Natural ingredients in the Kitchen - Rose Water
Ideas and recipe kindly provided by Home Scents http://www.homescents.co.uk
I've been using our natural Rose Water in my cooking for quite a while now. I keep it in the fridge as generally the kitchen is too warm to store this natural hydrosol. It is a by-product of the distillation of Damask Rose and has a wonderful delicate scent and flavour. There are some so called "Rose waters" on the market that are "Water, chemical stabiliser, essential oil" not the same thing as a true hydrosol. So always make sure you use a true one, sometimes called Hydrosol, Hydrolate, Flower Water, just check the ingredients label.
Meringues are delicious when I use Rose Water as the flavour instead of Vanilla. Here is my recipe which makes great Pavlova or individual meringues.:4 egg whites (room temperature) - 250gm caster sugar - 2 teaspoons cornflour - 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar - 1 teaspoon Rose flower water.
Preheat oven to gas mark 4/180 C, line a baking tray with baking parchment. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until shiny and peaks form, continue beating and add the sugar 1/4 at a time until the meringue is really stiff. Sprinkle over the cornflour, vinegar and rosewater and fold in very carefully. Now you can either put spoonfuls on the lined baking sheet for individual meringues or spoon it on the sheet into a circle, don't worry about smoothing it too much. Place into the oven and straightaway reduce the heat to gas mark 2/150 C and cook for an hour, then turn off the oven and leave the meringue in there until completely cool.
You can even decorate a Pavlova with a few home made crystallised Flower Petals Crystallised flower petals make a wonderful decoration for cakes & desserts. They will only keep for a few days so just make enough to use. Simply pick 1 or 2 flowers from your garden making sure they are clean, insect -free & haven't been sprayed with any chemicals. Beat 1 egg white until stiff, spoon it into small dish, dip the clean & dry individual petals into the beaten egg white one at a time, place onto a wire tray to dry, sprinkling well with castor sugar. (I keep a few small jam jars of castor sugar ready flavoured - fresh lavender flowers in one, a little rose water in another, 2 drops of lemon essential oil in another, and so on. Cakes, Sponges & Muffins - replace vanilla essence with double amount of Rose Water (remember to reduce the other liquid)
Lemon sorbet made with rose water blended well with lemon juice, makes a beautiful fresh sorbet, just right for these summery days. Just follow your favourite lemon sorbet recipe and add 1 teaspoon Rosewater with the juice from 3 lemons. Generally because it is a delicate flavour use twice the amount of Rose Water than Vanilla essence in your favourite recipes but do remember to reduce the other liquid (water or milk for example) by the same amount of the extra rose water to keep things in proportion.
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