Have you ever heard the saying, ‘You eat with your eyes’ or heard something being described as looking ‘Good enough to eat’? All the time right?
Anyone who has ever seen a sloppy mess of non descript terracotta/brown/grey casserole, knows only too well, that even before a spoonful of the dish has softly grazed across your lips, you have decided that it isn’t going to taste any good. Right? Well if you can manage to get passed the appearance, some dishes can pleasantly surprise you. So often is the case, particularly with these hearty winter one pot wonders, the aesthetic can leave a lot to be desired.
Now take a second to imagine a gorgeous little peak of light and fluffy cake, topped with softly whipped buttercream and topped with vibrant blooms, lightly covered in a dusting of icing sugar. Mouth watering? Stomach rumbling? Race you!
There would be no stopping me get at that cake! And why? Because it looks so darned good.
Presentation is key, and on trend right now, is the use of edible flowers to take dishes to a whole new level.
When Any Bloom Will Not Do…
“Edible Flowers” are blooms that can safely be consumed. They are fresh, organically grown and vary from season to season. Flowers that are intended to be eaten should be grown in an environment that is not exposed to harmful pesticides. Therefore, flowers should not simply be purchased from your florist as they have been sprayed with chemicals that are not suitable for human consumption.
That said, this new need for pesticide free flowers, has resulted in a new industry and new business opportunities popping up. Flowerdale is one company that specialises in the production of edible flowers, leading the industry in raising food safety standards within the hydroponics food industry. Furthermore, the company works closely with the end user to ensure they are supplying what modern tastes demands. Offering an assortment of flowers, edible foliages, shoots, microgreens, sprouts, petite vegetables, salad greens as well as herbs.
Whilst edible flowers have been used for centuries, and across many cuisines and cultures (think Middle Eastern Turkish Delight), they have seen a renewed popularity in the last few years and are being used in a variety of applications. The modern take on this ancient idea focuses on the simplicity of the presentation and the delicacies in flavour.
Many flowers that are technically edible can be far from palatable. With their powerful and unique flavors, textures and colors, edible flowers have gained popularity as a creative and innovative ingredient for the culinary world; from salads, to main courses, desserts and drinks. For best flavor, flowers should be fresh; wilted and faded flowers, and the unopened buds of most species, can be distasteful, often bitter. Right now, the trend seems to focus on fresh blooms, however the classic preparation of edible blooms involved crystallising them. This would add some sweetness to the bloom.
Wonder what a rose petal tastes like? Exactly how it smells! The more fragrant the rose, the more fragrant the taste when you eat them! The essence permeates the petal, leaving the soft rose fragrance lingering in your mouth.
Want to Do It Yourself?
Recipe from FOOD
- 20 -50 fresh rose petals
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup caster sugar
- baking paper
- Use a fork to lightly beat the egg white and use the paint brush to ensure all surfaces of the petal is then covered. Use the tweezers to hold the petal.
- Then dust the petal evenly with the sugar, place on the baking parchment/greaseproof paper so they are not touching and leave to dry in a warm room.
- It will take approx 2 hours to dry.
- Store them in an airtight tin, in between greasepoof paper for up to 3-4 months.
Showcasing the trend to use edible blooms as well as the understated simplicity being embraced in modern day weddings, a new style of wedding cake is emerging and fast gaining popularity, the Naked Cake. The cake is layered and filled, and then simply ‘masked’ with the thinnest layer of icing to lightly coat the top and perimeter and even out the shape of the design. I’m a HUGE fan!
The image below is where the idea for this whole blog began…. Un-birthday‘s “The Floral Faux Pav”- a delicious example of a modern take on a classic, together with the power of the flower! The woman behind this masterpiece walked away from her corporate career to start building a life of passion, knowing that if she kept pursuing the ‘idea of success’ and ticking all the boxes that came along the way, she would know in her heart that she had in fact taken the easy way out. She dreamed of the day where she would bake and create.
And create she does. Her take on the way a cake should look is incredible.
And another example of her brilliance:
Remember edible blooms can be used as garnishes or be incorporated into more savoury dishes as well.
But before we get too side tracked with rabbit food, continue perusing these sweet treats below….
How beautiful is this cake? To me, it looks like a trillion tiny butterflies have landed. Amazing
So that is it for another week. Wipe you mouth, and clean the drool off the keyboard….