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

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Dahlia Tarté Tartin

Dahlia & Fig Tarté Tartin

Back in the day, when I was just a wee slip of a girl & between what my dad would describe as ‘proper’ jobs I worked for few months cooking in a small bistro behind Harrods and one of the staples of the menu was a Tarté Tartin and I’ve been rather partial to it ever since.

Usually made with apple I decided to adapt the recipe to use up some figs and given the fact that I rarely pass up an opportunity to shoe horn edible flowers into every dish I added some dahlia petals to this.

Dahlias have a robust chicory like flavour which works exceptionally well with the sweet caramel figs.


I packed all butter puff pastry (you can make your own but if you have that much spare time then it would be much better spent giving me a hand with some weeding!).

5 large ripe figs

85 grms of flower sugar (or caster if you haven’t got any)

80 grms of unsalted butter

1 large organic dahlia head


Preheat the oven to 180ºF/160ºC/Gas 6

Roll out the puff pastry to approximately 3mm thick and prick with a fork all over to ensure it rises evenly.

Put a large skillet on the stove (or a pan which has an oven proof handle and a thick bottom) and melt the butter. Pour off a tablespoon or so of melted butter into a cup and put to one side.

Add the sugar to the pan and over a medium heat cook the sugar and butter until it caramelises to a sticky brown consistency. It should be custard sort of consistency. Too runny and you will have a soggy bottom. Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Cut the figs in half and arrange them with the dahlia petals in an attractive manner face down into the caramel. Remember that the tart will be served upside down so the bottom needs to be attractive rather than the top. Use the remaining tablespoon of melted butter to brush the tops of the figs.

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Cut out a pastry circle to the same size as the skillet and tuck the edges of the pastry firmly down the sides of the dish. Use a knife to make a couple of slits to let the steam escape.

Cook in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes until the puff pastry is risen and a lovely golden colour.

Take it out of the oven and allow to sit for about 25 minutes and then carefully invert onto a plate and serve warm perhaps with a good quality vanilla ice cream.

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Dahlia Tarté Tartin

Friday, 26 September 2014

Rose Petal Honey

Rose Petal Honey

The simplest of recipes for the most delicious product. This honey encapsulates the fragrances of summer and preserves them in a jar long into winter.

Well certainly for as long as you can keep your sticky fingers off it!


4 Roses

1 jar of the best honey you can buy*.


First take 4 roses.

They must be organic and unsprayed. By all means use those from your garden as long as they’ve not been treated with anything for blackspot or given a generic rose fertiliser. Do not use roses from supermarkets, garden centres or florists as they contain a cocktail of herbicides, insecticides and fertilisers none of which are approved for human consumption and could make you ill. It stands to reason but the more perfumed the roses then the more fragrant the honey will be. You can buy organic roses from us here.

Buy edible roses from organic edible roses from edible roses from edible roses from

Break the rose down into petals and make sure that any pollen beetles or other wildlife have scurried off to find themselves a new home – although they will struggle to find a more beautiful one.

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Tip your jar of honey into a small mixing bowl and add the rose petals. Gentle stir to ensure that all surfaces of the petals are covered.

Rose petal honey. Buy edible roses from

Rose petal honey. Buy edible roses from


Rose petal honey. Buy edible roses from

The sticky rose mixture can then be returned to a larger jar and sealed or the bowl can be covered in cling film.  Pop out of harms way. There is no need to refrigerate.

Keep an eye on it for the next couple of weeks and poke any rose petals that look as thought they are emerging back down into the honey.    (This is best done with a clean finger for quality control purposes).  ;)

After two weeks strain the petals out of the honey using a sieve and give a final press with the back of a spoon to ensure the last remnants of honey are removed. (This sticky rosy mess is particular lovely in a hot toddy if you are feeling a little under the weather or even on toast- waste not want not!).

Now the big question is what to do with your rose flavoured honey? The possibilities are endless so I would suggest that whilst you are waiting for your honey to infuse you might like to invest in Hattie Ellis’ new book called Spoonfuls of Honey which has over 80 fabulous honey based recipes in it.




*A lot of commercial cheap honey that you buy in the supermarkets nowadays is actually not honey at all but a synthesised syrup product so it is worth buying a decent honey. Manuka is expensive but in terms of health benefits is the Rolls Royce of honey. Alternatively buy honey from a local producer if you can. If this honey is produced within a very few miles of you then it is believed to be greatly beneficial in helping again hay fever and other respiratory ailments. Local bee keepers can be found via the British Beekeepers Association.

2% of any profits generated at are invested into Bee Conservation.

Rose Petal Honey

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Rose Petal Syrup.

How to make Rose Petal Syrup

Buy organic roses from

Rose Petal Syrup is incredibly easy to make and tastes simply wonderful.

I generally use white sugar for making my floral syrups but my lovely friend Margie from MadebyMargie gave me the following recipe which is far superior.

Recipe directly from Margie’s blog

I’ve used Agave instead of white sugar because it’s much better for you…and as an extra bonus, it’s even easier than using sugar!

To make the syrup:
equal quantities of Agave and water, 1 cup of each

3 roses, make sure they are organic and free from insecticides…order yours from Maddocks Farm Organics to get the most beautiful ones around.

Give your roses a little rinse and then add all three ingredients to a saucepan.page2image3416 page2image3576 page2image3736DSC_0249DSC_0246

Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, by which time it will look like this:


Turn off the heat and allow to cool. The longer you leave the rose petals in, the more intense the flavour of your syrup will be. After a couple of hours (or even overnight), strain the petals out and pop your syrup in a container where it will live happily in the fridge for a month or so.

This syrup is marvellous for drizzling over cakes and even more delicious splashed into a whole range of summer cocktails. How about with champagne?

Buy organic cocktails for making rose petal syrup from

Rose Petal Syrup.

Nasturtium Pesto.

Nasturtium Pesto.

We make a whole host of different pestos at different times of the year here and use them with everything from pasta, new potatoes, on canapés, swirled on soup or simply smeared on a hunk on bread.

This particular nasturtium pesto is lovely using either just leaves, leaves and flowers or just the flowers. Here we’ve used red pesto flowers with charcoal biscuits and goat cheese as a canapé.

Nasturtium Flower Pesto


100 grms of pine nuts (or walnuts or almonds or any nuts that take your fancy)

100grms of good quality parmesan cheese – grated (the best you can get but not pre grated)

200 mlx of light olive oil

2 large handfuls of either nasturtium leaves or flowers or a mixture of both depending upon what colour you’d like your pesto. You can also mix in watercress, rocket, basil or any other scrummy greens.

If you are not adding wild garlic then add a couple of cloves of garlic.

Pinch of sea salt and black pepper to season.

Roughly chop the green by hand until they are quite fine. Grate the parmesan and blitz with the remaining ingredients before thinning with the olive oil.

It it tastes a little claggy (technical term there!) the just add a hint of lemon juice or white wine vinegar to thin.

Nasturtium Pesto



The nasturtium pesto went down very well with a hunk of nasturtium bread when The One Show came to film.

The One Show at www.maddocksfarmorganics. DSCF3692


Nasturtium Pesto.