Elderflower syrup

Scented Nectar

Elderflower syrupIngredients

– 50 elderflower heads

– 2,4 kg of granulated sugar

– 2 unwaxed lemons

– 3 litres of water

– 50g of citric acidElderflower syrupFirst of all  inspect elderflowers carefully and remove unwanted guests (do not wash the flowers!). Elderflower syrupAfter that, place the lemon slices and the elderflower heads into a big bowl, large enough to accommodate 4/5 litres. Bring the water and the sugar to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat and let cool for around 45 minutes.Elderflower syrupAdd the citric acid and pour the lukewarm liquid over the elderflowers and the lemon slices. Stir the mixture well for around 5 minutes. Elderflower syrupPlace a towel over the bowl and let the syrup stir in a cool and dark place for 3-5 days. Stir the mixture twice a day.Elderflower syrupAfter 3-5 days, take a sieve and lay a clean tea towel inside it to strain the syrup. Discard the flowers and the lemons. Pour the filtered syrup into clean glass bottles or jars. Store the syrup in the refrigerator or freezer. Elderflower syrup can be kept in the freezer since the high sugar content keeps it from freezing. Elderflower syrupServe the syrup diluted with soda (4 parts water and 1 part elderflower cordial), with white wine or Prosecco and some mint leaves.

The ideal period to pick elderflowers is May-June … and this is where I picked up mines : Elderflower syrupCanale Quarantia, Foci dell’Isonzo (Italy)

Enjoy your drink,

Anna

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Snowman macarons

Macarons à la LinzerSnowman macarons

Ingredients

For the shells:

– 200g of almond meal

– 200g of powdered sugar

– 200g of caster sugar

– 146g of egg whites

– 5cl of water

– edible pearls, edible snowflakes, ribbons and food decorating pens

Snowman macarons

Combine the caster sugar and the water in a saucepan, place over medium heat and bring to 118°. In the meanwhile put half of the the egg whites in a mixer bowl and whip them on medium speed to soft peaks. Pour the 118° syrup in a thin, steady stream into the whipping egg whites.

Continue whipping the meringue on medium speed until the temperature drops to 50°.

In a large bowl combine the almond meal, the caster sugar and the other half of the egg whites and mix well.

Add a small part of the meringue to the almond paste and mix gently, then add the rest of the meringue, fold and scratch the surface until the batter starts to run glossy.

Put the mixture in a pastry bag with a large tip and form two circles (one big and one small) on parchment lined sheet pans. Allow the macarons shells to sit for 1 hour until the surface feels dry to the touch.

Preheat the oven to 150° and bake the shells for approximately 14 minutes. Cool the macarons shells on the sheet pans.

Snowman macarons

For the Linzer filling:

– 120g of red currant jam

– 38g of walnut meal

– 38g of almond meal

– 2 tsp of cinnamon

– 20g of powdered sugar

– the peel of 1 lemon

Mix together all the ingredients until smooth. Fill your snowman macarons with the Linzer filling. Decorate the snowmen with edible snowflakes and pearls, food decorating pens and ribbons.

Snowman macarons

I wish you all a sweet Christmas time!!

Bon appétit,

Anna

Santa’s buttons

Santa's buttons

I’ve found these buttons in my living room near the Christmas tree… I think Santa came too early and lost something from his jacket!

Ingredients

For the shortcrust pastry:

– 125g of butter

– 2 egg yolks

– 250g of flour

– 100g of granulated sugar

– 1 pinch of salt

– 1 tsp of cinnamon

– lemon zest

Santa's buttons

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and mix until you obtain a dough ball.

Put the dough in the fridge for around 30 minutes. After that roll it out on a floured surface.

Take two round baking moulds with different diameters, cut out your biscuits and form four holes in the middle (I used a chopstick).

Santa's buttons

Preheat the oven to 175° C (347° F). Put your biscuits in the oven and bake for around 13 minutes or until golden on top.

Pass a ribbon trough the holes and here you have your delicious button biscuits, a perfect Christmas baking idea!

Have a sweet Christmas time!!

Bon appétit,

Anna

Matchstick cookies and… a curious cat!

Matchstick cookies

Matchstick cookies

Ingredients:

– 250g of flour

– 125g of butter

– 100g of sugar

–  a pinch of salt

–  2 egg yolks

– lemon bark

For the decoration:

– 1 egg white

– a pinch of salt

– 130g powdered sugar

– food colouring

Matchstick cookies

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend well until the cookie dough forms a ball. Put the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes. After that, roll it out on a lightly floured board to a thickness of about 3 mm, then cut out 7 cm long and 1 cm wide sticks.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper and put the cookies on it. Bake at 155° for 16 minutes or until the cookies reach a ligth golden colour. Let them cool down.

Matchstick cookies

In the meanwhile prepare the frosting. Whip the egg white with a pinch of salt until it forms soft peaks. While continuously whipping the whites on hig speed, slowly add  the powdered sugar and the food colouring and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

Dunk the cookie tips in the coloured frosting.

Let the icing on your cookies dry for at least 2 hours.

Matchstick cookies

Bon appétit,

Anna and Benni!