The festive season is so very nearly upon us and the opportunities to ‘bring a plate’ are no longer so few and far between. But I’m sure you’re just like me and get tired of making the same old thing to bring? One way to impress your guests or the hosts of any gathering you’re attending is to present a real showstopper of a dish.
Edible flowers can help you do just that. You can decorate an old favourite and present it in a different way to take you out of your rut, or you can finally try out one of those recipes you’ve been dying to have a reason to make and add beautiful floral accents to really take it to the next level.
Edible flowers are making a big impact in the dessert world and cakers like Bluebells, Cakes By Anna, Miss Ladybird Cakes, Spongedrop and The Caker regularly use these pretty little edibles to add beauty and character to their sweet treats.
If you have flowers available in your garden that look pretty but are not known to be safe for consumption you could still use them, just be sure to remove them before serving or let people know they are not safe to consume and possibly don’t serve at an occasion where young children are present and won’t think to remove them on their own. You can find out more about which flowers are safe to eat here. Barker’s have some great tips on how to prepare edible flowers.
I love cheesecake and I adore cherries. Unfortunately my husband and kids don’t love the fresh variety but they all love chocolate and they’ll never say no to dessert, so I was sure if I made a Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake, no one would turn it down. Especially when it looked this pretty. And I was right.
To make this delicious Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake, I used the Morello Cherries from the Barker’s of Geraldine range and adapted a recipe from Raspberri Cupcakes to suit. The end result was a beautifully rich, but not too intense no-bake cheesecake.
I started with a crunchy base of crushed Super Wine biscuits and Lewis Road Creamery Butter made thicker than a standard base because I always wish the cheesecake filling to base ratio was more even. Onto this, I poured an amazing combination of whipped cream cheese, icing sugar, pure vanilla extract and Lewis Road Creamery cream laced with Barkers Morello Cherry compote and slivers of Whittakers Dark Chocolate. Oh my friends, let me tell you, the filling was waaaay too easy to eat by the spoonful.
After a couple of mouthfuls, I poured the topping over the now baked base and popped the entire thing in the fridge overnight to set.
Drizzled with chocolate sauce and decorated with Secret Garden edible flowers, this cheesecake is one I will make again for upcoming Christmas occasions. It would look gorgeous adorned with fresh cherries too when they’re in season, making it a perfect dessert for Christmas Day.
- 1 packet of Superwine biscuits, whizzed in the food processor
- 70g butter, melted
- 4 T Barkers Morello Cherries
- 150g Whittakers Ghana Chocolate, finely chopped
- 300g Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 C icing sugar, sifted
- 1 t pure vanilla extract
- 250ml Lewis Road Cream
- Hershey's Chocolate Sauce (or similar)
- Edible flowers from The Secret Garden
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- Grease a 10x30cm rectangular loaf tin and then line the base and two long sides of the loaf tin with baking paper. Leave enough hanging out to use as handles to remove.
- Place crushed biscuits in a bowl and add the melted butter. Stir well until thoroughly combined.
- Spread mixture out evenly into the prepared tin, pressing firmly with your fingertips or the back of a metal spoon to form an even base.
- Place in the oven and bake until base is set and golden - approximately 15–20 minutes.
- Set aside until cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, place cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla and beat on high speed until smooth (if you don't have a stand mixer, place everything in a large bowl and use an electric beater).
- Reduce speed to low and gradually add the finely chopped chocolate and beat until it is evenly distributed but don't overmix so that your entire mixture turns brown. Stir in the Barkers Morello Cherries until combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, beat the cream to stiff peaks (being careful not to overbeat). Fold the cream into the cream cheese and chocolate mixture and then pour the mixture over the cooled base.
- Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Carefully lift out of the tray using the baking paper flaps and remove the paper from the sides and base.
- Transfer to a serving plate and decorate by drizzling chocolate sauce across the top in a diagonal pattern, then adorn with your edible flowers in any way you like.
- To cut, heat your knife under hot water and then slice.
- Keep in the fridge until ready to serve and keep in the fridge up to 3 days.
For more Edible Flowers inspiration check out Barker’s of Geraldine
* This post was sponsored by Barker’s of Geraldine. All opinions however are my own, as always.
I purchased The Secret Garden edible flowers from Farro Fresh.
Edible image courtesy of Sugar and Charm
Plates by Rachel Carley Ceramics