Flowers & Herbs in Dessert
For years, chefs have used edible flowers in cooking. This practice fell out of favor for quite a long time, but now, using edible flowers and herbs in both sweet and savory dishes is a top trend once again. Restaurants and other food companies are using floral and herbal ingredients to enhance the color, texture, and flavor of both sweet and savory dishes. Keeping things simple to showcase the subtle tastes of the flowers is key. Here are a few of the most popular edible flowers and herbs to experiment with for new, mouth-watering flavor profiles.
Rose petals have a delicate flavor that varies with the color. Lighter shades taste sweeter, while darker flowers are a little more bitter. Roses are being widely embraced in applications such as teas and other drinks, jams, and fruit dishes. Crystallized rose petals make beautiful cake decorations.
Thyme is spicy with a hint of bright mint. This pleasant herb can heighten sweetness or neutralize overpowering flavors. Thyme pairs very well with fruits and is perfect for adding a savory note to mousses, tarts, and semifreddo. It goes beautifully with rosemary, oregano, parsley, and mint.
Lavender is a unique floral ingredient with a distinctive taste, featuring hints of rosemary and mint, its botanic relatives. Lavender is ideal for springtime but delicious any time of year, particularly paired with honey or lemon. Lavender sugars are growing in popularity and being used for biscuits, jams, and sorbets; lavender is also right at home in chocolate cookies, cakes, and brownies. This flower is lovely to use in baking applications and makes a beautiful decoration for a variety of desserts.
Rosemary is a member of the mint family and has a piney, earthy flavor, with flowers that taste more or less like a milder version of the herb. Rosemary is being used in unexpected ways, such as mixing it with apples or other fruits or blended into sorbetto and compotes.
There’s something instantly irresistible about the fresh taste and juicy aroma of citrus. Citrus flower flavors make a great complement to a wide range of foods, from sweets to stir-fries. This year, we’re seeing more citrus flowers being used for crystallizing, flavoring tea and coffee cakes, and decorating desserts.