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Violet syrup – Wild edibles recipe

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IMG_9248 IMG_9251 IMG_9265 IMG_9268Violet syrup

Violets.  So much beauty in a little flower.  It is one of my favorite wild edibles and we are so lucky to live here where they are practically a pest.  I grew violets in Florida mostly for the greens and only got a few blooms in all the time I grew them.  The greens are a favorite salad green.  So mild and tasty and packed full of good stuff for our bodies but today (really this week) we will be giving some attention and praise to the bloom.

All winter long, I wait for spring.  The sun returns and so do the violets.  We love to forage as a family.  There is so much out there to find and use but many of the “weeds” you find in early spring will be gone in a flash.  Violets are one of them.  While the greens will stay most of the year, those precious blooms will only be around for a few weeks at most and then they return to the ground until next spring.

We are in the middle of all things violet this week.  Violet jelly, violet sugar, dried violets for our tea and violet syrup.  They may also grace the top of a cupcake or two but today I want to share how to make violet syrup.  We make it a bit thick and use it on pancakes and waffles, ice cream and to sweeten our tea.  It is not healthy but it is beautiful and we always need more beauty no?

Violet Syrup

1 cup violet blooms

4 cups water (boiled)

4 cups sugar (we use raw sugar,  if you want a more purple color you will need to use white sugar, otherwise the color will be closer to a blush wine like my pictures)

lemon juice

 

So to get started, we are basically going to make a big batch of violet tea.

Boil the water and pour over the violets.  Let them steep for about 30 minutes to over night.  You might be surprised that the water is either blue, greenish or dark and not the beautiful purple you were hoping for.  Do not lose heart.  The purple will happen later.

Strain and throw the blooms in the compost

Now measure out your water.  Add the same amount of sugar as water.  We use organic raw sugar which makes the syrup a more brownish color.  If you want bright purple, you will need white sugar but I am ok with giving up a little color to not use white sugar.

Next comes the magical part and my kids wait for this magic reaction.   Slowly add lemon until you get the purple you want.  As soon as you add the lemon, the tea will turn to purple.  Magic.

Now boil until it becomes as thick as you want it.  Be careful or you will get crystals or rock candy.  Do not boil it too long.  The best way to tell is when the syrup clings a bit to the spoon.

Pour into a sterilized jar and if you want it to keep for a while then process like you would jelly.

Enjoy anyway you like.

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white chocolate malted milk cake

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This cake is like a Whopper candy or one of my favorite Easter candies, malted milk eggs.  There aren’t many candies that I like but give me a bag of Robin eggs or a Cadbury Easter egg and my Easter is happy.  This cake is easy to accomplish and very simple.  Simple enough to decorate with just a frosting knife when your trusty piping bag of 15 years splits down the middle just as you add in this frosting.

This may become our new Easter cake (we usually make pies but it came out really good and we love cake)

Malted Milk Cake

2 sticks room softened butter

1  cup sugar

4 large eggs

1/2 milk

1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour

1 cup malted milk powder

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 cup malted milk eggs, chopped coursely in a food processor

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease and flour two 8 inch round cake pans and set aside.

In the mixer, whip softened butter for a few minutes and add sugar.  Let it whip for 5 minutes on almost high until it looks smooth and kind of like mayonnaise. Add in eggs, one at a time and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, malt powder, baking powder and salt.

Add flour to butter mixture by adding a third of the flour and then a third of the milk until all the flour is added. Mix only until the mixture is free of lumps and do not over mix.  Add in the chopped up malted milk eggs and mix in just until they are incorporated.

Divide batter between cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a knife comes out clean from the batter.  Let it cool for at least 20 minutes and transfer to refrigerator to cool.  Do not frost the cake until it is completely room temperature or cooler.

 

White Chocolate Malted Milk Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks butter, softened

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup white chocolate chips

1/8 tsp salt

Melt the white chocolate chips and set aside to cool, giving it a stir every few minutes so it doesn’t set.  It needs to get to room temp before you can add it to the rest of the ingredients.

Beat the butter until it looks fluffy on medium high, switch to low and add powdered sugar a cup at a time.  Beat for a minute and scrape down the bowl.  Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix until it is all smooth.  If it is too stiff, add a little bit of heavy cream.  If it is too soft, add more sugar.  Frost your cake once it is cool.

I bought two bags of malted milk eggs in order to have enough of one color to add to the edge.  If you want to put eggs on the cake, put the frosted cake in the refrigerator first to let the icing get firm enough to hold the eggs.  If you don’t need all the eggs to be one color, then one bag is plenty.

Enjoy!

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