it’s time for flowers, Beautiful Rosa Rugosa with their heady scent and of course Elderflowers, but don’t limit yourself to cordial, you could make a simple ice-cream from Elderflowers and today I baked a rose cake to serve with the ice cream, here is the recipe. It’s gluten free
ROSE CAKE 15grms of fresh Rosa Rugosa petals, teaspoon of rose water, 200grams of ground almonds, 4 eggs, 75 grams of unrefined caster sugar, half teaspoon of gluten free baking powder.
Line the base of a round 20cm cake tin with baking parchment and oil or butter the sides.
Heat oven to 175 degrees cent. If you are using a mixer such as kitchen aid whisk the eggs together but if using a hand held beater you will need to seperate eggs and beat yolks and whites seperately, adding half sugar to yolks and half to whites.The beaten egg white is added last. Mix baking powder with ground almonds, stir into beaten eggs (or egg yolk) add sliced petals and rose water, spread in 20cm cake tin and bake for about 25 mins till skewer comes out clean. cool and serve with a few fresh berries and crystallized rose petals and ice-crem.
June and it IS summer, lovely word, Summer I’ll give it a capital letter, in fact as we waited so long lets have all capitals, SUMMER, yes that looks good to me (thank goodness this is not an English test )
Flower season and real summer sun to match, any countryside stroll is bound to bring you within range of the heady scent of “May” or White Thorn, and the Gorse and Broom and still blooming on mountain and bog though quickly going to seed.
Elderflowers that we all know and love are just appearing in my area, 3 more days I’d say. The fab Rosa Rugosa or Japanese rose is also appearing and while more an escapee or result of municipal or roadside planting deserves attention where it is abundant and there is no evidence of spraying nearby.
Even the humble and much maligned Dandelion is still about and if I don’t get to gather flowers or mow , birds love to feed on the seed heads, a pair of Goldfinches or Blackcaps can only gladden all but the most pernickity gardeners heart, or maybe that’s my excuse for the jungle that currently surrounds my house.
Red Clover is also blooming and the bumble bees are busy feeding on it.
Wild fruit trees are also blooming or just finished and fingers crossed that they have had favourable conditions for pollination and the fruit will “set”
So with all this heavenly scented bounty about it’s time to get gathering and go all girly and pretty, try your hand at the Rose Petal Butter Biscuits which you could cut into pretty heart shapes as Tamasin Day-Lewis does in her book Supper for a song. Or a simple delicate flower scented jelly, make in small batches and pot in small pretty pots or I used small glasses and sealed with cling, adding a petal to each glass. These will be used up quickly so not worried about keeping time. Then there are cordials and syrups to make for little folk and maybe a demijon of wine.
Even if you do nothing but sit back and breathe in the scent of the flowers, enjoy, enjoy.
At last, just as last years supplies of Elderflower jelly, delight and cordial run out the new crop is about to burst forth, get ready to make all those wonderful summer treats again, I need to tweak ice-cream recipe a little but promise to post this week.
Look out for Dryad’s saddle mushrooms too, only good when young and soon time for the marvellous Chanterelles.