Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Natural Flower Extracts For Baking

I had to share this!  Recently I have been inspired to bake with the essence of flowers.  So many cakes and cookies use artificial flavorings and colorings that can have added hidden gluten.  It's always best to use natural.

Icings, cakes, cookies galore: instead of artificial food coloring try veggies and fruit juices to get the color you desire.  Baby Cakes Vegan and GF Bakery uses Beet Juice, sometimes cherry juice to get the red color and other plant based foods to get other kinds of natural coloring.  I have used fresh Lemons and Oranges to get the flavor I desire and the frosting adapts to the color of the fruit.  Just a light tint.  But the taste is a WORLD of difference.  Instead of it tasting sugary, suppose you are using this for a buttercream icing, it tastes fresh, like I took a bite out of an orange.  It's quite lovely.

Most recently I have been curious about cooking with flowers.  I bought two bundles of fresh lavender flowers at the Farmer's Market (no pesticides used), hoping to come home and bake something wonderfully Lavender flavored.  I asked the lady at the market if I just add the flowers into my icing recipe.  She said follow the recipe it should tell you what to do.  The problem is, I make my own recipes, as I am a world class experimenter.  So I went online.  And Whoa! There are so many different ways to bake with Lavender.  Some mention a food processor, some mention a machine that grinds the petals, and some mention putting a few tablespoons in a coffee filter and tying it with a non dyed string to create a tea bag of sorts, and to steep it into the mixture.  Some also suggest using dried Lavender.    Ah curious meets confused.  I'm not sure how to go about this.  As my research continued I found a great extract brand on Amazon.  But I wanted to make sure it was gluten free so I went to their actual website called Bakto Flavors.  There are so many great natural flavorings!  And they are gluten free and certified Kosher!  So I wanted to share this site.  I ordered rose water and Lavender extracts.  I can't wait to get them in the mail.

Have you ever baked with flowers? If so, I'd love to hear your adventures and experiences!  Feel free and share.

Enjoy!! xoxo Julie

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