Calendula & Honey Funnel Cake
It’s been years since I had Funnel Cake. It’s one of those dishes that goes hand in hand with a holiday or event – in this case, American county fairs. Part of the fun of these crispy treats is having them served up to you warm and brown and still grinning at having watched them being made. The way that’s done is with batter drizzled through a funnel and into a hot pan of oil. The stream of batter flowing into the pan creates a bubbly and twisty design that’s perfect for sprinkling with sugary toppings.
The Calendula and honey in this recipe are used both in the batter and as a topping. Calendula is a type of garden flower that holds its colour well in hot dishes and has a flavour similar to Saffron. It’s very easy to grow (Calendula seeds) and can be dried for dishes and projects when summer is long gone. If you don’t have a garden you can also purchase it online. In this dish, the Calendula adds to the golden colour of the dessert but it also adds a subtle peppery flavour.
Powdered sugar & honey for drizzling
Extra Calendula petals for decorating
1. Pour the vegetable/sunflower oil into a medium sized pan to a depth of 1.5 inches. Bring the oil up to about 350°F / 175°C while you’re making the batter.
2. Using a Stick Blender, pulse the flower petals into the milk until only tiny bits are visible. Please note that you should only use the petals and not the stem, leaves, or centre of the flower. Next, misx the egg and honey in and blend well.
3. Add the dry ingredients in and mix well so that no lumps, bumps, or dry bits are visible. Now comes the fun part!
4. Check that the oil is at 350°F / 175°C with a Kitchen Thermometer.
5. Take a funnel into your hand and with your finger pressed over the opening, fill it up with a ladle full of batter. Bring the funnel over the pan and move your finger so that the batter flows out and into the hot oil. Move the batter around in an area the same size you’d like your cakes and then close the funnel with your finger and set it aside when you have enough batter bubbling away.
6. Allow the batter to fry until the edges are golden brown, then flip it over and let the other side cook until brown. Remove the cake from the pan and set it on a paper towel to drain and cool for a minute.
7. Once slightly cooled, drizzle the funnel cake with honey and then dust it with powdered sugar. Calendula petals, dried or fresh, will add extra flavour and interest. Serve immediately and enjoy ~
Though I’d already been thinking about making Funnel Cakes, the idea of using Calendula petals was in large part due to a collaboration with a company called Turtle Mat. They’re putting together an edible flower project to celebrate this year’s Chelsea Garden Show and asked me if I’d like to join in. I was delighted with the idea of coming up with an edible flower recipe and the reason I chose Calendula is that it’s an easy flower to grow at home and the petals have a slightly peppery flavour that can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. Turtle Mat has invited some other bloggers to come up with edible flower recipes so make sure to check them out here.