Dandelion Flowers and Honey Butter Cake
I have never thought of eating dandelion flowers, mainly because I can not visualise them in any dishes other than as one of the decorative elements in a salad. (Not a big fan of cold salad!). I like the taste of the flower, but you have to eat it in quite a big pinch to be able to taste the subtle sweet nectarly flavour.
I picked a large bowl of the flowers wondering what to do with them...(They do grow like mad in the garden) After separating the tiny bright yellow petals from the calyx (the outermost green sepals that form/protect a flower), and thought wouldnt it be great to create a cake that accentuate the subtle nectar flavour of the flowers. Nectar...honey...So that is the origin of this dandelion flowers and honey butter cake!
It is quite a simple and down to earth cake, no fancy icing or decoration that would distract the natural flavour of the cake. After all, dandelion is just one of the weeds that we see little value of and constantly looking for ways to eliminate them from our precious garden! (Although in Chinese herbal medicine, dandelion seems to be useful in clearing heat and relieves fire toxicity....)
To make the cake:
- About a generous cup of dandelion flower petals
- 225g Self-rising flour (sifted)
- 115g Unsalted butter (soften)
- 90g Castor sugar
- 115g Honey
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (this could be any milk)
- 2 Large eggs
- Extra honey and few tablespoonful of lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 170'C. Line and grease a rectangular bread tin and set aside.
First, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and light, then gradually add the honey and keep beating until very well combined. Add the egg one at a time and beat continuously then add the dandelion petals. Beat the batter for another few minutes.
Using a metal spoon, gently fold in the flour and milk.
Pour the mixture to the prepared bread tin and bake for about 45 minutes or until the cake is cooked (check after 30minutes) (if the inserted skewer to the centre of the cake comes out clean)
Remove the cake from the tin and use the skewer, poke holes to the top of the cake and then brush the honey and lemon juice liquid overall the top of the cake. Leave to cool completely overnight.
To give the cake a refreshing Spring-look, you could decorate it with extra dandelion petals or other edible wild flowers. (Here, I also found out that the beautiful pale blue "forget-me-not" flowers are also edible!)
I am now fascinated about eating weeds or other edible wild plants!
Make sure that all the wild flowers you picked are free of pesticides. Personally, I won't eat anything that is not from my own garden, or if from the wild, I will only eat anything edible that is high above the ground!