 oz) sugar
  • 1/2 lemon/lime
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 500ml (2 cups) of rice water

In fact, people often soak carrot in lime water (note that it’s not related to lime or lime juice) to make it harder and crunchier after simmering with sugar. Lime water is the result of dissolving Calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)2 in water. It’s popularly used in industry, water treatment, arts, personal care, and food preparation. However, because lime water is not always available at home, I prefer using rice water, the starchy water left over when you rinse the rice before cooking to substitute. The effect is similar, while rice water is easier to get and seems safer as well.

candied carrot roses

Instruction

Step 1. Julienning carrots

  • Using a multifunction peeler, carefully peel the skin of the carrots, then julienne them vertically into long, thin slices. These slices will be shaped into rose petals later.
candied carrot roses
  • Besides this shape, you can just simply slice them horizontally, 3-5 mm each to make simple candied carrots.
candied carrot roses

Step 2. Carrot Processing

This step is to increase both the flexibility and the crunchy for the carrots.

  • Mix 1 liter of water with 1 tablespoon of salt, then soak the carrots for 30 minutes to remove the pungent smell (pic 1). Next, soak the carrots in rice water for 4-5 hours to increase their flexibility, preventing them from breaking when simmering with sugar later (pic 2). After soaking, boil 1 liter of water with half a lemon and blanch the carrots for 2-3 minutes, then immediately soak in cold water or ice water to remove the pungent smell completely but keep them crunchy (pic 3 and 4).
candied carrot roses
  • Mix carrot with sugar evenly in a mixing bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mixture rest for at least 4 hours more.
candied carrot roses

Step 3. Making Candied Carrots

  • After letting the sugar to melt and absorb in the carrots, it’s time to make candied carrots. Place a large non-sticky saucepan on stove under low heat. Firstly, pour all the sugar syrup from the mixture to the pan, wait until it boils, and half of the syrup evaporates (pic 1). Next, add carrots in the pan. Simmer them slowly (pic 2). Remember to stir them evenly to prevent burning and sticking (pic 3). Once the sugar starts to re-crystalize, focus on stirring your carrots continuously but gently to let the sugar coat each piece of carrot evenly and beautifully (pic 4). Once the candied carrots are dried fully, turn off the heat.
candied carrot roses

Step 4. Rolling Candied Carrot Roses

(If you just want to make candied carrots, you can skip this step)

  • Let the carrots cool down in 30 minutes. Then, when they are still warm and flexible, you should roll them into roses. Roll the pistil, then fold outward to create the rose petals. You’ll get small, lovely roses.
candied carrot roses
  • In case the juliennes are too shorts to roll a rose, you can combine 2-3 juliennes. When rolling, always be gentle and careful not to break the candied carrots.

Storing Candied Carrots

Like other candied fruits, we can easily store candied carrot roses at room temperature. The high sugar content and the very low water content in candied carrots help to prolong their shelves up to 3 months without any preservative used. I don’t recommend storing them in the fridge, because the humidity inside the fridge might make them wet, giving condition for odor. 

candied carrot roses

Candied Carrot Roses

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Candied carrot juliennes are rolled into beautiful, edible roses that are not only delicious but also visually stunning.

Ingredients

  • 500g (17.6 oz) carrots
  • 250g (8.8 oz) sugar
  • 1/2 lemon/lime
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 500ml (2 cups) of rice water

Instructions

Step 1. Julienning carrots

  • Using a multifunction peeler, carefully peel the skin of the carrots, then julienne them vertically into long, thin slices. These slices will be shaped into rose petals later.candied carrot rosescandied carrot roses
  • Besides this shape, you can just simply slice them horizontally, 3-5 mm each to make simple candied carrots.candied carrot roses

Step 2. Carrot Processing

This step is to increase both the flexibility and the crunchy for the carrots.

  • Mix 1 liter of water with 1 tablespoon of salt, then soak the carrots for 30 minutes to remove the pungent smell (pic 1). Next, soak the carrots in rice water for 4-5 hours to increase their flexibility, preventing them from breaking when simmering with sugar later (pic 2). After soaking, boil 1 liter of water with half a lemon and blanch the carrots for 2-3 minutes, then immediately soak in cold water or ice water to remove the pungent smell completely but keep them crunchy (pic 3 and 4). candied carrot roses
  • Mix carrot with sugar evenly in a mixing bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the mixture rest for at least 4 hours more.candied carrot roses

Step 3. Making Candied Carrots

  • After letting the sugar to melt and absorb in the carrots, it's time to make candied carrots. Place a large non-sticky saucepan on stove under low heat. Firstly, pour all the sugar syrup from the mixture to the pan, wait until it boils, and half of the syrup evaporates (pic 1). Next, add carrots in the pan. Simmer them slowly (pic 2). Remember to stir them evenly to prevent burning and sticking (pic 3). Once the sugar starts to re-crystalize, focus on stirring your carrots continuously but gently to let the sugar coat each piece of carrot evenly and beautifully (pic 4). Once the candied carrots are dried fully, turn off the heat.candied carrot roses

Step 4. Rolling Candied Carrot Roses

(If you just want to make candied carrots, you can skip this step)

  • Let the carrots cool down in 30 minutes. Then, when they are still warm and flexible, you should roll them into roses. Roll the pistil, then fold outward to create the rose petals. You'll get small, lovely roses. candied carrot roses
  • In case the juliennes are too shorts to roll a rose, you can combine 2-3 juliennes. When rolling, always be gentle and careful not to break the candied carrots.candied carrot roses
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 125g
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 285

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