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Bake it with flowers; Roses and lavender are all part of TV chef Lotte Duncan's kitchen. Marion McMullen discovers how to bring flower power to summer puddings.

TELEVISION chef and writer Lotte Duncan loves adding flowers to her recipes and her summer specials offer a burst of colour.

ELEVISION chef and writer Lotte Duncan loves adding flowers to her recipes and her summer specials offer a burst of colour.

Duncan says: "Although as a nation we've used flowers in cooking for literally hundreds of years, when I first came up with recipes the idea of using them had faded from most people's memory. They just didn't understand why I was putting edible flowers in my salads and puddings and using them as decorations.

Duncan says: "Although as a nation we've used flowers in cooking for literally hundreds of years, when I first came up with recipes the idea of using them had faded from most people's memory. They just didn't understand why I was putting edible flowers in my salads and puddings and using them as decorations.

"They plainly thought I was bonkers. And they'd be right - though not always because of my edible flower obsession!" Duncan has appeared on "They plainly thought I was bonkers. And they'd be right - though not always because of my edible flower obsession!" Duncan has appeared on many TV shows from Countryfile: Summer Diaries and Heart Of The Country to Ready Steady Cook and Ideal Home Cooks with actress Nanette Newman. She's also been a regular presenter and chef on UKTV Food's Great Food Live and is festival patron of the forthcoming Thame Food Festival in Oxfordshire.

many TV shows from Countryfile: Summer Diaries and Heart Of The Country to Ready Steady Cook and Ideal Home Cooks with actress Nanette Newman. She's also been a regular presenter and chef on UKTV Food's Great Food Live and is festival patron of the forthcoming Thame Food Festival in Oxfordshire.

| Recipes from Lotte Duncan's Country Kitchen (Absolute) with photographs by Lara Holmes. The Thame Food Festival in Oxfordshire takes place on Saturday, September 27. You can go online and visit thamefoodfestival.co.uk for further details.

| Recipes from Lotte Duncan's Country Kitchen (Absolute) with photographs by Lara Holmes. The Thame Food Festival in Oxfordshire takes place on Saturday, September 27. You can go online and visit thamefoodfestival.co.uk for further details.

A VERY CONCEITED SYLLABUB TRIFLE (serves 10) A VERY CONCEITED SYLLABUB TRIFLE (serves 10) THIS pudding has every right to be a little full of itself. Layer upon layer of brandy, rum, creamy custard, fruit, amaretti biscuits and Madeira cake is finally topped with a smug lemon syllabub and a cluster of roses. A pud with a well deserved ego.

THIS pudding has every right to be a little full of itself. Layer upon layer of brandy, rum, creamy custard, fruit, amaretti biscuits and Madeira cake is finally topped with a smug lemon syllabub and a cluster of roses. A pud with a well deserved ego.

INGREDIENTS For the syllabub: Grated zest and juice of a lemon 150ml/5fl oz dry or medium white wine 1 heaped tbsp icing sugar 700ml/11/4pints double cream For the trifle 1 x 500ml carton fresh custard Grated zest of 1 large orange 1 ready-made Madeira cake or Swiss roll, thinly sliced 5tbsps sherry 450g/1lb raspberries 250g/9oz amaretti biscuits 5 tbsps brandy or rum 450g/1lb strawberries, hulled and quartered 5 fresh roses, to decorate INGREDIENTS For the syllabub: Grated zest and juice of a lemon 150ml/5fl oz dry or medium white wine 1 heaped tbsp icing sugar 700ml/11/4pints double cream For the trifle 1 x 500ml carton fresh custard Grated zest of 1 large orange 1 ready-made Madeira cake or Swiss roll, thinly sliced 5tbsps sherry 450g/1lb raspberries 250g/9oz amaretti biscuits 5 tbsps brandy or rum 450g/1lb strawberries, hulled and quartered 5 fresh roses, to decorate METHOD 1. For the syllabub, combine the lemon zest and juice, white wine and icing sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for two hours.

METHOD 1. For the syllabub, combine the lemon zest and juice, white wine and icing sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for two hours.

2. Mix the custard with the orange zest. Place half the cake at the bottom of a 2.3ltr/4pt deep glass serving dish and pour over the sherry. Toss the raspberries on top. Now add the amaretti biscuits, pour over the brandy or rum and place the 2. Mix the custard with the orange zest. Place half the cake at the bottom of a 2.3ltr/4pt deep glass serving dish and pour over the sherry. Toss the raspberries on top. Now add the amaretti biscuits, pour over the brandy or rum and place the strawberries on top. Then pour over the custard and top with the rest of the cake.

strawberries on top. Then pour over the custard and top with the rest of the cake.

3. Make the syllabub by loosely whipping the cream and adding the lemon and wine mixture gradually to it. Now, just be a bit careful at this stage - when you add lemon juice to cream it does tend to thicken it quite quickly, and you want this syllabub to be the same consistency as the custard - not over-whipped and stiff.

3. Make the syllabub by loosely whipping the cream and adding the lemon and wine mixture gradually to it. Now, just be a bit careful at this stage - when you add lemon juice to cream it does tend to thicken it quite quickly, and you want this syllabub to be the same consistency as the custard - not over-whipped and stiff.

You still want some movement in it.

You still want some movement in it.

4. Spoon the syllabub over the cake, piled on top. When you are putting the trifle together, try to show the different layers throughout, this makes for a lovely tall trifle with lots of colour. 5. Decorate with the roses - just popped on top like a little bouquet. It turns this trifle into a centrepiece, which looks fabulous on a summer table.

4. Spoon the syllabub over the cake, piled on top. When you are putting the trifle together, try to show the different layers throughout, this makes for a lovely tall trifle with lots of colour. 5. Decorate with the roses - just popped on top like a little bouquet. It turns this trifle into a centrepiece, which looks fabulous on a summer table.

BAKED STRAWBERRY & LAVENDER CHEESECAKE (serves 6-8) STRAWBERRIES and lavender are excellent soul mates, but be a little sparing with the lavender as it can be very over-powering when first picked STRAWBERRIES and lavender are excellent soul mates, but be a little sparing with the lavender as it can be very over-powering when first picked INGREDIENTS 75g/3oz caster sugar 3 fresh lavender heads, rinsed and dried 275g/10oz self-raising flour 50g/2oz cornflour 200g/7oz butter 1tbsp semiskimmed milk Flour, for dusting 175g/6oz strawberries, hulled and sliced 250g/9oz curd cheese 4 large eggs, separated 150ml/5fl oz double cream Fresh lavender flowers and strawberries, to decorate Icing sugar, to dust INGREDIENTS 75g/3oz caster sugar 3 fresh lavender heads, rinsed and dried 275g/10oz self-raising flour 50g/2oz cornflour 200g/7oz butter 1tbsp semiskimmed milk Flour, for dusting 175g/6oz strawberries, hulled and sliced 250g/9oz curd cheese 4 large eggs, separated 150ml/5fl oz double cream Fresh lavender flowers and strawberries, to decorate Icing sugar, to dust METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 200degC/fan oven 180degC/gas mark 6. 2. Put the caster sugar in a food processor. Pick the flowers off the head of lavender and add them to the sugar. Whizz together until the flowers are very fine. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a pestle and mortar to grind the flowers and sugar.

METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 200degC/fan oven 180degC/gas mark 6. 2. Put the caster sugar in a food processor. Pick the flowers off the head of lavender and add them to the sugar. Whizz together until the flowers are very fine. If you don't have a food processor, you can use a pestle and mortar to grind the flowers and sugar.

3. Sieve the flowers out of the sugar. You'll find that the lavender oil has flavoured the sugar quite nicely. 4. Now make the pastry. Sift the flours into a medium mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add enough milk to a firm but not sticky dough. Wrap the pastry in plastic food wrap and leave it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. 5. Dust a work surface with flour and 3. Sieve the flowers out of the sugar. You'll find that the lavender oil has flavoured the sugar quite nicely. 4. Now make the pastry. Sift the flours into a medium mixing bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add enough milk to a firm but not sticky dough. Wrap the pastry in plastic food wrap and leave it to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. 5. Dust a work surface with flour and roll the pastry out to a circle large enough to line a 23cm/9ins round springform cake tin. Leave the edges of the pastry hanging over the tin, this helps to prevent the pastry collapsing back into it. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. 6. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake it blind in the oven for 10 minutes. 7. Gently remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for five minutes to dry out. Now place the tin on a baking sheet. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160degC/fan oven 140degC/gas mark 3. 8. Arrange the strawberry slices over the bottom of the pastry case. Place the cheese, lavender sugar, egg yolks and cream in a large mixing bowl and mix them together.

roll the pastry out to a circle large enough to line a 23cm/9ins round springform cake tin. Leave the edges of the pastry hanging over the tin, this helps to prevent the pastry collapsing back into it. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. 6. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and baking beans and bake it blind in the oven for 10 minutes. 7. Gently remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for five minutes to dry out. Now place the tin on a baking sheet. Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160degC/fan oven 140degC/gas mark 3. 8. Arrange the strawberry slices over the bottom of the pastry case. Place the cheese, lavender sugar, egg yolks and cream in a large mixing bowl and mix them together.

9. Place the egg whites in a medium mixing bowl and whisk them until they are stiff. Using a metal spoon, fold a spoonful of the egg whites into the cheese mixture to soften it, and then gently fold the rest of it in.

9. Place the egg whites in a medium mixing bowl and whisk them until they are stiff. Using a metal spoon, fold a spoonful of the egg whites into the cheese mixture to soften it, and then gently fold the rest of it in.

10. Pour the mixture over the top of the strawberries and bake for 45-50 minutes or until firm and not wobbly in the middle. If it browns too much before it's set, cover it with some foil.

10. Pour the mixture over the top of the strawberries and bake for 45-50 minutes or until firm and not wobbly in the middle. If it browns too much before it's set, cover it with some foil.

11. Serve warm, decorated with the fresh lavender flowers and strawberries and dusted with some icing sugar.

11. Serve warm, decorated with the fresh lavender flowers and strawberries and dusted with some icing sugar.

RASPBERRY AND ROSEWATER CREAM TART (serves 6-8) INGREDIENTS For the pastry 175g/6oz plain flour 75g/3oz butter, softened 75g/3oz sugar 3 egg yolks A drop of vanilla extract 1 egg white Flour, for dusting For the filling 275ml/10fl oz double cream 250g/9oz Greek yoghurt 1/2 tsp rosewater 1-2tbsp icing sugar, to taste 450g/1lb raspberries 3tbsp seedless raspberry jam Pink or red rose petals, to decorate INGREDIENTS For the pastry 175g/6oz plain flour 75g/3oz butter, softened 75g/3oz sugar 3 egg yolks A drop of vanilla extract 1 egg white Flour, for dusting For the filling 275ml/10fl oz double cream 250g/9oz Greek yoghurt 1/2 tsp rosewater 1-2tbsp icing sugar, to taste 450g/1lb raspberries 3tbsp seedless raspberry jam Pink or red rose petals, to decorate METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 190degC/fan oven 170degC/gas mark 5. 2. To make the pastry, put the flour, butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract into a food processor and whizz until it forms a smooth ball of dough. This may take a couple of minutes. Remove the dough from the food processor and wrap it in plastic food wrap. Set aside to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 190degC/fan oven 170degC/gas mark 5. 2. To make the pastry, put the flour, butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract into a food processor and whizz until it forms a smooth ball of dough. This may take a couple of minutes. Remove the dough from the food processor and wrap it in plastic food wrap. Set aside to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Alternatively, to make Alternatively, to make the pastry by hand, sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and then pop the softened butter, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract into it.

the pastry by hand, sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and then pop the softened butter, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla extract into it.

Using the fingertips of one hand, squidge the butter, sugar, egg yolks and extract together until it forms a paste. Now, slowly with your other hand, start to add the flour bit by bit until it is all incorporated into the paste. Turn onto a floured board and knead together for a minute or so, then wrap it in Clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Using the fingertips of one hand, squidge the butter, sugar, egg yolks and extract together until it forms a paste. Now, slowly with your other hand, start to add the flour bit by bit until it is all incorporated into the paste. Turn onto a floured board and knead together for a minute or so, then wrap it in Clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3. Dust a worksurface with flour and roll out the pastry to a circle big enough to line a 23cm/ 9-inch loose-based flan tin. Keep the pastry hanging over the edges. Press it firmly into the base and sides, then prick the surface lightly with a fork. Now loosely beat the egg white and brush it over the surface of the pastry - this helps to seal it. Place on a baking sheet and pop it back into the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.

3. Dust a worksurface with flour and roll out the pastry to a circle big enough to line a 23cm/ 9-inch loose-based flan tin. Keep the pastry hanging over the edges. Press it firmly into the base and sides, then prick the surface lightly with a fork. Now loosely beat the egg white and brush it over the surface of the pastry - this helps to seal it. Place on a baking sheet and pop it back into the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.

4. Bake the pastry case for 10 minutes or until it is 4. Bake the pastry case for 10 minutes or until it is a light golden brown.

a light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. When cool, remove the pastry left hanging over the edges of the tin, it should break off easily and leave the edges nice and neat. Finish trimming the edges neatly with a serrated knife. Leaving the pastry hanging over the edge before cooking prevents it from collapsing into the tin and leaves the tin perfectly lined.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool. When cool, remove the pastry left hanging over the edges of the tin, it should break off easily and leave the edges nice and neat. Finish trimming the edges neatly with a serrated knife. Leaving the pastry hanging over the edge before cooking prevents it from collapsing into the tin and leaves the tin perfectly lined.

5. Pour the cream into a medium mixing bowl and lightly whip it. Gently stir in the yoghurt and rosewater and enough icing sugar to sweeten to your taste.

5. Pour the cream into a medium mixing bowl and lightly whip it. Gently stir in the yoghurt and rosewater and enough icing sugar to sweeten to your taste.

6. Crush half the raspberries and fold them into the creamy yoghurt. Spoon the filling into the pastry case. Scatter over the rest of the raspberries and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

6. Crush half the raspberries and fold them into the creamy yoghurt. Spoon the filling into the pastry case. Scatter over the rest of the raspberries and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes.

7. Heat the raspberry jam in a small pan and gently bring it to the boil. Spoon it over the raspberries and leave to set for a couple of minutes.

7. Heat the raspberry jam in a small pan and gently bring it to the boil. Spoon it over the raspberries and leave to set for a couple of minutes.

10. Finally, scatter over some rose petals. Serve within an hour or the pastry will go soggy!

10. Finally, scatter over some rose petals. Serve within an hour or the pastry will go soggy!

CAPTION(S):

Edible flower obsession... Television chef Lotte Duncan

THIS is an easy peasy, light summer pudding which is so pretty and effortless to make - especially if you don't bother making the pastry at all and buy a ready-made pastry case. Did I really just say that?!
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Jun 28, 2014
Words:3068
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