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Pastries

It is wonderful to see a brilliant trend emerging in the pastry and cake department that tastes as good as it looks! With more and more people avoiding potentially toxic food colouring, cooks, both at home and in restaurants, are looking to the garden for creative salvation.

So instead of serving luminous silver coloured balls made of sugar at your children’s birthday parties, consider scattering edible varieties of organic flower petals over jellies, custards, ice cream, cakes and the like, plus, in some cases, use these delicate wonders as an ingredient of the dish – or dishes – on your party menu.

Borage, day lilies, carnations, calendulas, cornflowers, hibiscus, jasmine, ‘kuchnar’ lavender, marigolds, nasturtiums, pansies, rose petals, sunflowers, violas and violets are just a few of the glorious flowers that you can use within – or on top – of cakes, cupcakes, biscuits, dessert, whether it is for a birthday party, a wedding or a dinner party.

And – as if this was not enough – cakes and cupcakes are being lovingly created in the shape of the edible, chemical free flowers they contain, or are decorated with rose petal cupcakes piled high with skilfully created petals conjured out of marzipan, chocolate, icing sugar or even out of specially prepared flower hued pasta or meticulously cut and shaped wedges of sweet pastry.

Then there are incredible creations replicating entire plants, sometimes complete with plant pots or intricately woven baskets, crafted to an amazingly lifelike degree, with sugar-spun baskets bursting with flower shaped cakes, flower filled cookies and other delights, usually topped with artfully arranged, often brilliantly hued, edible flowers or their petals for the ultimate tasty treat.

These ‘botanical’ cakes and pastries (as they are becoming widely known) instantly attract the attention of those lucky enough to have such an offering placed before them and yes – they are certainly a highly individual, natural-based, treat!

– B Khan

First published in the ADBUZZZZ Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on September 7, 2014.

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