Micro greens have for a long time been the flourish that chefs and foodies have used to make an ordinary dish look more appealing. This year however, an extra panache will be added to plates with the addition of edible flowers, which are not only going to be a sophisticated garnish, but their flavours will be added as well. Taking centre stage will be Rose, Lavender, Elderflower and Hibiscus. But watch out for those forgotten favourites like Nasturtiums, violas , Angelica and Calendula. Although these floral infusions will be seen in teas, lattes, and cocktails both alcoholic and virgin, they will also be adding a sophisticated flavour to food.
HOW TO USE EDIBLE FLOWER
1.MUDDLE IN A DRINK or INFUSE IN A TEA OR LATTE
When you muddle flowers they release their fragrance, which is what you want for flavour in drinks. Make sure the flowers have no pesticide on them and wash stemless flowers in fresh water. Pick off the petals only as you can not use the whole flower, unless you are using tiny buds or elderflower where you will use the whole flower. Use a muddler or a wooden spoon and press down on the flowers, (you can add a few herbs as well at this stage) giving a few twists to release their fragrance, and pour your drink over the flowers. Strain this liquid into your serving glass.
Beautiful tea shops are popping up all over the world, and there are so many choices or floral flavours. Steep these tea leaves to make a refreshing cold tea or added to Lattes.
2.GARNISH AND IN SALADS
Garnish any and all foods with violas, rose petals, and nastuuriums . Make an edible salad with nastuurtium leaves and flowers and drench it in an elderflower syrup dressing. Poke bowls look spectacular with any small flower garnishing which not only adds to the flavour but makes it visually appealing.
3. MAKE A FLOWER SYRUP
Once again make sure that your flowers are free from pesticide and that they are edible. Choose fresh flowers that are in full bloom and are not wilting or have any disease or bugs on them. The basic rule for flower syrup is one part water to one part sugar. If you want a very thick syrup use one part water to two parts sugar.
Any dessert or cake will benefit from a sprinkling of beautiful edible flowers and floral syrups can be used in the dessert as well. I love to decorate my cheesecakes with flowers and my favourite cakes are topped with roses and the icing made from rosewater. Let your creative juices run wild with exciting new ideas.
For those that would like to know which flowers are edible I found The Gardening Channel had the most comprehensible A-Z list.
Use only flowers that are free from pesticide and make sure that they are edible. Choose fresh flowers that are in full bloom and are not wilting or have any disease or bugs on them. The basic rule for flower syrup is one part water to one part sugar. If you want a very thick syrup use one part water to two parts sugar.
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 Tbl edible flowers
- Additional herbs if desired
Using a saucepan on the stove over medium high heat, stir the sugar and water together until the sugar gradually dissolves. When it has completely melted, you will be left with a thick, liquid. The liquid should gentle bubble around the edges.
Add the flowers, or crushed dried flowers. Gently simmer for no less than 30 minutes. The longer it simmers the more intense the flavour.
At this stage you can add other flavours like vanilla, cinnamon, rosemary, berries or citrus zest.
If you want a colour to your syrup add a small amount of food colouring. Try and use a natural one.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool after straining the liquid into your chosen jars.
Your flower syrups will stay fresh for a few weeks if sealed correctly and kept in the fridge.