Elderflower Panna Cotta

This wonderfully simple recipe works well whether you use fresh elderflower sprays, fresh honeysuckle or rose petals (garden rose, dog rose or a combination of the two, just make sure that no sprays or fungicides have been used on the petals that you choose to use). When the flowers are out of season,you can substitute the fresh flowers for elderflower cordial, just remember to reduce the sugar by at least half, if you’re using a cordial. This is a versatile recipe and another variation involving mint and raspberries will be posted shortly!

Ingredients

• 300ml double cream

• 250ml full fat milk

• Vanilla pod

• 15 elderflower sprays, OR 2 handfuls of honeysuckle OR 2 handfuls of rose petals

• 25g caster sugar

• 4 gelatine leaves

• Mint, berries, or flowers to garnish

Step 1. Pop the cream, milk, vanilla pod and elderflower into a saucepan on a gentle heat, once it begins to simmer then take it off the heat and strain the mixture though a sieve, discard the vanilla pod and elderflower sprays.

Step 2. Soak the gelatine leaves in water.

Step 3. Pop the milk/cream mixture back on the heat and dissolve the sugar.

Step 4. Once the sugar is fully dissolved take it off of the heat. Squeeze the excess water out of the leaves and dissolve them into the mixture.

Step 5. Once the mixture has cooled a little, pour into 4 martini glasses or a mouldy if you intend to serve the dessert on a plate. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

You can serve this by itself with a garnish of mint or make up a fruity sauce or coulis.

As it’s summer, I’ve gently poached some fresh strawberries in prosecco, adding sugar and to taste.

Enjoy!

Elderflower Cordial

With the Elderflower coming to an end for another season we just couldn’t leave this classic recipe out. 

Ingredients 

  • 25 Elderflower sprays (gently washed)
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • 800g of caster sugar
  • 50g citric acid
  • 3 untaxed lemons
  • 2 unwaxed oranges

Step 1. Bring the water to the boil and pour over the sugar in a large bowl or I tend to use a jam pan, stir the water until all of the sugar has dissolved. 

Step 2. Add the citric acid and give it another stir. You can now add the sliced oranges and lemons with the elderflower sprays.

Step 3. Leave in a cool place for 24 hours so that the flavours can infuse nicely.

Step 4. Strain the liquid through muslin, a jelly bag or a very fine sieve and bottle into steralised bottles, again we think they look perfect in a Kilner. 

It really is that simple!

The cordial is delightful diluted with water, lemonade or even added to Prosecco or Champagne. You can use this cordial in quite a few recipes ensuring that this floral taste of summer can be enjoyed all year round.

Rosa Rugosa (dog rose) honey…

The hedgerows are in bloom, Rosa Rugosa adding a splash of colourful shades of pink during the month of June. There is more than meets the eye to this pretty wild flower commonly known as the dog rose. As well as being fragrant, it’s edible and provides colour to salads, used as decoration for cakes, desserts, drinks etc or you could try our recipe below to add a floral note to your honey.

You will need a clean kilner, or standard jam jar large enough for the amount of honey that you choose to use, personally I think a kilner looks prettier in the kitchen.

Step 1. Wash your petals, this is optional, your honey will have a stronger flavour if you don’t choose to wash the petals though.

Step 2. Pop the petals into a bowl large enough to comfortably contain the honey and petals.

Step 3. If you’re using raw honey like us, in fact we use honey from our very own bees, then it may have crystallised, just warm it very gently by popping the jar in a saucepan of warm water. As long as the water isn’t too hot, it won’t affect the properties of the honey. Whichever honey you do choose to use, make sure its quality, a lot of supermarket honey is bulked out with a cheap syrup. Local honey is the best option and can possibly help with anyone suffering from hay fever.

Step 4. Pour the honey over the petals and give it a gently stir, cover the bowl in cling film or pop the lid on securely if you chose to a use a tupperware container. Pop to one side – no need to refrigerate! You can now forget about it for the next fortnight.

Step 5. Strain the sticky mixture through a sieve or jam/jelly strainer (you can warm it slightly to make this easier), pop the lid on and it’s ready to spread on your breakfast toast  in fact there are endless ways to use this honey, keep visiting us for further ideas.

Enjoy!