Earlier this year we met Sarah Hughes, from Eat My Flowers, at the Country Homes & Interiors garden party where she was delighted to be announced as a runner up in the magazine's Country Business of the Year Awards 2012…
Sarah set up Eat My Flowers in 2010 using her experience in agriculture and supplying fine food to restaurants. She lives on a farm in Wales where she grows the flowers in polytunnels all year round, the edible flowers are picked freshly each day before being sent to chefs, restaurants and cake decorators across the land.
Here Sarah share her recipe for a traditional Gingerbread house, but with a twist, it is decorated with crystallised flowers…
250g dark brown sugar
265g treacle or golden syrup
55g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
975g plain flour
Combine the brown sugar, syrup, butter, spices, and salt in a medium saucepan over a low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sugar is dissolved. This will take about 10 minutes, then stir in the milk. Remove from heat, and let it cool.
Pour the milk mixture into a mixing bowl, then add the baking powder and flour. With an electric mixer, and beginning on low speed and increasing to medium, beat until it is well combined. The dough can be used when cool but for best results, divide dough in half and shape into disks.
Wrap the dough in plastic, and refrigerate ideally overnight but at least for few hours. The dough can be frozen up to 1 month and make sure you thaw in the refrigerator before using. When firm enough to roll out, flour the board and roll out the dough. Using a template cut out the shape of the house gingerbread house – you can find lots of templates on the internet. Place onto a baking tray and bake for 10–15 minutes at 180˚C.
Keep checking to make sure the gingerbread doesn’t burn. When ready place onto a wire rack to cool before decorating. You can either use caramel or royal icing to glue the house together. For this one I used royal icing, I find it gives a bit more time than caramel and dries rock hard. Then it is time to decorate using edible flowers, sweets, marshmallows and anything you fancy your imagination is the limit!