Mini Edible Flower Garden

Hello folks and happy spring!  I have a lot of exciting styling jobs coming up this month, so this week I’ve been focusing on renewal and trying to fortify my life with relaxation and creativity so that I don’t burn out.

As some of you may know, I have fibromyalgia, a muscle pain and fatigue disorder.  I have to be extra careful about watching what I do so that my energy levels remain intact.  While having fibromyalgia sometimes seems like the end of the world, it has helped me weed out the clutter and realize what/who is truly important and worth spending my time on.

I’m constantly trying to focus on resilience.  I want to keep growing and creating beauty despite the challenges that I face.  I’ve found that sometimes you have to take it easy on yourself in order to push even farther toward your goals.  I think that this rule can apply to most people, whether they are facing health challenges or not.

This week, I wanted to create something light and colorful.  I’ve been missing my little garden back in Illinois, and I think this project is the next best thing.  Playing around with ganache is just as rewarding as playing in the dirt, am I right?

For this DIY dessert, I was inspired by SPOT Dessert Bar, which serves a larger potted treat garnished by a sprig of parsley, seemingly growing in the flower pot.  I decided to use edible pansy flowers instead.  Pansies are so much prettier than parsley!  I filled each mini pot with layers of ganache and streusel.

Scroll down for the recipes, and let me know how your edible garden turns out!

Ganache

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

  1. Bring cream to a simmer on the stove.
  2. Pour cream over chocolate and let sit for one minute.
  3. Slowly whisk the chocolate and cream, starting from the center.  It will soon have a soupy consistency.  Let set, and it will become thicker like frosting.

Streusel

Ingredients:

  1. 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 6 ounces butter
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Over low heat, melt butter in a pot over the stove.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and fully incorporate.

Assembly: Pour alternating layers of streusel and ganache into the mini flower pots.  Start with the streusel, so that the ganache doesn’t escape out of any holes on the bottom of the pot.  Garnish with an edible flower, such as a pansy.  I picked these up from Eataly.

Kintsugi Cake and the Art of Imperfect Things

Sometimes imperfect things can be even more beautiful than perfect ones.  Take a look at the Japanese art of pottery repair known as Kintsugi, for example.  Broken pottery is fixed with lacquer mixed with gold or silver dust, oftentimes leaving a more visually interesting piece.

This cake mimics the beautiful pattern of a kintsugi pot.  It’s a vanilla butter cake with three layers of banana custard and two layers of semisweet chocolate ganache.  The icing is vanilla buttercream.  A thin layer of fondant veils the three layers, contrasting nicely with the yellow cake.  If I were to make this cake again, I think that I would opt for using an icing glaze instead of fondant.  The yellow lines have a chunkier look than what I was aiming for.  I’d love to make this cake again and decorate it with an icing pattern similar to the markings on Mille-feuille pastries.

I think that the perceived flawed elements in a person’s life have the potential to be transformed and overpowered.  In a way, we are given the chance to show our true colors and turn those flaws into gold.  Obviously, this cake has given me some New Year’s resolution food for thought!

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