Chef John Malik

a writer in a cook's body

Is that Honeysuckle local?


Honeysuckle is in bloom right now.  It seems to be everywhere, if you drive with your windows down, the perfume from this wildflower rushes in with the breeze.  Honeysuckle has such a wonderful aroma and flavor and that flavor can be captured, you just have to pick a lot of the blossoms.  So the other day I grabbed a quart container and walked behind the restaurant to pick some blossoms.  Our bartender Jay joined me, he’s making a bottle of infused gin, that’s right, honeysuckle gin.  So I picked a bunch of the blossoms and made a custard for our strawberry short cake dessert.  Here we go:


Honeysuckle blossom


I saw this guy hanging out so I gave him some room, this is a Black Rat Snake, non-venomous, he was making his way through the leaves and didn't "hear" me because he wasn't on the ground but I felt like I was being watched, and sure enough


I picked about two cups of blossoms

A quart of cream, a cup of sugar, a pinch of salt, two vanilla beans split and cut in half and onto the stove, then brought to a simmer

whisk as it comes to a simmer, make sure the sugar dissolves

In another bowl I have ten egg yolks and three heaping tablespoons of corn starch, whisk that together then slowly add some of the warm cream to the yolks

I added about a third of the cream to the yolks then poured the cream/yolk mixture into the pot, turned the flame to medium and while whisking constantly I cooked the mixture for about another sixty seconds until it thickened


Then I strained the custard by pushing it through a fine strainer

Then I placed the bowl of custard over a larger bowl that was filled with ice water


For service I placed a dollop of custard on the plate, then the bottom half of the short cake went on top, then another dollop of custard


Then we finished the dessert with local strawberries and white chocolate whipped cream, since the short cake is warm and everythig else is cold, the top of the cake was sliding around. We sold about 24 of these on Saturday night. On of our servers was at a table describing this dish and was asked if the "Honeysuckle was local?" He grinned and replied "Oh yes ma'am, it's very Local"




Daniel prefers his strawberries as a Mojito



Author: ChefJohn

Cook without tattoo, writer without a pen


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