As Autumn slowly creeps in and thick jumpers start making their way back into the wardrobe I had one job I wanted to do before it got too cold. I’ve always been intrigued and in love with edible flowers, they not only taste delicious but they can give that perfect finishing touch to salads, soups, cakes and more. So I made it my mission on this rather chilly mid September day to use up some of my herbs and edible flowers before the frosts started to arrive.
Luckily for me the lovely Zoe had sent me the most beautiful package containing some giant poppy seeds, a stunning tea towel and a jar of her homegrown edible flowers. She runs her own business called Delicately Edible where she sells and sends her edible flowers out to members of the public as well as local restaurants and cafes. So her violas and pansies joined my homegrown borage, spearmint and lavender and I was ready to get sugar coating!
Here’s a few more edible flowers and herbs you can use but always remember to double check and do some research before eating anything you aren’t sure about:
- Rose Petals
- Courgette flowers
- Elderflower heads
- Sunflower Petals
Crystallising is a very simple and easy project although it does take time coat each flower, but believe me when I say it’s worth it! You can simply use edible flowers and herbs as they are, however I’m a complete sugar addict and this process also preserves them for longer which is a win win in my books. Here’s how to make your own:
Ingredients and Equipment:
- 1 Teaspoon of water
- 1 Egg white
- Caster Sugar
- Baking paper and a rack
Simply separate the egg and pour the white into a small bowl, mix with the teaspoon of water until frothy. Pour the fine sugar into shallow bowl ready to coat the flowers. Use a paint brush to coat the flower or herb with the egg mixture, making sure it’s completely covered. Hold the flower over the sugar bowl and carefully sprinkle the sugar over until both the front and back of the flower is covered. Rest flat on the baking paper and leave to dry for 1-2 days until crisp and fully dry. Once dry these will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.
p.s you can find the video over on my Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/XnWgeZ9T5j8
For the cupcakes I used a simple Victoria sponge recipe, however I’ll share it here for all those interested. Of course you could use the flowers to decorate any type of cake with any type of icing. The choice is completely yours!
Victoria cake sponge:
- 175g butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 175g self raising flour
- 3 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Cream the butter and caster sugar together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until pale and fluffy. Beat the eggs into the mixture one at a time. Sift the flour into the bowl and fold into the mixture using a metal spoon. Divide the mixture between your cupcake cases and bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden brown.
Once cooled you can decorate with icing, in this case I simply mixed icing sugar with water. Place your edible flowers ontop and allow to dry completely (do not take the cupcakes for a ride in the car up to the allotment whilst the icing is still runny… believe me it will go everywhere!)