flowers from my garden

There is a jasmine growing by our path between the gate and our front door. A jasminium polyanthum to be exact. It is heavy with masses of slim, rose-cerise buds getting pinker each day as the small white petals are preparing to emerge. And when they do, I am immediately back to when we were new to Australia and the perfumes of the scented flowers and vines hung heavily on the evening air. A jasminium polyanthum tumbled over the gate below my bedroom window and I would gather the tendrils to bring indoors because I adored its heady, soapy perfume.

The August winds are blowing hard today and I am watching my jasmine dance and sway, along with the other flowers in the garden, from my kitchen window. I like to use fresh flowers to decorate my cakes whenever I can and as spring approaches, I am up early with the birds picking blossoms from our small garden, sometimes brushing them with egg white and crystallizing them in sugar, then slowly drying them in the oven.

I grow pots of pansies and violas, the petite heartsease and alyssum, borage and nasturtium, lobelia and sweet pea, jasmines, roses and lavender. However, I can’t grow sweet violets in my garden so I buy them, dried and crystallised, from Toulouse in France which is renowned for its violets. I like to use them to bake sponges filled with violet – scented cream or make creamy violet-scented panacotta served with violet syrup or cupcakes decorated with sugared violets.

You might like to try this simple dessert:

900 ml almond milk

25g rice flour

sugar (sweeten to your taste)

1-2 drops of almond extract

sugared voilets to decorate.

Add the rice flour and sugar to the almond milk and heat in a saucepan, stirring all the time. Bring to boil and stir vigorously as milk thickens. Cool. Add almond essence to taste. Pour into some pretty glasses. Chill and serve decorated with sugared violets. You can add thickened cream to the cool almond milk if you want a creamier, richer taste, and even add a touch of violet food colouring (pink & blue) to colour your creams. But just a touch!

jasmine flowers

jasmine flower





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