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.

Earth Day Cupcakes

This past Thursday had me running around the flower market to prepare for a decorative arts exhibition at Sotheby’s; I was assisting with the styling.  If you haven’t been to New York’s flower district, let me paint a mental picture for you.  The sidewalks are crowded with little pots of blooms, succulents, and wayward branches, all jostling for room.  They seem to be crowding toward the edges of the sidewalk for the most coveted spots, away from the foot traffic of people on their beeline to work.

I love navigating this urban forest.  Another styling assistant friend shared that jobs at studios located in the flower district were a hassle, because it’s hard to wheel the grocery cart through the organic sprawl.  Yeah… I’m pretty sure my wide-eyed flower enthusiasm will wear off pretty quickly, but for now, I’m still enchanted.

So, surrounded by endless flora, it’s safe to say that I have spring and nature on my mind, just in time for Earth Day on Saturday!  In the next few weeks I’d like to go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s cherry blossom festival, and hop aboard New York’s floating garden (which happens to host pop-up events, FYI!).  Be sure to carve out some time to experience and lobby for the photosynthesizers in your life.

Here are some Earth Day Cupcakes, complete with tiny chocolate mushrooms!  The mushroom-shaped chocolate-biscuit combos are one of my favorite Japanese cookies.  There are also bamboo shoot shaped cookies if you want to go really wild for the holiday.  Chocolate tree stumps exist as well, but I suggest saving those for a different day, they might send the wrong message on Earth Day…

These mini cupcakes are matcha flavored and topped with luscious chocolate buttercream.  A sprinkling of matcha dust on top of each cupcake gives the illusion of moss growing on some undergrowth.  Happy Earth Day!