I love to cook, bake, and garnish with edible flowers – Mother Nature’s colorful and dainty way of sharing her joyfulness. Whether arranged in a glass vase, or enhancing our pulse-points, flowers are versatile and some are safe to eat, if you know what you are looking for. You should consider adding a sprinkle of flowers for a special dinner, in a salad, or floating in a bowl of soup.

Edible Marigold petals for salads and garnnishes

Edible Marigold petals for salads and garnnishes

In bakeshops man made flowers are shaped using marzipan and molding chocolate, and often piped as adornment onto wedding cakes around the globe.

Marzipan flowers on cakes

Marzipan flowers on cakes

These beauties are photographed, and painted on canvasses daily, because we seem never to grow tired of them. Their essences are used in perfumes and oils. For thousands of years the magic of flowers has been captured in glass vials and their petals have been used in restorative blends for healing.

Sugared violet (my personal fav) and rose petals

Sugared violet (my personal fav) and rose petals

In fact, I just treated myself (and eventually some lucky clients) to a shopping spree on the little delicacies at Fortnum & Mason’s while visiting Tatjana in London. Using edible flowers as either an ingredient or a garnish never fails to visually delight, and make your dinner party guests feel ultra special.

Rose petals: use as an ingredient or garnish

Rose petals: use as an ingredient or garnish

Top ten tips for edible flowers:

1) Never eat flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides or chemicals.

2) Try one variety at a time so as not to trigger possible allergies or tummy woes.

3) Do your research before attempting to use them in recipes or as garnishes, because not all flowers are edible.

4) Always rinse the flowers thoroughly, allowing them to air dry.

5) Never eat flowers from the side of the road, nor from florists or garden centers.

6) Decide which flowers you want to use. Try growing some seeds yourself if you want to be sure they are safe.

7) Make certain to remove stamens and pistils and serve only flower petals.

8) Just as with wine tasting, not all flowers you sample will agree with your taste buds.

9) Less is key so remember, don’t overpower the delicate flavor of the flowers.

10) Have fun, and know that your guests will appreciate your creativity.

Learn how to entertain the ladies that lunch while being one too!

Learn how to entertain the ladies that lunch while being one too!

Final note: When a recipe calls for a cup of flour/flower … don’t mix them up!

Pink Grapefruit & Rose Scented Angel Food Cucpakes

Pink grapefruit and rose scented cupcakes

High tea happens to be one of my favorite services that I offer my clients. It’s perfect for wedding and baby showers, and these light airy clouds of fragrant rose and pink grapefruit angel food cupcakes look so beautifully feminine on a platter with the colorful edible flowers on top.

PS. You can purchase the sister recipe to these lovely cupcakes, along with all the info on how to.

This post was first published July 5, 2013

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