Homemade Helichrysum syrup & cake
 
 
**** Be careful to use Helichrysum italicum (a flowery plant of the daisy family Asteraceae), organic, picked in unpolluted areas, clean and in perfect condition. Helichrysum can be harvested from June to July, when it is in bloom. Its properties are mainly indicated for the respiratory and skin apparatus, it is also an excellent natural antihistamine. To make this syrup, use dried Helichrysum, so just leave the branches without roots and the flowers to dry upside down in the dark in a warm, dry environment.
Author:
Ingredients
Homemade Helichrysum syrup
  • 500 ml water
  • 20 g Helichrysum branches
  • 10 g Helichrysum flowers
  • 250 g granulated sugar
Helichrysum cake
*(I used two 9 cm diameter cake molds)
  • 300 g 00 flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup or liquid honey
  • 50 g of butter
  • 1 glass of almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon of nutmeg powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Almonds chopped to taste
  • ½ glass of homemade Helichrysum syrup
Ingredients for the filling:
  • 500 ml of full-cream fresh milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 50 g cornstarch
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • The peel of a grated organic lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of dried Helichrysum flowers
  • 100 g of sugar
Instructions
FOR THE SYRUP:
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan, turn off the heat and dip the twigs and Helichrysum flowers.
  2. Let it infuse for no longer than 10 minutes, otherwise the infusion tends to become bitter.
  3. Add the sugar and let it boil.
  4. Bottle in an airtight glass jar and let it cool. Store in the fridge. Considering the low amount of sugar into this potion, actually it is more like a sugary water than an actual syrup, so I suggest using it within 2 weeks from its preparation.
FOR THE CAKE:
  1. Begin with the cream that needs a resting and cooling time by placing the milk in a saucepan together with the engraved vanilla pod, from which you have previously extracted (and kept aside) the seeds.
  2. Add to the milk the grated lemon peel and bring it almost to the boil at medium heat. Remove from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod, filter the milk and let it cool.
  3. In a bowl beat the egg yolks with sugar, vanilla seeds and dried Helichrysum flowers, then sift the cornstarch into the mixture and mix well with the whisk to dissolve the lumps. Add the flavored milk to the egg and sugar mixture and put it back on the heat, in the saucepan.
  4. Put the saucepan on medium-low heat and stir well to avoid lumps till the cream thickens. Immediately pour the cream into a glass casserole, cover with plastic wrap and let it cool at room temperature. The cream will thicken further once it has cooled down.
  5. Preheat the oven at 170 C* and proceed with the cake by melting the butter in a bain-marie saucepan with the honey (or maple syrup).
  6. In a bowl beat egg and sugar with a whisk, then add the nutmeg powder, the vanilla extract and the pinch of salt. Then add to the mixture the melted butter with the honey. Sift the flour and the baking powder directly on the mixture, mixing well with the whisk and adding the milk little by little. The mixture must be fluid and without lumps.
  7. Butter the molds, pour the mixture, and bake at 170C * for about 25 minutes, until the cakes appear soft and golden. Let the cakes cool down before extracting them from the molds and proceeding with the filling.
  8. If the cakes rise by swelling in the center, you can just level them with a knife, cutting off the excess dough to obtain two flat disks.
  9. Place one of the two cakes on a plate and slightly wet the surface with half of the indicated dose of Helichrysum syrup.
  10. Fill a piping bag with the cooled pastry cream and use a wide spout to spread the cream evenly (you should use half of the cream you got). Level it with a spatula if necessary.
  11. Lay the second cake on top, wet it with the Helichrysum syrup left and decorate the surface with the remaining cream.
  12. Sprinkle the cake with chopped almonds and some Helichrysum flowers, fresh or dried.
Recipe by The Freaky Table at http://www.zairazarotti.com/potions-cakes-and-magic-with-a-scent-of-helichrysum/