recipes

Petal

When life gives you roses – make rose petal cakes.

We are seriously in danger of disappearing into a cloud of rose petals here, as for some climatic/random reason this season has been a bumper one for rose blooming. Not complaining.

They are such perfect specimens to observe and there are only so many vases you can place around the home. Cakes seemed the obvious next choice. If you have the time, rose petals can be dipped or painted with egg white and coated in sugar. Left to dry for an afternoon, they will become frosty little treats to plant on your icing before it sets.

If, like me, you are impatient, fresh is fine but best to lay to one side of the plate before plunging in – mouth first.

125g softened butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups SR flour (sifted)
2/3 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place patty cases into muffin or patty cake tins.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar with electric beater until light and creamy.
  3. Add vanilla and eggs and beat well.
  4. Gradually add flour and milk alternately and mix gently until smooth.
  5. Spoon into paper cases and bake for 15-18 minutes until golden on top. Cool on a wire rack.
  6. When completely cold, top with icing and a rose petal. Makes 12

Icing
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp softened butter
tiny drop of red food coloring

Sift icing sugar and add butter. Beat until smooth. Add the tiniest drop of food coloring for a really soft pink. If the mix is a little stiff, add a few drops of water for spreading consistency.

gardening · homemaking

Bloom

The Spring Racing Carnival is on our doorstep, and how do I know this? Why, I have just clipped my first bunch of roses for the season of course.

Not to be confused with the splendor of the Flemington Race Track, our roses are looking pretty good this year, and I believe it may be due more to favorable weather conditions combined with neglect rather than any horticultural prowess on my part. I will take credit, however, for the arrangement.

What a strange dichotomy the rose-bush is – the bulk of the year spent as a spiky, jutting, nondescript cane and then almost overnight, metamorphosing into a lavish leaved bush filled with unfurling colorful jewels. Their appearance is so sudden and display so elegant, that even the routine journey to the office is punctuated with pleasant garden glimpses.

Roses have the ability to laugh in the face of colour scheme edicts. Pile their clashing colours into a vase and you are immediately rewarded with an object of beauty, that becomes the focal point of the room and the elevator of spirits to all who enter.

These are tea roses and to me, bestow far greater beauty and fragrance (and economy) than the hothouse variety. This season, bring a bunch of your blooms indoors and try not to smile as you walk past your posy.