Tallow Candles

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This fun, delicious, hearty bread dip combines grass-fed tallow, salt, lemon, shallot, and herbs formed into edible candles that melt as you eat!

A plate of bread with a Tallow Candle on it.
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A plate of food with a candle in it, illuminating the tallow.

Bread Dip Tallow Candle

One of my very favorite restaurants in Northern Colorado has tons of dishes I love – everything on the menu is a sudden favorite. For my anniversary last fall, we went for dinner and brought our kids – and we ordered the tallow candle they had on the menu. It totally blew us away – as it melted, it had the consistency of a thick olive oil, with the flavor of waygu steak and light notes of shallot and lemon zest.

I couldn’t wait to try making it at home – and thanks to butter candles being really popular lately, it wasn’t hard to find a food-grade wick online – and from there it was just a bit of testing and tasting to find the right way to make them!

I found these edible wicks, and decided to use silicone egg cup molds to be my candle molds – they are easy to pop the candle out when set.

We love these candles with no knead bread, with vegetables, crackers, and even garlic bread!

In this scene, a tallow candle is sitting on a plate next to some bread.

How to Make Tallow Candles

  • Tallow: Tallow is the primary ingredient in these candles, serving as the main fuel source for the candle’s flame. Tallow is rendered animal fat, traditionally sourced from beef or sheep. It has a high melting point and provides a slow-burning, long-lasting flame. Tallow candles have been used for centuries due to their accessibility and affordability.
  • Lemon Zest: Lemon zest is added to the tallow candle to infuse a pleasant citrus fragrance when the candle is burned. The lemon zest brings a fresh and aromatic element to the candle, enhancing the overall sensory experience.
  • Minced Shallot: Minced shallot is another aromatic ingredient that contributes to the candle’s fragrance. Shallots have a mild, sweet onion-like aroma. When melted into the tallow, they release their scent as the candle burns, creating a subtle and inviting ambiance.
  • Italian Herbs: Italian herbs, such as basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme, are added for their aromatic properties. These herbs infuse the tallow candle with a pleasant, herbaceous fragrance reminiscent of Italian cuisine. The combination of herbs creates a complex and enticing aroma.
  • Food Grade Candle Wick: The food-grade candle wick is an essential component that allows the candle to burn steadily and evenly. It absorbs the melted tallow and carries it upward to fuel the flame. A food-grade wick ensures that the candle remains safe for use and doesn’t introduce harmful substances when burned.
  • Prep candle materials. Thoroughly clean silicone molds and place wick in bottom.
  • Melt tallow. Trim excessively long wicks.In a small pot, add tallow and shallot. Cook until tallow is melted, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in herbs, salt, and zest.
  • Pour candles. Pour into prepped silicone molds.
  • Let set. Place in refrigerator or freezer to set, about 20 minutes.
  • Enjoy! Serve with fresh grated lemon zest and reserved fresh shallot on plate to dip bread in.
A plate of food with a tallow candle in it.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Tallow Candles

Choose High-Quality Ingredients: Start with high-quality tallow, which should be clean, pure, and rendered properly. Make sure the tallow doesn’t have any off-putting flavors or odors.

Use Food-Grade Wicks: Ensure you use wicks specifically designed for edible candles, made from food-grade materials. These wicks are safe to consume, and they won’t release harmful chemicals when burned.

Select Flavorful Additions: Enhance the flavor of your edible tallow candles by adding herbs, spices, or aromatic ingredients to the tallow before it solidifies. For example, you can infuse the tallow with garlic, rosemary, or thyme for savory candles or vanilla, cinnamon, or citrus zest for sweet candles.

Experiment with Shapes and Molds: Get creative with the shapes and molds you use for your edible candles. Silicone molds come in various designs, allowing you to craft candles that match your theme or occasion.

Monitor the Temperature: Pay close attention to the temperature of the tallow when melting and pouring. Avoid overheating, as this can lead to an undesirable texture or separation of ingredients.

Adjust the Seasonings: Taste the tallow mixture before pouring it into molds and adjust the seasonings as needed. This ensures the flavor is to your liking.

Serve with Complementary Dippers: Offer a variety of dippers or accompaniments that pair well with the flavor of the tallow candle. For example, if you have a savory candle, provide bread, vegetables, or meats for dipping.

Garnish for Presentation: – Enhance the visual appeal of your edible tallow candles by garnishing with fresh herbs, grated cheese, or edible flowers after unmolding.

Store Properly: – Store your edible tallow candles in an airtight container in a cool, dry place to prevent them from absorbing any unwanted odors or moisture.

Be Mindful of Allergies: – When serving edible tallow candles to guests, inquire about food allergies or dietary restrictions to ensure everyone can enjoy them safely.

FAQs

What are edible tallow candles?

Edible tallow candles are candles made from rendered animal fat (tallow) that are designed to be safe for consumption. They are often used as a source of both light and flavor in cooking and dining settings.

How are edible tallow candles made?

Edible tallow candles are typically made by melting tallow and adding flavorings such as herbs, spices, or citrus zest. A food-grade candle wick is inserted into the mixture, allowing it to solidify around the wick.

Can you really eat tallow candles?

Yes, edible tallow candles are safe for consumption, but they are primarily used as a dip, as the candle melts and runs all over a dish.

What types of dishes can be prepared using edible tallow candles?

Edible tallow candles can be used in a variety of dishes, such as roasts, stews, sautés, and pan-fried items. They can add depth and flavor to both savory and sweet dishes.

How to eat a tallow candle?

To use an edible tallow candle, simply light the wick and allow the tallow to melt. You can then use the melted tallow as a cooking fat to sauté or flavor your dishes. The herbs and spices infused in the candle will impart their flavors to the food.

Can I customize the flavor of tallow candles?

Yes, you can customize the flavor of edible tallow candles by adding different herbs, spices, citrus zest, or other flavorings during the candle-making process. This allows you to tailor the candle to your culinary preferences.

A plate of bread with a tallow candle on it.

What to Serve With tallow Candles

Bread and Dipping Oil: Serve a selection of fresh bread, breadsticks, or crackers with a flavorful dipping oil. The tallow candle can be used as a dipping source, infusing the oil with a rich, savory taste as it melts.

Charcuterie and Cheese Platter: Create a charcuterie and cheese board featuring a variety of cured meats, cheeses, olives, and pickles. The edible tallow candle can add a unique and edible element to the platter.

Fondue: Set up a fondue station with a pot of melted cheese or chocolate. Use the edible tallow candle as one of the heat sources to keep the fondue warm and velvety.

Hot Pot or Shabu-Shabu: Prepare a hot pot or shabu-shabu meal with a selection of thinly sliced meats, vegetables, and dipping sauces. Use the edible tallow candle as a source of heat to keep the broth simmering.

Soup or Bisque: Serve a creamy soup or bisque as an appetizer, with the edible tallow candle placed in the bowl. As the candle melts, it can add a savory flavor and aroma to the soup.

Seafood Platter: Present a seafood platter with items like shrimp, oysters, and crab legs. Use the edible tallow candle as a dipping source for melted butter or garlic aioli.

Vegetable Crudites: Offer a platter of fresh, raw vegetables like carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes. The edible tallow candle can be used as a dipping source for a flavored hummus or dressing.

Sushi or Sashimi: Serve a selection of sushi or sashimi, with the edible tallow candle providing a unique dipping experience for soy sauce or ponzu sauce.

Caviar: For a luxurious appetizer, serve caviar with blinis or crackers. The edible tallow candle can be used as a heat source to keep the caviar at the desired temperature.

Dessert Dipping: Offer dessert items like marshmallows, fruits, or pound cake for dipping into melted chocolate or caramel.

Chocolate Fondue: Create a dessert fondue with a pot of melted chocolate. Use the edible candle as one of the heat sources to keep the chocolate silky and warm.

Candles and Cheese Plate: If your edible candles are designed to be both decorative and functional, place them on a cheese plate as a unique centerpiece while serving various cheeses and accompaniments.

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A candle on a green plate.

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A tallow candle surrounded by flowers and leaves.
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Tallow Candle

Delicious edible beef tallow candle, perfect for dipping bread, crackers, and vegetables in a hearty, beefy, delicious bread dip!
Course Dips
Cuisine American
Keyword animal fat candles, appetizer, at dips, bread dip, cracker dip, dips, edible candles, organic tallow candles
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 -6 candles
Calories 313kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 2 cups beef tallow
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 shallot finely minced – reserve 1 teaspoon for serving
  • 1 teaspoon Italian herbs blend
  • ½ teaspoon flake finishing salt or kosher salt

Instructions

  • Thoroughly clean silicone molds and place wick in bottom. Trim excessively long wicks.
  • In a small pot, add tallow and shallot. Cook until tallow is melted, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in herbs, salt, and zest.
  • Pour into prepped silicone molds.
  • Place in refrigerator or freezer to set, about 20 minutes.
  • Serve with fresh grated lemon zest and reserved fresh shallot on plate.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 candle | Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 115mg

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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