Because we take in our surroundings through our five senses, keep each of these senses in mind as you recreate your dining room for a more romantic feeling. The key is to create a feel within the room that is soft, inviting and a place that you want to be in.
So, when planning a seductive dinner or other event, use your imagination and ingenuity to stimulate the senses with beautiful sights, sounds, flavors and aromas.
Edible Flower Touch
Edible flowers can add a whimsical touch to any dish, with their amazing, flavorsome sensations and intoxicating aromas. These delightful beauties are perfect for use as vibrant garnishes, as well. Edible flowers can also be preserved for future use using techniques like drying, freezing, or steeping in oil. They can also be used in drinks, jellies, salads, soups, syrups, and main dishes. Flower-flavored oils and vinegars are made by steeping edible flower petals in these liquids. Candied flowers are crystallized using egg whites and sugar.
Next time you stop and smell the roses, pluck a few blossoms for your plate! Garnishing with edible flowers can turn ordinary food into a beautiful palate of color, adding flair and natural style. When using edible flowers, the secret to success is to keep the dish simple—do not add too many flavors, otherwise they will overpower the delicate taste of the flower.
“Flowers can be consumed raw, cooked, or infused in sauce.”
All edible flowers can be used as decorations on dishes or trays. They add a distinctive color and taste to desserts and salads. Flowers can add elegance to beverages when floating in a punch bowl or frozen in ice cubes. Edible flowers can also be used in teas.
- See Rose Petal Enchantments.
- Mini Flowered Ice Sculpture.
- Exotic Fruit Salad with Red Rose Petals.
- Sensual Rose Butter.
- Candied Flower Petals.
- Edible Romantic Touch
All of these flowers can wonderfully adorn frosted cakes, sorbets, and many other desserts; they may be crystallized, as well.
Rose Flowers: Flavor, fragrance, and size vary among the many members of the rose family. Generally, the flowers of the older types, such as rugosa roses, are most flavorful. Rose petals are full of romantic oil that may be infused in creams and syrups. Roses have a heavenly aromatic taste. When preparing roses, pick off the petals and remove the whitish, bitter base. Add them to salads or use them as garnishes.
- Borage Flowers: The borage is a lovely, cornflower-blue, star-shaped flower. These delicacies are lovely in drinks, sorbets, chilled soups, and dips.
- Calendula Flowers: Calendula flowers have pretty petals that are golden-orange in color. Sprinkle them on soups, pasta dishes, rice dishes, and salads.
- Daylily Flowers: Daylilies look beautiful on composed salad platters. They can also be used to crown delicious, frosted desserts.
- Geranium Flowers: Geraniums are available in a wide array of fragrances, such as citrus, spice, fruity, and floral. They are usually found in pink and pastel colors.
- Lavender Flowers: These flowers are perfect accompaniments to champagne, chocolate cake, sorbet, and ice cream.
- Marigold Flowers: Marigold petals can be sprinkled on salads or steamed vegetables.
- Nasturtium Flowers: Nasturtium blossoms have a peppery flavor that is great for salads. Use them to garnish ice cream and desserts or freeze them in ice cubes and float them in punch.
- Violets Flowers: You can place these tender leaves in salads, desserts, and ice-cold drinks.
Candied Flower Petals
Candied flowers and petals can be used in a variety of creative ways—use them to decorate cakes and all kinds of sweet things, such as ice cream, fruit salads, and cocktails. Violets, pansies, Johnny-jump-ups, rose petals, lilac, borage, pea, pinks, and scented geraniums are only a few of the many varieties you can use.
1 large EGG WHITE (use powdered egg whites to avoid salmonella)
2 drops 100 PROOF VODKA
1 cup SUPERFINE GRANULATED SUGAR
1 thin ARTIST’S PAINTBRUSH
Beat the egg whites until they are frothy. Add a couple of drops of vodka to help the flowers dry quicker.
Using the paintbrush, individually paint each fresh-picked flower with the beaten egg white. Once they are thoroughly coated, sprinkle them with fine sugar and place them on the wire rack to dry. The flowers will be ready once they are completely dry, stiff, and brittle to the touch. They can be stored in an airtight container and frozen for up to three months.
Sensual Rose Butter
This is a very gracefully flavored butter made especially for a sensual, celebratory, and extraordinary evening. It can be highlighted with food coloring to match the occasion.
¼ cup FRESH ROSE PETALS, finely chopped
½ pound UNSALTED BUTTER
Finely chop the flower petals and mix them into the softened butter. Let the mixture stand for several hours at room temperature, then refrigerate for several days to bring out the flavor. This butter can be frozen for several months and is wonderful for use on breads, in cookies, or in cakes.
Ideas: Use cream cheese, lavender, or sunflower.
Edible Flowers Hints
A local specialty shop or farmer’s market may carry a great variety of fresh flowers. Fresh flowers are perfect for use as unusual, beautiful decorations. Eat flowers only if you are positive that they are edible. Do not eat flowers from florists, nurseries, or garden centers. If you have hay fever allergies, do not eat flowers. Remove the pistils and stamens from the flowers before consumption. Eat only the petals. Not all flowers are edible—some are poisonous. Flowers taste different when grown in different locations.
“Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and forgot to put a soul into.”
– Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858