Our cupcake flavour for June is our fragrant “ English Rose” - pistachio and rose flavoured sponge with melt in the month rose flavoured buttercream icing! Too delicious for words. Our inspiration is summer, of course! Close your eyes and imagine a hot summer, gentle breezes and lounging on the grass with a picnic and friends.
Rose water – Well what did you know?
The production of rose water is an ancient art dating from the Sassanid Persia (224-651AD) arriving in Western Europe in the Middle Ages. It has a distinctive but light flavour achieved by steeping rose petals in water and is a by-product of the production of rose oil for use in perfume. Rose water has not only religious uses but is used medicinally and cosmetically in addition to being extensively used in many cuisines around the world e.g. nougat, gumdrops, Turkish Delight, ice cream, cookies, tea and baklava.
It is also a key ingredient in flavouring milk drinks such as sweet lassi, (a drink made from yogurt, sugar and various fruit juices) and to make jallab. In Malaysia and Singapore the sweet red-tinted rose water is mixed with milk, which then turns pink to make a sweet drink called bandung. Even marzipan has long been flavoured with rose water. Vanilla overtook rose water as a flavour in European and American baking traditions.
In Yorkshire rosewater has long been used as a flavouring for one of that regions best loved dishes; Yorkshire curd tart. It is also often sprinkled in Indian weddings to welcome guests.