Sweet, flo­ral del­i­ca­cies

The flow­ers of roses, laven­der, lilac and sweet vi­o­lets lend them­selves to con­fec­tionary treats.

NZ Gardener - 365 Days of Flowers - - Edible Flowers -

Once you’ve made your own marsh­mal­low sweets, you won’t want to go back to the shop-bought ones. Flavour it with home­made rose, laven­der or sweet vi­o­let water for an ex­cep­tional flavour.


Jane Wrig­glesworth's fra­grant marsh­mal­lows are melt-iny­our-mouth de­li­cious. Use a 20 x 30cm lam­ing­ton tray. In­gre­di­ents • 2 ta­ble­spoons pow­dered gelatin • 380ml water • 500g gran­u­lated sugar • 1 ta­ble­spoon liq­uid glu­cose • 2 egg whites • 2 tea­spoons vanilla ex­tract • 3 ta­ble­spoons rose­wa­ter • cup corn­flour • cup ic­ing sugar Method: In a small bowl, soften gelatin in 190ml water. In a medium saucepan, gently heat re­main­ing 190ml water with sugar and liq­uid glu­cose, stir­ring un­til sugar dis­solves. Once the sugar has dis­solved, in­crease heat and boil with­out stir­ring un­til the syrup reaches 121°C on a candy ther­mome­ter (about 10 min­utes). Re­move from heat. Add gelatin mix­ture and stir un­til dis­solved.

In a stand­ing mixer, beat egg whites un­til stiff peaks form. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly pour in the hot syrup. In­crease speed to medium-high and beat un­til cool, about 10 min­utes. Beat in vanilla and rose­wa­ter.

Line tray with bak­ing pa­per. Spray lightly with oil and dust with a mix of 1 ta­ble­spoon corn­flour and 1 ta­ble­spoon ic­ing sugar. Spread marsh­mal­low into tray. Let set (2-4 hours). Cut into squares with wet knife. Roll squares in re­main­ing ic­ing sugar and corn­flour mix to coat.


Rose­wa­ter is es­sen­tially the left­over dis­til­late from rose petals and water. You can make your own rose­wa­ter with this ba­sic steam method. Or try us­ing laven­der flow­ers in­stead to make laven­der water.

You need: • 8-10 cups spray-free, heav­ily scented rose petals • Water • Ice • Large saucepan or stock­pot with a domed lid • 2 heavy heat-re­sis­tant glass or ce­ramic bowls (they need to be heavy so that they don't move around in the water – you can re­place one with a brick. See be­low).

Method: Place one of the glass bowls up­side down on the bot­tom of the saucepan. If you don't think it will be heavy enough so as not to move around, use a brick in­stead.

Place the other bowl on top of the first bowl, right side up. Sprin­kle the rose petals onto the bot­tom of the saucepan. Fill the saucepan with water so that it just cov­ers the petals. Place the lid on the saucepan up­side down (this is where a domed lid comes in handy), turn on the heat and bring water to the boil.

Re­duce to a sim­mer, then fill the in­verted lid with ice cubes. As the steam from the boil­ing water hits the cold lid, it con­denses, flows down to the cen­tre of the lid and drips into the bowl. That's your per­fumed rose­wa­ter.

Check the bowl ev­ery 10-15 min­utes. You should end up with 1-2 cups of water that smells de­li­ciously rosy. If you leave it on the stove too long, the scent will even­tu­ally be­come di­luted. The dis­till­ing process should take around 20-30 min­utes. Al­low the rose­wa­ter to cool be­fore bot­tling. This should not be kept for too long.

Rose­wa­ter can also be used in cos­met­ics. It helps to hy­drate, re­vi­talise and mois­turise skin.


Use laven­der from your own gar­den to trans­form plain old honey into a fancy, flavour­ful treat.

In­gre­di­ents: • 2 dozen fresh laven­der blos­soms or 1 ta­ble­spoon dried flow­ers

• 1 cup honey

Method: Stir honey and laven­der to­gether over low heat. Re­move, cover and leave at room tem­per­a­ture for a day. Warm again un­til it is liq­uid enough to pour through a sieve into a jar.


Use to driz­zle over desserts, or di­lute with water for a re­fresh­ing drink.

In­gre­di­ents: • 2 un­waxed lemons • 100g elder­flower heads (about 12 heads) • 1 small red rose, petals picked • 325g caster sugar • 125ml le­mon juice (3-4 lemons) Method: Peel zest from lemons in long strips. Put el­der­flow­ers into a large bowl with le­mon peel and rose petals. Pour over 500ml of boil­ing water and press down petals, mak­ing sure they’re sub­merged. Leave to cool, then cover bowl and leave to in­fuse for about 36 hours.

Strain into a medium saucepan, press­ing the flow­ers with the back of a spoon to re­lease all the liq­uid. Dis­card flow­ers. Add sugar and le­mon juice, turn the heat to high and cook for 3-4 min­utes, stir­ring un­til the sugar has dis­solved and the liq­uid is start­ing to sim­mer. Take off the heat, leave to cool, then pour into a ster­ilised bot­tle. Seal and store in the fridge for up to a month.

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