Secret Garden Nougat Recipe

I struggle to choose my favourite flowers.  I adore roses, but lilacs are divine.  Lavender smells incredible but blue bells smell like ancient magic.  But when it comes to making simple things look special, there’s nothing better than the pretty little faces of violas.

While violas are edible, they don’t taste of very much, so if you chose to, you could leave them out.  This creamy, dreamy nougat gets its flavour elsewhere but the flowers turn a simple baby pink sweetie into an elegant confection.

Collect your violas (I also used a few primroses) around 11 o’clock on a dry day.  Late enough for the dew to have dried but not so late that they’ve wilted in the sun.  Pinch off the stems and lay on a clean piece of paper, making sure not to overlap the flowers.  Lay another piece of paper on top and place within the pages of a thick book.  Cover with more heavy books and press the flowers for at least a week.

You Will Need

240g pink and white marshmallows

130g milk powder

60g unsalted butter

A drop of vanilla extract

Pressed edible flowers

Method

  • Prepare a deep baking sheet by lining it with grease proof paper
  • If you’re using mini marshmallows, they’re fine as they are, but if you’re using larger ones, cut them into smaller pieces
  • Over a medium heat, melt the butter
  • Add the marshmallows and vanilla to the pan, reduce the heat and stir
  • Keep stirring and make sure you get right into the ‘corners’ of the pan
  • Once the marshmallows are almost completely melted, add the powdered milk and continue to stir over a very low heat
  • Keep a close eye on the mixture.  It will come together and look quite grainy but then all of a sudden it will become smooth and silky
  • Once the mixture is smooth, tip it into the prepared baking tin.  This part is a right pain.  The mixture is thick and sticky and you’ll have to coerce it out of the pan.  Don’t worry, it’ll be worth it
  • Cover the nougat with a sheet of greaseproof paper and use your fingers to spread and flatten it down
  • Once it’s nice and even, remove the paper.  It may stick at first – don’t worry, just fold the mixture over and flatten again.  Sometimes I’ve had to repeat this process three times before the paper stops sticking
  • Carefully arrange the flowers on top

  • Pop the greaseproof back on top and gently push the flowers into the nougat so that they stick – use a small rolling pin if you have one.  Remove this paper once the flowers are in place
  • Allow to firm up for an hour or so before removing from the baking sheet
  • Peel off the bottom layer of paper and slice into squares or rectangles.  Leave as they are or wrap in individual papers

Every time I show this nougat to people, the reaction is always the same.  People are taken aback with how pretty it is and question whether it’s edible.   Which it is and despite the simple ingredient list – it tastes as good as it look!s

Love Rachel ❤

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