Sunday Telegraph "The leaves were exceptionally good".
Anneka Rice on Radio 2 - "Almost too beautiful to eat"

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Darts Farm Demo at Devon County Show

Stuffed Tulip Petals
I was inspired last year by a wonderful recipe created by the very talented Urvashi Rowe otherwise known as @botanicbaker for stuffed tulip leaves http://www.lovefood.com/guide/recipes/15057/goats-cheese-dip-in-tulip-petals-recipe.

This year, I wanted to use some really hot colours to produce some really 'zingy and slap you in the eye catching canap├ęs'! These could easily be worked up into a really lovely vegetarian starter with the addition of  salad leaves, dressing and fetta cheese or grilled halloumi cheese.

I have some wonderful yellow and green striped tulips which look just stunning stuffed with a salsa verde and popped on the side of a plate of boned out leg of roasted lamb. You could also stuff them with hollandaise to go with fish etc etc. Pretty much anywhere where you need a really small ramekin of sauce. I will admit that when I've been short on time (and taking into account the excuse I am first a foremost a gardener and not a chef!) I've just raided the local supermarket and stuffed these with whatever is there from hummus to salsa.

For the really hot coloured tulips above. I've attached some really cracking recipes used to generate the wonderful colours above.

Recipe for the Red Pepper & Goats Cheese dip comes from http://greek.food.com/recipe/roasted-red-pepper-and-goat-cheese-dip-240190

The beetroot dip came from http://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/roasted-beetroot-dip-L972.html

I've not tried it yet but I also think that these would be wonderful as part of a dessert stuffed with mousse or quinelles of ice-cream. Food for thought!


Floral Elderflower & Lemon Prosecco Cheesecake


This cheesecake is an amalgamation of three different recipes in order to get the result that I wanted and it went down such a storm at the Darts Farm  Food is Fun Teepee.

For the base:
100 grms of softened butter.
250 grms of a mix of digestive and ginger biscuits or all of one or the other depending upon your taste

For the filling:
600 grms of cream cheese
125 grms of caster sugar
200ml of sour cream
3 unwaxed lemons, zest grated & juice reserved
3 large organic eggs
5 leaves of gelatine
2 tablespoon of elderflower cordial
1 cupful of finely blitzed edible flower petals
(use brightly coloured ones to stand out against the creamy coloured filling)

For the glaze:
Just under pint of prosecco or fruity white wine.
4 sheets of gelatine
3 tablespoons of elderflower cordial
Selection of pretty edible flowers

Method:
Base
Blitz the biscuits until they are crumbs (or pop in a plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin) and then mix with the melted butter. Firm down into the bottom of a pre-greased  9 inch spring base baking tin and refrigerate to set.
Filling
Pop the gelatine sheets into a bowl of cold water to soften for a few minutes.

Slightly warm the lemon juice and elderflower cordial in a pan and add the softened gelatine sheets that you have squeezed the water from. Gently swirl around the pan until all the gelatine has dissolved and put aside to cool slightly.

Separate the eggs and put the yolks into a bowl with the cream cheese, sugar and sour cream. Blend until just smooth but don't overdo it or it will split and then stir in the flower petals and lemon zest.

When blood temperature or cooler (ie stick your finger in & see that its no longer warm) then fold into the mixture along with the egg whites  that you have blended in a separate bowl until they form soft peaks.

Pour the mixture onto your buttery biscuit base and pop back in the refrigerator to set.

Glaze
Put the additional gelatine leaves into cold water to soften.
Whilst you are waiting (and assuming you don't have to drive anywhere or operate heavy machinery), the open the bottle of prosecco and taste for quality! Pour 3 tablespoons of elderflower cordinal into a measuring jug and make up to a pint with the prosecco. Put a couple of inches into the bottom of a small pan and warm just enough to melt the squeezed out gelatine (exactly as you did earlier) switch off the stove and add the rest of the liquid.

Very gently pour half the glaze on top of the filling. If you do this with gusto from a great height you will make a crater in the soft mousse like filling so be careful and then roll the tin around so the glaze settles.

Put into the fridge and leave until sticky to the touch. At this point you can 'stick' your edible flowers to the top of the glaze in the pattern that you
like. Pop back into the fridge to chill again until firm (a hour or so) and drink the remains of the prosecco as you might need its calming influence for the final stage!

Very gently spoon the remaining glaze over the top of the flowers to set them in place. The glaze needs to be at room temperature. Too cold and it will have started to set, too warm and it will melt the lower layer of glaze and release the flowers which will float to the surface like champagne corks. Told you it was tricky!

Alternatively, opt for the no pattern approach and throw on petals in a random manner which looks just as lovely and takes a fraction of the time!

Pop in the fridge to chill and serve cold.

The marvel of this recipe is that the parts can become the whole and you can mix and match as you see fit. Add an extra spoon of elderflower cordial to the filling and a little extra grated lemon and you have a beautiful dessert served in its own right. You can glaze this with flowers if you wish or leave it plain.

















If you double up the ingredients for the glaze (ok, ok  - replace 1/4 pint of the wine with water) then you can set flowers and fruit within it to make a wonderful summer jelly.

Thank you Darts Farm for inviting me to demo at Devon County Show. Enjoy the recipes.