I'm not much of a traveler, in fact I've never traveled for leisure, only for work. But there's one place in the world that I've been wanting to visit since I was a little girl.
I found out about this place from a book I used to read. Called Linnea in Monet's Garden. A children's book that blends the history of impressionist painter Claude Monet, with the fictional story of a young girl visiting his garden in Giverny.
It's a beautiful book, and I was enamored with it, actually I kind of still am. Linnea is an enthusiast girl, with dreams of being an artist. As she learns more and more about Monet, so do we, and we travel with her and her neighbor to Paris, and eventually to the garden in Giverny. It's a wonderful read for any child, and the main reason that I want to visit Monet's Garden myself one day.
There's something so wonderful about flowers, I think the majority of us can agree with that. I get that I'm not exactly writing about something groundbreaking here.
I don't know if my fascination with all things floral started with that book, or if the book came after. But I do know that my heart glows when I see a well kept garden. My grandmother Edwina used to have a beautiful garden, I have memories of visiting her house in Eastern Washington, and spending time in the back yard with my sister. We'd run around in the grass, stopping to smell the tulips and foxgloves. My grandmother had a fantastic knack for gardening, and years later, when I moved into her house during college I was reminded of it.
My grandmother would dig holes in the ground, in random spots in her yard, and plant tulip bulbs. There never seemed to be any rhyme or reason for where she decided to grow them. And the first spring I spent in that house I was pleasantly surprised to see a beautiful grouping of tulips popping up in the dead center of the front yard. That's a special memory for me, knowing that one day, many years before, my grandmother dug up the earth and planted a seed, not knowing that someday her own grown grand daughter would get to see it flourish into a bright yellow tulip.
I've never been much of a gardener, but I'm trying. Right now the closest I can get to growing a beautiful rose is by baking one or piping one with frosting.
So, in celebration of florals, and with the understanding that I inexplicably decided to share this decidedly "spring" recipe during the fall, here are some meringues flavored with rosewater, and piped to look like roses. To get them to have the two tone look I filled the bag with one color on the sides and then the second color in the middle.
The recipe is very similar to the lavender meringues I made a few months ago, using chickpea water and adapted from this recipe I found in an aquafaba facebook group I frequent. They're delicate, sweet and have such a unique taste. Plus they are literally one of the prettiest things I've ever made.
So, while I haven't had a chance to make it to Monet's garden, or developed the green thumb that my grandmother had, at least I can still bake something beautifully floral. That will have to do right now.
- 3/4 cup aquafaba (found in one can of chickpeas)
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon rosewater
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- pink food coloring (optional)
1. Pour aquafaba it into a mixing bowl. Add in the cream of tartar, rosewater and vanilla extract and whisk until stiff peaks have formed and the mixture is glossy. This should take about 15 minutes on high speed, and don't be worried about over working the aquafaba. It's not as fragile and temperamental as egg whites.
2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper. Set aside.
3. Slowly add in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, while continuing to whisk. Once fully combined, divide the batter and use food coloring to color one batch. To get the two tone effect, line the outer rim of a piping bag with one color, and then scoop the second color directly into the center. Pipe out roses using a Wilton 1M tip.
4. Place baking sheets in the oven, and bake for 90 minutes to two hours, until the bottoms of the meringues are no longer sticky. Then turn the oven off and let the meringues sit in the oven until it has completely cooled (mine takes about two more hours).
5. Remove meringues from oven and immediately store in an airtight container. They will keep for a few months, possibly longer and will impress the hell out of your friends.
Recipe adapted from Lynne Dlc's recipe, which includes a fantastic guide to making aquafaba meringues.