How to use rose petals

Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with rose petals.

“Roses are blooming and their heady scent is filling my kitchen garden.
I couldn’t resist making good use of them, so created this delicious dinner-party pudding. I do slightly regret not adding a swirl of dark melted chocolate to the ice cream at the end for complete perfection, but it isn’t too late for you to do it!”

Bittersweet chocolate tart with a macadamia-nut pastry and rose ice cream

Serves 6


For the rose ice cream

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220ml full-fat milk
500ml double cream
100g caster sugar
2tspn rosewater
5 drops red food colouring

For the macadamia-nut pastry

300g macadamia nuts
75g coconut flour
25g butter, melted
50g caster sugar
2tspn water

For the bittersweet chocolate filling

200g 70% cocoa solid chocolate
150ml double cream
30g butter
75g caster sugar
100g macadamia nuts for decoration


To make the ice cream, chill the milk, cream, sugar and rosewater (see panel for method) with 5 drops of red food colouring in a bowl for two hours in the fridge.

Once chilled, pour into an ice-cream machine and set to 60 minutes once it’s churned, transfer it to a container and freeze it for at least six hours. If not using a machine, pour the cream into a container and place in your freezer, stirring it thoroughly every 20 minutes for two hours.

Preheat your oven to 170˚C/325˚F/gas mark 3. Pulse the macadamia nuts in a food processor until they’re just a paste and only slightly wet.

Place into a bowl, adding the coconut flour and sugar, and then pour the melted butter over them. If the mixture feels too dry, add a little water. Mix it well, until you can bring it together in your hands.

Take three 5in loose-bottomed, fluted tart tins and press the mixture into the base and up the sides. Prick the bases all over with a fork and cook in your preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Once lightly browned, remove from the oven, allowing them to cool in the tins and set aside until ready to fill. This step can be done a day ahead if kept in an airtight container.

Put the dark chocolate, butter, cream and sugar in a bain-marie. Melt gently and then divide between the tart cases. Place in your fridge to set for a few hours before serving.

To serve the tarts, chop the macadamia nuts and add them to the centre of each tart. Serve with rose ice cream on the side and a few (washed) rose petals for decoration.

More ways with rose petals


Add 4 large handfuls of rose petals to a saucepan of boiling water. Take off the heat and steep for several hours, until cool. Return to the heat and simmer gently until the liquid has reduced to a third of what it was, before straining it through muslin and pouring into sterilised bottles. Use in recipes that require rosewater (a more intense flavour will always be found in commercially produced rosewaters as they contain rose oil)

Rose-and-raspberry panna cotta

Make up a packet of raspberry jelly and pour 1cm into the base of four 125ml individual jelly moulds, then place in your fridge to set. In the meantime, add 3 gelatine leaves to a bowl of cold water. Combine 250ml double cream, 250ml full-fat milk, 50g caster sugar and 1tspn rosewater in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, the shivery stage, and then add the squeezed-out gelatine leaves before removing from the heat and stirring well. Pour onto the jelly in the moulds and place in your fridge to set for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with rose-flavoured shortbread.

Rosewater jelly

A delicious addition to the tea table, try this jelly on scones with clotted cream it tastes even more quintessentially British than strawberry jam. Add 2 handfuls of cleaned rose petals to boiling water and leave to steep for a couple of hours.

Drain the water into a clean saucepan.

Add 400g jam sugar (sugar with pectin). Bring to the boil for about 5 minutes and then add 15ml rosewater and a few drops of red food colouring to make it pink before pouring it into sterilised jars.

Tip: You could also add a little rosewater when making strawberry jam.