White chocolate and rose petal mess

White chocolate, rose petal  mess.
White chocolate, rose petal mess. Photo: Quentin Jones

The rose is by far the most widely used flower in cooking, as it is made into fragrant waters, oils, jams and vinegars; it is crystallised, candied, dried or used fresh. These crystallised rose petals are not as hard to make as they look.

Ingredients

18-20 rose petals

65g egg whites (2-3 eggs) plus extra for petals

100g castor sugar

plus 2tbsp for petals

110g icing sugar

1 tsp rose water

275g white chocolate

500ml cream

3 egg yolks

1 gelatin leaf or ½ tsp powdered gelatin

250g strawberries

Method

Candy rose petals by gently dipping them in egg white.

Use a soft cloth or paper towel to wipe off excess whites. Coat in castor sugar, then leave on a rack to air-dry overnight.

To make the meringue, beat 65g egg whites and 60 grams castor sugar on high speed until firm peaks form. Fold through 60 grams icing sugar and the rose water. Spoon six dollops on to a tray, set oven to lowest setting (preferably 50 degrees) and bake for three hours or longer until dry on outside.

To make the chocolate mousse, melt chocolate in a bowl over gently simmering water. Warm 100 millilitres cream and stir through chocolate. Remove from heat. Whisk yolks and remaining castor sugar in a bowl and place over simmering water. Continue to whisk vigorously until thick and shiny.

Soak gelatin leaf in water. When soft, stir through egg yolks. Whisk remaining cream to firm peaks. Stir chocolate through yolk mix.

Once cooled a little, fold in cream in two batches. Chill until set. Puree strawberries and remaining icing sugar to make a sauce. Break up meringue and layer with mousse. Spoon over strawberry sauce and top with a few candied rose petals.