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Do you remember your first perfume? In that short twilight after baby love soft But before CK One, mine was McCormick’s vanilla extract. I snuck out of the spice cabinet and patted it stealthily before school, it left me smelling like a cupcake—just the right level of temptation for me. Although I’ve since swapped out vanilla for more sophisticated and exotic aromas, I still occasionally decorate my pulse points with another staple on my baking rack: Sicilian flowers for King Arthur extract.
While Fiori di Sicilia may be common in Italy, it is required in traditional recipes for Panettone or golden pigeonThis powerful blend of citrus and vanilla is relatively unknown in the United States, except among fellow King Arthur Baking Store-obsessed. The specific ingredients are a secret, but the extract captures the essence of Sicily in a bottle. There’s a frontal explosion of sweet, bright and fresh citrus with a twisted orange shot straight from the branch. At its heart is a musky vanilla scent, like a Palermo window box filled with aromatic plumeria. The base note is strong and sharp thanks to the pulp of a sedro, a type of lemon up to three times the size of a regular fruit and 70% rind, making it ideal for candied peel and jam. Earl Gray fans will also recognize the sophisticated bitter orange scent of bergamot.
If you’d rather cook with it than wearing it, a few drops of Fiori di Sicilia will glow Grandmother or Brioche Paste. Combine it in batter and glaze for tea cake recipe Or consider a play on Sicily cassata, add some essence to the base of the sponge cake, and lay the layers on Refreshing ricotta filling You were going to use it in the cannoli and decorate it with candied fruit jewelry. Try it in a file olive oil cake To bring out the vibrant green flavours.
Since Fiori di Sicilia is a blend of essential oils and not a distilled extract, it is highly concentrated and best used with restraint. King Arthur recommends adding only 1/2 teaspoon to standard recipes. (KA also recommends keeping it in the fridge.) Whatever way you use it, Fiori di Sicilia is the perfect accessory, sure to turn heads and get compliments from strangers—whether in your baked goods or on your wrists.