Sow thistle & berry cake

Sow thistle & berry cake

Sow thistle & clover

Yeah yeah I know what you’re thinking. It looks like someone’s all dolled up in white and is about to walk down the aisle.

Are we off to a wedding?

Um ….. no.

This is just me stuffing around after a spot of foraging and baking.

Sow thistle & berry cake

So I found a new little foraging area not all that far from my house, and thanks to being spring, all of the wildflowers are in bloom. Some would call them weeds, but when certain weeds can also be eaten, they fall out of that category as far as I’m concerned.

It’s an industrial part of the suburb near the rail corridor – not the prettiest part of town – but the variety of edible weeds in one smallish area is kind of impressive.

Sow thistle butter

What first caught my eye were the yellow blooms from sow thistle – a cousin to common dandelion. Out came the foraging scissors. As I walked around snipping and passing the handfuls to my rather patient other half, I snipped a few other weeds I recognised as also being edible.

White clover, black mustard flowers and lantana. Admittedly I did consult a wild food expert about the black mustard flowers. A few native violets joined in on the fun, a ground cover that now happily grows along my street.

Sow thistle & berry cake

The bulk of the flowers I picked were sow thistle, which I whizzed up with butter and used in the cakes I made. The colour that came out of the petals is incredible, but not much of the flavour came through. Probably a good thing as it’s a tad on the bitter side – both flowers and leaves.

In the middle of the cake is a handful of blueberries and raspberries – adding beautiful colour and compote-like texture to the core of the golden sponge.

Yes it would have been easier to serve up the cake heavily dusted in icing sugar, but with my freshly foraged herbs and flowers, why not cover it with them?

So that’s my sow thistle and berry cake. Or should I say “weed cake?”

Sow thistle & berry cake

 

Print Recipe
Sow thistle & berry cake
Turning the common sow thistle 'weed' into a beautiful cake decorated with even more weeds.
Sow thistle & berry cake
Course Dessert
Servings
cakes
Ingredients
Course Dessert
Servings
cakes
Ingredients
Sow thistle & berry cake
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease and line two 11cm x 6cm cake tins.
  2. Beat the butter and sow thistle petals in a heatproof bowl until well incorporated. Place the bowl of butter into the heating oven to melt as you prepare the rest of the batter.
  3. If the icing sugar and flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds. Set aside.
  4. Beat the egg whites for 2 minutes. Fold the melted butter, beaten egg whites and vanilla into the almond mixture. Pour half of the cake batter into each of the lined cake tins. Drop half of the berries into the centre of each tin, then pour in the remaining cake batter.
  5. Cook for 50 minutes until golden, or until a skewer comes out clean when tested.
  6. Cool in the tins completely before tuning out.
  7. Dust the cakes with icing sugar and decorate with wildflowers, if you wish.
Recipe Notes

If you're going out foraging be 100% certain that what you're picking is edible. When in doubt, don't pick it - or consult an expert.

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