Pansies, From Garden To Plate
WORDS:: Chyka Keebaugh
PHOTOS:: Lisa Atkinson
From your garden to your plate, pansies are a delightful little bloom that can be sugared or eaten raw.
Creating sugared pansies is such a cute thing to do with these lovely blooms. Pick them out of your garden and have a little decorating fun with them, seeing as though they are edible, they are the perfect pop of colour that will also garnish your spring salad. Pansies have the subtle flavour that is almost like a combination of grapes and mint with a little hit of floral. And with the variety of colours that they grow in, it really is a novel way to bring a little excitement to your plate.
Sugared pansies are also an excellent way to dress up a cupcake and bring a touch of spring to all you eat.
How to sugar pansies...
What you’ll need…
- Egg white from 1 large egg
- Fresh pansies, organically grown and stems removed
- Superfine sugar
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white with 1/2 teaspoon water. Using tweezers, hold a pansy and lightly brush both sides of the petals to coat. Sprinkle with sugar, shaking to remove any excess sugar. Let dry on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet until pansies feel crisp, about 8 hours. May be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 year.
You can add sugar pansies to any dessert, en masse they look amazing on a cake but let’s keep it simple shall we? I love them one by one on Vanilla cupcakes, and this recipe is my absolute favourite.
Violet Cream Cupcakes
- 120g butter softened
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 180g self-raising flour
- 125ml milk
- 1tbsp violet syrup
- Violet buttercream
- 120g butter softened
- 200g icing sugar sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp violet syrup
- To make this cupcake recipe, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease and flour 2 25cm round cake tins.
- Sift the flour and set aside. Stir the violet syrup into the milk, set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla then the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Add half the flour and then half the violet milk and mix until fully combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk.
- Divide the mixture into the prepared cake tins and bake for 35-45 mins or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre of each cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 20 mins then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the buttercream, cream the butter until smooth, gradually add the icing sugar and continue to cream until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, milk and violet syrup. Cream until combined.
- Use a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle to pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes.