In the world of cool and interesting jobs, some just seem to take the cake. I’ve always wondered how awesome it would be to be a professional ice cream tester or water slide tester (I’ve got my resume ready), but today I have a new job to add to that list: tea consultant! Alexis Siemons is a Philadelphia-based writer and blogger who also happens to be a trained and certified tea expert. She works with brands, teaches classes and even consults with restaurants to create tea-infused dishes. I basically want to tag along with her to work on any given day.
Last week Alexis had the chance to visit beautiful Blue Moon Acres farm in New Jersey and check out their edible flower garden, modeled after a traditional Victorian flower garden. The edible flowers bloom right up until the first big frost, so the garden was still bursting with color and new growth. Alexis gathered some of her favorites to create four recipes that incorporate edible flowers and today she’s sharing two of them with us! I love how delicate each of these recipes is and how they really highlight the subtle flavors of rose and rose petals. Alexis’ love of tea has really made her an expert in gently infusing both food and drinks with natural flavor. Thanks so much to Alexis for sharing these sweet recipes with us today! xo, grace
Recipes & Photographs by Alexis Siemons
Click through for the full recipe after the jump!
Candied Rose Petals
• Egg white from 1 egg
• Superfine sugar
• Rose petals (clean, dry, grown in garden without pesticides)
Separate the yolk from the egg white, and place the egg white in a small, shallow bowl. Add superfine sugar to a second shallow bowl. Cover one baking sheet with parchment paper. Individually dip each rose petal into the egg white and then dip into the sugar, shaking it free of excess sugar. Place petals on the parchment paper and allow them to dry for 7-12 hours in a cool, dry location until hardened. Store the petals in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one year.
Rose Bundt Cake with Vanilla Crème Fraiche Icing
Ingredients for cake:
• ½ cup unsalted butter, plus more for pan
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
• 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 3 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• ½ cup whole milk
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 5 teaspoons rose water
Ingredients for Crème Fraiche Icing:
• 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
• 3 tablespoons vanilla crème fraîche
• 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
• 1 drop dusty rose food coloring
• fresh edible roses for garnish (clean, dry and grown without pesticides)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 6 cup bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on high until pale and fluffy, and then beat in each egg (one at a time). Using a spatula, gradually fold in the flour mixture and milk (alternating between the two) until combined. Finally, fold in the vanilla extract and rose water.
Pour the batter into the bundt pan. Bake until the top is light golden and a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Let the cake cool in the bundt pan for 15 minutes. Gently run a knife around the edge of the pan, and then carefully turn the cake out onto a rack to cool completely for 20 minutes.
After the cake cools, whisk together the confectioners sugar, vanilla crème fraiche, lemon juice and rose food coloring until smooth. Evenly pour the glaze over the cake, and let it stand until the glaze slightly sets. Place it on a cake stand, garnish the top with fresh/edible roses, and layer the candied rose petals around edge of the cake.
INSPIRATION, PAIRINGS & FARM INFO (in Alexis’ own words)
As a tea consultant, my heart skips a beat for the wonders that nature shares with us, whether that is a tea leaf or a perfect petal. Needless to say, I was quite intrigued to explore the delicate world of edible flowers. After peeking at an Instagram photo that Blue Moon Acres shared of their edible floral garden, I immediately asked if I could come wander through the fleur that they nurtured on their farm. Their edible flower garden, inspired by a Victorian garden, is bursting with a rainbow of blossoms each with their own unique flavors and aromas. They generously gifted me a box of freshly picked blooms to bring into my kitchen.
The sweet, deeply perfumed flavors and aromas of rose water and rose petals pair perfectly with the rich cake and creamy crème fraiche icing. This aromatic cake will nearly transport you to a rose garden.
Blue Moon Acres supplies restaurants and hotels in the New York/Philadelphia/DC area with edible flowers. More information about Blue Moon Acres farm can be found here. Keep in mind that all not flowers are edible. The key is to use clean, pesticide-free blossoms. Rely on experts who cultivate and care for edible flower gardens, like Blue Moon Acres. Edible flowers should be stored in an airtight container with a damp paper towel in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Pair this cake with a cup of Assam black tea. The malty, brisk and robust black tea with hints of sweet raisin notes can stand up to the rich, sweet flavors of the cake. Reserve a handful of candied petals in a small bowl to serve with a pot of the tea. Instruct guests to stir them into their cup for a hint of sweetness and subtle rose perfume.
More about Alexis: Alexis Siemons is a tea consultant and writer living in Philadelphia. She is certified in the Foundations of Tea (Level 1 & 2) by the Specialty Tea Institute, a division of the Tea Association of the USA. As a tea enthusiast, she writes about her steeped adventures on her website and blog, teaspoons & petals, teaches a series of culinary tea classes, and creates tea-infused recipes for restaurants and events. She also consults with tea companies, developing tea programs and creative marketing strategies. Her recipes and stories have been published in Anthology Magazine, Kinfolk Magazine, Women’s Health Magazine, Remedy Quarterly, Fresh Cup Magazine, Grid Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine and Design*Sponge. You can find more of her writing and work on her Twitter and Instagram feeds.