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

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Mothers" Day Special

Mothers’ Day Special

Perfect present to buy for your foodie Mum and a bargain to boot.

We are offering 10 lucky people a wonderful package for their lovely and well deserving Mums.  Frances Bissell’s fabulous new book The Floral Baker at 20% off the RRP and Maddocks Farm Organics will also enclose a discount voucher code which will entitle your lovely mum to a 20% discount off her first box of edible flowers.

Because she’s most definitely worth it!

This offer is limited to the first 10 applicants only because it is way too generous!

The big questions are…..what will she make……and will she share?

Mothers" Day Special

Friday, 20 February 2015

Interview with Drink Factory

Since it’s inception in 2005 Drink Factory has been using edible flowers and botanical extracts in it’s cocktails. It takes what might be considered normal to a whole new level. The ‘Green Martini’ finds it’s greenness from an infusion with freeze dried peas and beans and is garnished with nasturtium leaves.

It was lovely therefore to be invited to talk to them about our organic edible flowers many of which are sold for use in drinks and cocktails. To read their online interview see here:

Buy nasturtium leaves for cocktails from

Interview with Drink Factory

Friday, 13 February 2015

Rose Petal Chocolate Brownies

It worries me for a couple of reasons when we approach Valentine’s Day and I see food scattered with beautiful red rose petals.

Whilst I am not a Cupid killjoy, I am concerned about the provenance of these rosy garnishes. According to recent reports 70% of roses sold on the European Continent are grown in Africa and in Kenya in particular. Whilst, on the one hand, this is undoubtably good for the Kenyan economy (flowers are their third highest export revenue), there are drawbacks. Firstly growing roses consumes masses of water and water is a scarce resource in Kenya. Intensive cultivation of roses is responsible for the gradual drying of lake Naivasha and had a catastrophic impact on the environment. Intervention as late at 2010 has started to improve the situation but there is still a long way to go.

Secondly there are absolutely no regulations regarding the industrial scale chemicals use in the cultivation of these roses.  Run off has impacted significantly on the local ecology and the chemicals have also had a significant impact on the health of workers growing and picking the roses. More information is available here.

AND therefore …. (yes I am finally getting off my soap box and back to my point!) ..the roses coming into the UK at this time of year are pretty but toxic little offerings and should not be put on plates of food – let alone eaten.

If you must eat fresh rose petals in February then track down a source of imported fresh organic rose petals  but if not then why not consider using dried British Organic Rose Petals? If they come from a good quality source then they retain both their fragrance and flavour. It is also very easy to dry a few of your own rose petals in the summer. The more fragrant the rose the better the flavour and perfume. Once dry keep them in an air tight container and you will have a wee time capsule of summer loveliness.

Buy organic rose petals from

So  rant over and on to the recipe……..

For these brownies I use the ‘All Time Ultimate Chocolate Brownie Recipe’ from Good Housekeeping here. There are 11 brownie recipes here and many of them sound good but it can’t get better than ‘Ultimate’ can it! I just deviated very slightly by adding a few drops of good quality rose water to the mix, using our own dried rose petals and a drizzle of good quality plain chocolate on the top instead of icing sugar.

I have reproduced the recipe here. Don’t be tempted (like I did) to ‘make sure’ that the brownie was ‘definitely’ cooked by giving it an extra 5 mins. The ‘give’ in the middle is what makes for the lovely fudgy softness that defines a fine brownie. Also for my taste the mixture could have done with less sugar. These brownies are very sweet but that was balanced slightly with the addition of the plain chocolate.


  • 175g (6oz) unsalted butter, chopped, plus extra to grease

  • 150g (5oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), chopped

  • 3 medium eggs

  • 300g (11oz) caster sugar

  • 75g (3oz) plain flour

  • 40g (1½oz) cocoa powder

  • A couple of drops of good quality rose water.

  • To garnish – 1/2 bar good quality chocolate plain chocolate – 70% cocoa plus and a small handful of dried organic edible rose petals.

  • Melt the butter and chocolate together in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water).

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  • When the mixture is melted and smooth, lift the bowl off the pan and set aside to cool for 20min.

  • Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4 and lightly grease and line a 20.5cm (8in) square tin with baking parchment. Using a handheld electric whisk, beat the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl until thick and moussey – about 5min.

  • Add the melted and cooled chocolate mixture to the egg bowl and fold together with a large metal spoon. Sift over the flour, cocoa powder and a pinch of salt and fold together. Add two or three drops of rose water at this point.

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  • Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin, level and bake for 30min or until there is no wobble left when you gently shake the tin and remove from the oven to cool.

At this point I melted the additional chocolate using exactly the same method as above for the recipe. Once the brownies were almost cold, I scattered the rose petals over them and then drizzled the chocolate on top. Set aside for the chocolate to harden.

Immediately the warm chocolate hits the rose petals you will get a waft of their perfume and their flavour is absorbed by the chocolate. Fabulous.

These can either be served cold with a cup of tea or gently warmed with a nice dollop of ice-cream – or both!

Organic rose petals from


Rose Petal Chocolate Brownies

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Tulip Recipes. Stuffed tulip petals.

Stuffed Tulip Petals

The tulip leaves are clearly though the ground now in Devon and herald the fact that Spring is on the way. Trust me…. it is….I promise. So my thoughts turn to tulip recipes.

Tulips don’t taste as you image… or rather as I imagine. They are sweet and crunchy – like the heart of a very sweet little gem lettuce. Really delicious.

I was inspired couple of years back by a wonderful tulip recipe created by the very talented Urvashi Rowe otherwise known as @botanicbaker for stuffed tulip petals which was a cool and sophisticated recipe with stunning illustrations.

I’m neither cool nor sophisticated and wanted to use some really hot coloured tulips grown at Maddocks Farm Organics to produce some really ‘zingy and slap you in the eye catching canapés’! 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.

Buy edible Tulips. Tulip recipes from Buy edible Tulips. Tulip recipes from

I also 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. The timing of the tulip season also coincides with that of wild garlic and garlic mustards so this would make a perfect addition.

You could also top the tulip petals 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

The beetroot dip came from

Last year I was involved in the Garden Festival at Powderham Castle and as part of the  press launch I created some tulip petals stuffed with a spicy hummus. Extremely easy to make and extremely eye-catching even on a very overcast day.

Buy edible flowers from

Buy edible flowers. Edible flowers from

You can buy organic edible tulips from us here. Please do not eat shop bought tulips. They are not the same and could make you very unwell. Information here.

•A note of caution…..

Whilst the general opinion is that all parts of tulips are edible, there is controversy about eating tulip bulbs and care and research should be taken if you want to eat more than just the petals. (More information can be found at )

I should also add that (like with many foods) in very rare cases some people are allergic to tulips. So if in doubt, nibble a little bit of the petals, spit it out and wait for 30 minutes or so to see you develop any typical symptoms of allergy such as flushing, dizziness, rashes or feeling sick in which case avoid.

Tulip Recipes. Stuffed tulip petals.