Rose Petal Ice cubes & Baby’s Breath wreath

 

‘rose petal ice cubes & delicate baby’s breath flower crown´

June has really stepped up its game in terms of constant sunshine, and the heat brings all kinds of beautiful drinks to the palm of our hands. Hydration is so important for your skin and body during the summer, and I love playing around with the idea of incorporating florals into the scene. Not that this hasn’t been done before, however I have never tried making eatable flower ice cubes. I have made gorgeous herb ice cubes from thyme and mint and used them for summer cocktails made of lemon or rosé wine that always add a visual touch. Since I had freshly picked a few rose buds from my mother in laws garden, I wanted to take advantage of them as I know, they are chemical free and completely organic. I washed and ripped the pale pink petals and dropped them into my icetray and shaped them into form. This morning, I tested my rose petal ice cubes with a glass of cold water while making a baby’s breath flower crown. Not only did the ice cubes look delicately beautiful, but it instantly elevates the drink to the next level. To be honest, it did not infuse the water with flavor, this is probably because the cubes are so big in size and take really long to melt but, the visual aspect was enough for me. If you are planning any get togethers, try this for your next drink. It also works beautifully in coolers for your bottle, with petal ice cubes all around.

On another note, since I have so many beautiful flowers from my birthday, I wanted to take full advantage of all of them, hence I decided to make a delicate little baby’s breath crown to celebrate the beautiful days of June. Baby’s breath is a durable flower which makes it perfect for making wreaths. It is so light from 4am till 11pm at this time of year and it really gives an uplifting sense and strength of energy that we will carry with us when fall takes over.

Light Grapefruit Rosé Cocktail

Delicious Pale pink cocktail and a balcony full of flowers

Rosé season begins as soon as summer arrives and I personally love dry pale french rosé as a go to wine of choice. Rosé also makes a great base for summer cocktails and spritzers, adding a refreshing element to the drink. I love how the grapefruit adds a bit of flavour and the hibiscus gives that ginger kind of mint taste to the drink. This chic drink is perfect for summer brunches, garden parties as it is so light and drinkable and completely photogenic. Cheers to summer!

Summer rosé cocktail

  • 1/2 cup pale french rosé wine
  • 1/2 cup sparkling water
  • 1 slice lemon
  • thyme twig
  • Dired hibiscus
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice
  • ice cubes

‘Birthday Treats’

 

 

‘A June party requires wild flowers or a great set of peonies & homemade treats’

What an amazing birthday it was this year! First my hubby and I celebrated traditionally in Southern Finland in Hanko and on my actually birthday my day started with a delivery of my favourite flowers, aka peonies and an espresso in bed. Flowers make me so happy, its ridiculous. I later collected a bunch of wildflowers from meadows and had a little rosé party for my closest girlfriends. Of course I made another semi-naked cake (find recipe here)  although this time it had more layers and the filling was a mixture of white chocolate, raspberry curd and butter cream frosting. I attempted to make macarons 3 times, meaning that I possibly made 100 pieces and failed every single time! Although all my friends said they tasted purely amazing, visually they did not look like macarons. I have a feeling the problem was that I did not have a scale and perhaps my eggs weren’t aged enough. Or then I over whipped or under whipped the meringue but never managed to get the feet on them. I will share this recipe later on as they tasted super anyways.

The day was spectacular, surrounded with friends in a glorious white jumpsuit and lots of great moments throughout the day. June is at its end, garden parties and picnics are big at the moment, midsummer is in a few days, so I wanted to share some easy delights with you. If you are celebrating midsummer, the cake will be spectacular front and centre in the table while the little canapes are always welcome at any given party. The salad cups are perfect for a picnic that can be washed with homemade Bellinis. In June, pick a lot of wild flowers that are in full bloom at the moment or treat yourself to an amazing bouquet of peonies, as they are in season. Serve pale rosé from Provence, use a touch of highlighter to extenuate your sun-kissed skin and move your party outdoors, when ever its possible!

 

ps. the little tassels on the right are from Venice, just had to sneak in a picture of them as they are so beautiful

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Find the Thyme Bellini recipe here

Canape Recipes

Parma ham Peach puree  Canape

  • parma ham
  • tiny green mimosa leaves
  • peach puree (I used the excess puree from the bellinis I made but of course you can buy store-bought)
  • salt/pepper
  • capers
  • herb flavoured cream cheese

Caramelized apricot Paté Canape

  • caramelized apricots (dollop butter, teaspoon rosemary, 1 grated garlic, 1-2 tablespoons honey)
  • paté of choice
  • tiny green leaves
  • salt/pepper

For the base for both canape: slice some rustic baguette into thin slices and fry on a pan with some oil. Sprinkle with salt while still warm and leave to cool on a kitchen towel. This can be down a day before if you are limited to time.

For the parma ham canape. Begin by making the peach puree. I actually was making home-made bellini’s and during the sifting process you are left with a “mush of thyme peach puree”.  I saved the mush for these canapes. Find the recipe here: Peach puree form Bellini. Once the puree is cooled, begin by assembling the mini toast. Place cream cheese on the bottom, add a slice of parma ham and a little spoonful of peach puree in the centre. Garnish with tiny green leaves and grind black pepper on top.

For the paté canape: Begin by making the caramelized apricots. In a heated pan add a bunch of halved apricots, finely chop rosemary, grated garlic and a dollop of butter. Cook gently so all the juices are released and add a few tablespoons of honey. Let them caramelize and once ready, leave to the side to cool. sprinkle some salt and pepper on top. To make the toast, spread some pate first. Add an apricot on top, some black pepper and little green leaves.

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Find the recipe for these mini blinis here

Country salad in a glass

  • shaved zucchini ribbons
  • arugula and green leaves of choice
  • white asparagus
  • basil leaces
  • new potatoes
  • radish
  • pesto

Pre boil the new potatoes until aldente for about 10 minutes. Once cooled, sauté in a pan with some butter, garlic and thyme. Add in the halved radishes and the roughly chopped white asparagus (remember to remove wooden ends) and cook gently for a few minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and let it cool.

In a bowl, mix together the green leaves and the cooked vegetables with a few spoonfuls of pesto. Add some chopped basil and place into glasses. Lastly, add raw shavings of zucchini that are rolled up on top as garnishing.

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White Chocolate Raspberry Semi Naked cake & Thyme Bellinis

‘ White chocolate, raspberry buttercream cake & homemade thyme Bellinis’

As it was my birthday a few weeks back, I decided to have a little party for some of my close friends. Of course no party is complete without a cake and a round of summer cocktails. Inspired from our recent trip to Harry’s Bar in Venice that happens to be the birthplace of Bellini’s, I still remember the pale pink flavour of the cocktail and the amazing fresh flavour it entailed. Also, midsummer is around the corner so I thought it would be a great time to introduce a great summer Bellini with a thyme twist. The herb adds an elegant subtle hint to the drink bringing out the flavour of the peaches. The gorgeous pale pink cocktail will spruce up your party in no time making it a great welcoming apperatief during summer!

This is my second attempt at a semi-naked cake and I can say, it felt even easier this time. I could safely say, I’ve learned the jest of it fairy quickly. I pre-made the layers of the cake a few days before the party and defrosted them for an hour before I began cutting the layers and assembling the cake. I basically experimented with the filling flavours and liked the idea of sweet white chocolate and an acidic raspberry curd combo. Once I layered the cake and set the icing around the surface, I placed the cake overnight in the fridge a day before the party. On the actual party day, I garnished the cake with blackberries, mint leaves and little white flowers. I wanted to see how the cake would react overnight in the fridge, but I think it actually became even more moist and flavourful. This makes it a huge relief to make it a day before as it saves so much time on the actual party day.

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Cake base recipe:

Find the recipe for the layers here: The only difference in this recipe is that I sliced 1 cake layer into 3 pieces instead of 2. This gave me more space for fillings that I alternated with white chocolate, buttercream and raspberry curd. Also with this cake, I actually moistened each layer quite a lot with milk, making sure the cake would be lovely and juicy. Again, the raspberry curd, like the blueberry version can be made well in advance but the white chocolate filling and buttercream is made on the same day as the cake is assembled.

Peach Thyme Purée

  • 5-6 ripe peaches
  • 4 twigs of thyme
  • 2-4 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 2 tablespoon water or lemon juice

Serving: Prosecco or cava, thyme twigs, ice

Roughly chop the peaches and place to simmer into a saucepan with a bit of water or lemon juice, sugar and the thyme twigs. Keep the lid on so the peaches soften and juices/flavours are released. Mush the ingredients together and cook until a soft paste. Press through a sieve and let it cool before placing into the fridge.

Once ready to serve: in a glass, add ice, about a large tablespoon of peach puree, dry prosecco or cava and garnish with fresh thyme twigs.

Filling Recipes

Ingredients for Raspberry curd ( makes 1 jar)

  • 200 g frozen raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • about 100g salted butter cubed (room temperature)
  • 1 dl sugar (or less, if you prefer more acidic)
  • 3-4 egg yolks

Raspberry Curd Directions 

In a saucepan, add the frozen raspberries and lemon juice. Bring to a gentle simmer so that the berries become very soft. Mash lightly and press through a sieve into another saucepan. ( save raspberries parts till the end) Place back onto low heat; add lemon zest, cubes of butter and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted and add the beaten egg yolks. (First I added 3 but ended up adding one more as the sauce was not thick enough) Stir continuously until the liquid begins to thicken (may need to raise heat but make sure eggs don’t scramble) If you are having problems with it thickening, you can always add a little bit more butter. But be gentle, it can take 10-15 minutes. Once thick, add the remaining raspberries pieces into the mixture and remove to another bowl to cool. Of course if you wish for a smooth version, do not add the excess raspberry parts in. Once cooled, place into refrigerator to intense in flavour and to set even more. Store in a jar, up to a week.

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White chocolate filling

  • 200g white chocolate
  • about 50g double cream

Melt the white chocolate in a microwave and place into the refrigerator to cool. Once cooled, whisk in the double cream. Place into the fridge to cool until ready to use.

 

Ingredients for Butter frosting

  • 2 cups unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Butter Frosting Directions

With a handheld mixer, whisk the butter on high-speed until a pale colour and fluffy. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula twice while beating.

Turn mixer into low-speed and gradually add the sieved sugar. When combined scrape the bowl again. Slowly drizzle in the milk and vanilla. Scrape bowl again when combined.

Whisk on high-speed for about 10 minutes until the buttercream is extremely fluffy.

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Summer Cocktail on my mind.

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Summer drink on my mind…

As many of you know, 1st of May is a big deal in Finland, it’s a huge day of celebration where traditionally everyone gathers for brunch in the park but since we live right on site, we’re having friends over. I wanted to share a refreshing cocktail idea for the occasion, its flavourful and not too sweet. All the herbs, crushed lime and kiwi give the sparkling wine a wonderful boost. This pretty drink is a great summer drink for any occasion!

How to make?

  • Prosecco, cava or champagne
  • Handful of Fresh Lemon Blam
  • Thyme
  • Finely sliced kiwi
  • Finely sliced lime

Wash all the herbs and lime well. Finely slice the lime and kiwi into smaller pieces and place in glass. Add herbs. Crush a little to release flavour/liquid. Pour ice-cold bubbly on top.

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