Having set the rose challenge, I really wanted to try and use roses to their full extent, but wasn't sure I'd have time to make what I had in mind. The plum and rose traybake I made as a fall back was delicious, but only had rosewater in it. I'd set my heart on some ultra rosy cupcakes using rose in four different ways: rose sugar, rose water, rosehip syrup and crystallised roses. To complete the theme, I also had some rose paper cases hiding in the cupboard.
This was a day long process and here's how I made them with a few disasters on the way:
- First thing in the morning picked the one and only rose bloom in the garden, which had fortuitously opened at just the right time.
- Painted the petals with egg white then dipped them in a bowl of caster sugar.
- Put on a rack to dry and left in a warm airy place for as long as possible (ideally these would have been done the day before, but I just crossed fingers & hoped for the best).
- Made a big batch of rosehip syrup with 1 kilo of rose hips that we'd harvested last year and had been taking up room in the freezer ever since.
- Simmered them in 1.5 litres of water for a good half hour, mashing the fruit as it cooked.
- Strained through a muslin cloth and left to drip for about six hours - overnight would have been much better, but I wasn't that organised.
- Simmered the juice with 500g unrefined granulated sugar for about 1/2 an hour until lightly syrupy.
- Poured into bottles and sealed.
- Made some rose sugar by blitzing, in a coffee grinder, 125g sugar with a handful of red scented roses I'd dried previously.
- Melted 125g unsalted butter with 100g 35% milk chocolate (G&B) in a large pan.
- Stirred in 125g rose sugar.
- Beat in 2 duck eggs (one being the remainder of the one used to paint the rose leaves).
- Sifted in 150g flour (half wholemeal and half white), 1 small tsp of baking powder and a pinch of bicarb.
- Stirred in 2 tbsp no fat Greek yogurt.
- Stirred in 1 tbsp of rosewater.
- Spooned into 12 muffin cases and baked at 180C for 18 minutes.
- Turned out on a rack to cool.
- Creamed 50g unsalted butter with 100g icing sugar.
- Decided it would be a good idea to use some of our homemade creme fraiche - big mistake!
- Added 1 tbsp rose hip syrup and 2 tbsp creme fraiche and tried to beat into the butter cream.
- This did not have the desired effect. I ended up making sweetened cultured butter and a load of sweet buttermilk - interesting, but not what I'd intended.
- Drained the buttermilk from the butter and started again.
- Creamed this second lot of butter with a further 100g icing sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in 1 tbsp of rosehip syrup.
- Spread this over the cooled cakes.
- Sprinkled with a small amount of pink sugar.
- Topped with the few petals that had sort of crystallised.
Although the rose petals had lost their scent by the time I used them, I was hoping for a nice pink sugar, but as you can see from the picture, that didn't really happen. I'll know for future reference that more petals are needed.
Here are a few other things I've made using rose as a flavouring.