Inspiration comes from all kinds of places. It could be the rust on a drain pipe (I'm still trying to figure out how to achieve this color and texture but, you know.... edible), the rough and weathered texture of birch bark, or the lemony scent of yellow roses.
You've probably already guessed at todays inspiration.
These incredible little bursts of pillowy sunshine are everywhere right now. The scent is so fragrant I often find my face buried in neighbors bushes unabashedly inhaling the heady aroma. Is it lemony? I can't honestly tell. I think so, but it could be a trick of the imagination because they look like they were crafted from paper thin petals of lemon rind.
I guess I'll never know unless I really go the extra mile and orchestrate a blind scent test, but who has time for that!? I barely had time to craft experimental rose syrup! I did however make time because it's so vitally important that I continue to feed my soul in the midst of wedding season with projects like this.
Sometimes when the going gets tough and the tough gets going to weddings (see what I did there) I need to remind myself that I am an artist and that I love what I do. Selling a product, no matter how creative, can lead me to feeling dissatisfied and resentful. Perhaps entrepreneurs who opened businesses for the explicit purpose of making money don't feel it as strongly. For me, and many of my creative entrepreneurial contemporaries who began their businesses as a viable way to make money doing something they loved deeply, it can sometimes feel very far from where my heart lies. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I spend the majority of my time baking and creating for others, and sometimes I just need to stop and smell the roses. And then make the roses into syrup: Just for me.
So typically when I make a syrup it's from an ingredient that I am unable to find in extract form, and for the purpose of infusing that flavor into a cake or buttercream. While this syrup would certainly be delicious in a buttercream, it would probably be very subtle... and I CAN find rose extract (or water), and it is very potent stuff. So there really was no reason for me to make this in a baking sense, other then the fact that I wanted to.
But don't be disheartened. This syrup has it's home in your kitchen, and it's a welcome home this time of year. Mix this mellow yellow concoction into some soda water and you have a refreshing and sweet sparkly treat on a hot day. I basically live on carbonated water (I think I drink around 5 Le Croix a day) and while I'm happy to drink it straight up, sometimes a lady needs a treat when the temperature climbs. Enter Yellow Rose Soda.
I work in a shared kitchen space with a handful of other equally passionate culinary craftsman, one of which is Little Red Wagon Coffee Roasters. Natalie (the owner and mad genius behind this incredible farm to cup venture) has become a dear friend, and also a full-time unwitting taste tester. I'm sure she would say she love/hates working along side me for the shear amount of scraps, and samples "forced" upon her. On rose syrup day we had our very own little cupping with some LRW iced coffee, and my syrup. What I love about feeding her is her incredible pallet. She is rather accustomed to identifying subtle flavors in coffee and I am always astonished at the way she manages to describe my edibles. When she tasted just the syrup she said:
"It's sort of marshmallowy isn't it? Like soft and full... yet subtle and sweet."
Um, yes. Totally boss description.
For the record it was also very good in the iced coffee, adding a depth of softness to my other favorite addictive substance.
So without further ado:
yellow rose syrup
2 cup yellow rose petals
8 cup water
8 cup sugar
In a blender pulse your rose petals and 2 cups of water. This is to help release the oils and fragrance as well as the beautiful buttery pigment. Add your rose petal water to the rest of your water and allow to steep overnight in the fridge.
In a large pot over medium high heat combine your rose water and sugar and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 30 minutes or so. Stop and enjoy the smell because it is intoxicating.
Your syrup is done when a droplet rubbed between your fingers is tacky and has some resistance. Strain out the rose petals (and then hang on to them because they should be a delicious jelly like consistency that you can mix into a pie filling, spread on toast, or eat with your favorite cheese and crackers).
In order to preserve your syrup for an extended period of time, return to the stove and bring back to a boil. Pour the boiling hot syrup into clean sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of empty space at the top before tightening the lid. Invert your jars so that they are upside down and allow them to cool. They should keep this way indefinitely, and if you package it into little jars you have a ready made gift! Just slap a little label on there (and some ribbon?) and you've got a great hostess gift (how very Martha!)
Once you open your syrup it will keep in the fridge for at least a couple months, maybe longer. There isn't too much going on in there so as long as you are using it with some frequency and covering it to prevent anything getting in there you should be golden.
What else can you do with these fragrant little buds?
Infuse ice cream / Pour your syrup on ice cream / Flower crown / Rose Gelatin / Salad / Confetti / Fruit and rose leather