Elderflower and Strawberry 🍓 Cheesecake


Elder flower from the Elder tree which also gives us Elder berries later on in the year. Sambucus meaning a “gift from the gods”. ☀️

Elderflower is amazing and has so many health benefits it is a diuretic, laxative, antispetic, antiviral and also has anti-inflammatory properties. 🌸

The flowers are known for their high antioxidant content and Vitamin C which is great for boosting your immune system.The Elderflower also helps with fighting flu and respiratory problems. 😀

Elderflower contain tannins that help to dry up runny eyes and runny noses. So it is great for reducing inflammation and irritation.

Elderflowers have relaxing properties. It can help to soothe nerves and anxiety and may assist in reducing symptoms of depression.

An all around amazing plant that has been used worldwide for centuries. It is so versatile too.


Cheesecake is one of the amazing recipes you can make. First of all you need to make an elderflower syrup. This is the key ingredient to all the recipes. Once you have this secret ingredient you are well on your way to making all sorts of amazing elderflower treats.

Elderflower Syrup

To make elderflower syrup you need to collect around 20 elderflower heads when the sun is shining. Make sure they are all fully open too. Don’t forget to forage sustainably, only taking 10-20 percent from a bush. If there isn’t much in a particular tree then find another. Feel free to check out my you tube video on how to identify elderflower too.

Once you have collected your elderflower, leave them outside for a while do all the bugs can crawl off.
Next you need to take off all the tiny elderflowers from the stalks. You can’t eat the stalk as kid as they are poisonous, just the flowers I have found the best way to do this is to use a fork.

Add all your flowers to 400 ml of water with some sliced orange 🍊 or you can use lemon 🍋.

Bring to the boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Then leave it overnight or at least 5 hours to infuse.

Once the infusion has taken place strain off the flowers and oranges using a muslin cloth or a tea towel. Remembering to keep all your lovely elderflower juice. Add 250g of sugar to the elderflower juice and heat up in a pan. Heat until a syrup like consistency. Stir regularly making sure it doesn’t over boil. When you have the desired consistency then pour it into a glass bottle and let it cool. Dong forget to label and date it.

to make elderflower cheesecake you will need-

250g of digestive biscuits

125g of butter

300g of cream cheese

284ml of double cream

at least 250g of icing sugar. More if needed for the correct consistency

4 tablespoons of elderflower syrup

200g strawberries

100g sugar

teaspoon of vanilla bean paste. Optional.

elderflower to decorate


For the base: butter a 20cm cake tin, preferably one where you can take off the bottom/ sides. 

2.Mix together the biscuit crumbs and melted butter. Press firmly into the base of the tin and chill in the fridge while you make the filling.

 3.For the filling: blend the cream cheese, vanilla and icing sugar in a food processor and mix well. Add more icing sugar if it isn’t thick enough.

 4.Slowly add the whipping cream and elderflower syrup until smooth and thick. 

5.Spoon onto the base and smooth the top. Chill for at least 3 hours until set. 

6.For the topping: combine the sugar, 2 tablespoons of elderflower syrup and most of the chopped strawberries to a pan (save some for decorating). Heat until a jam like consistency. See my jam revise for more details.

7. Set aside to cool.

8.Pour on top of the base and chill for at least 4 hours until set. 

9.Remove from the tin and arrange the strawberries and elderflowers on top.


Let me know if you try this recipe. I would love to know.

Elder Flower Ice Lollies

Elder Flower Ice Lollies

You can make so many amazing things with Elder flower. These ice lollies are perfect for a hot day. I have some ice lolly moulds but if you don’t you could use glasses or old yoghurt pots with plastic spoons for the handle.

Make sure with have enough room in your freezer to freeze these after you are done.

Elder Flower

Elder flower from the Elder tree which also gives us Elder berries later on in the year. The tree is aptly and officially named Sambucus meaning a “gift from the gods”. 

Elderflower is an amazing plant and has so many health benefits – it is a diuretic, laxative, antispetic, antiviral and also has anti-inflammatory properties.

The flowers are known for their high antioxidant content and Vitamin C which is great for boosting your immune system.The Elderflower also helps with fighting flu and respiratory problems.

Elderflower contain tannins that help to dry up runny eyes and runny noses. So it is great for reducing inflammation and irritation.

Elderflowers have relaxing properties. It can help to soothe nerves and anxiety and may assist in reducing symptoms of depression.

An all around amazing plant that has been used worldwide for centuries. It is so versatile too.

Cordials, champagne, cake, biscuits and ice lollies to name just a few. I have got lots of recipes to share with you. Check out my you tube video for help on the identification. It is important you get the right plant as there are some poisonous lookalikes.

To make Elderflower Lollies you will need

10-15 elder flower heads

1kg or sugar

1 litre of water

An Orange (or lemon)

A few sprigs of lemon balm (optional)


Add the sugar and water to a pan. Heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the elderflower heads and the chopped orange and lemon balm into the pan for 5 minutes.

Place all the contents of the pan into a jar. Put a lid on and leave the mixture to infuse overnight. The next day strain the elderflowers out using a Muslin cloth.

Pour your elderflower concoction into the lolly moulds and leave to freeze. Once they have frozen you can enjoy them in the sun.

With the rest of your elderflower concoction- add it to a pan and heat slowly, allowing it to simmer whilst stirring until you get a syrup. This can take a while. This will leave you with an elderflower syrup that you can use for many other recipes as well as for a cordial.

Elderflower syrup

You can use the syrup to make ice

cream, scones, biscuits or buns. See my other blogs for the recipe.

I hope you enjoy the recipe. Let me know if you make it.

Dandelion Doughnuts

Dandelion Doughnuts

Dandelions are everywhere right now. They are such an amazing plant too. They will brow just about anywhere and are so resilient. We have some growing through concrete. Every part of the dandelion is edible, the leaves the root and the petals. Packed with vitamins and minerals, they are a great forage. They are also easily identifiable too.


When foraging for dandelion and any other plant, for that matter, do make sure you forage considerably. Only take what you need and leave plenty for the wildlife.

Doughnuts themselves are quiet a lengthy and tricky delicacy to make but they are so worth it. There is nothing better than homemade fresh doughnuts. All this being said, life is busy enough and no one would hold anything against you if you decided to just decorate shop bought doughnuts. If you do want to try to make your own doughnuts I have put the recipe below. If you have a doughnut making machine this will make it even easier.

To make your icing you need to have made the dandelion honey first. This can be found in my previous blog.

To make doughnuts you need

  • 200g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • pinch of salt
  • 15g caster sugar
  • 7g dried fast action yeast
  • 50g butter
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract        
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sunflower or other oil for deep-frying

How to make the batter

  1. Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the salt, sugar and yeast and mix together. Place the butter, milk and vanilla extract together into a small pan and warm it up. Just a gentle heat until the butter has melted and the milk is just warm but not boiling (you should be able to put your finger in it without burning it).
  2. Stir in the egg. Make a well in the middle of the dry mix and gradually add the milk mixture and stir to form a rough dough. Tip out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes adding more flour if needed so the dough is not stick. It should be slightly springy to touch. Place into an oiled bowl, cover with a piece of greased cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours (I left it overnight and it was good- I didn’t forget at all) or until doubled in volume.
  3. Punch down the dough with your fist, knead lightly then divide into 12 balls. Place on baking sheets well spaced apart. Cover with a piece of greased cling film and leave to rise again for 45 minutes or until they are doubled in size. Don’t forget to do this part as this is what makes it nice and fluffy.
  4. Roll over the top of the doughnuts with a rolling to make them about 3cm high. Oil a 4cm pastry cutter, (or a child’s play dough cutter) to stamp out the middle of each doughnut. You could use the middles to make little doughnut balls.
  5. Pour the oil into a large saucepan it needs to be quiet a lot of oil, about 10cm and heat to 180-190°C. Drop a small piece of dough into the oil. If it sizzles immediately and floats to the surface it’s ready. Carefully lower 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time on a slotted spoon and fry for 30 seconds on each side or until golden brown.
  6. Remove and drain on kitchen paper. Then do the rest.

Now for the Dandelion honey icing.

Mix about 3 spoons of dandelion honey with 200g of icing sugar and a really tiny bit of warm water until you get a good icing sugar consistency. If it is too runny add more icing sugar. If it is too thick add more dandelion honey. If you want your icing a deeper yellow colour you can add a few drops of good colouring at this point.

When you are happy with the consistency, drizzle over your doughnuts. Sprinkle with dandelion flowers.

You can use this basic recipe to make all sorts of flower based icing and doughnuts too.

I hope you enjoy it.

I made some gorgeous elderflower doughnuts last year with an elderflower cream and jam filling. I will add this recipe soon.

Cherry 🍒 Blossom 🌸 Jam

It is the perfect time for cherry blossom jam. The cherry trees are in full blossom and they look amazing. It doesn’t last long though so if you want to make Jam you do need to be quick.

One great thing about the cherry blossom petals is you can take the loose petals without effect the trees ability to make cherries 🍒. If you took the whole flower you would but as this beautiful plant looses the petals so quickly it’s great to just put a bag over a few clusters of flowers and give it a shake. You will get lots of petals in your bag this way. You need about 2 packed cups full of petals.

Once you have foraged your Japanese cherry blossom petals you can begin to make this sweet, almond with a hint of cherry, jam.

You will need 2 cups of jam sugar or you could use sugar and pectin. Pectin is put into jam sugar and this is what allows it to thicken and set. You will also need one and a half cups of water. I added a few frozen raspberries (fresh would work too) to give the deeper pink colour.

Put all your ingredients into a pan and heat to 105 degrees Celsius. This is where a jam thermometer comes in handy. This only takes about 2 minutes.

You can also check it’s ready by putting a plate in the fridge (you need to do this before you start). When the plate is cold you put a spoonful of jam onto the plate. Turn the plate on its side. If the jam stays in place then it’s set. If it moves, it needs longer. If you find it isn’t setting you can add a bit more pectin and boil for longer.

I love the way the petals suspend in the jam. It looks divine.

This Jam is gorgeous on toast. We made extra so used some in some jam

tarts too which went down amazingly well.

Wild Garlic Hummus

I love wild garlic and I love hummus so this was a great way to combine the two.

If you haven’t made hummus before, it is really easy and tastes so much better than shop bought.

You only need about a handful of wild garlic for this recipe. Do make sure you definitely have got wild garlic and not a look a like. Although the garlic smell from the leaves will totally give it away.

Wild garlic hummus

Your ingredients

a handful of wild garlic

A can of chickpeas

3 tablespoons of tahini (sesame seed paste)

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

2 tablespoons of oil

2 tablespoons of water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/3 teaspoon of cumin (optional)

Wash and dry your wild garlic.
Then chop it up

Add everything to your blender (except the oil )and blend it up.
Once it is all ground up add the oil and blend it for another minute into it looks a little smoother.

Now it’s ready to pop in a bowl and enjoy.

You could also add it to a jar and it will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Dandelion Honey

Dandelion honey does indeed taste like honey. It is more of a syrup really or could be a jam if you let it thicken. It tastes delicious and is great way to weed your garden, have fun with the kids and have a tasty treat. There are so many dandelions that you don’t have to worry about taking too many as the grow back so quickly. Always amazed at how tenacious dandelions are. Especially when I see them growing through a crack in the concrete. The grow just about everywhere and are unmistakable. So easy to Identify which is why making dandelion honey is a great activity to do in with kids.

It’s quiet simple to make dandelion honey. You will need lots of dandelion heads. Make sure you collect these from a place where dogs won’t be peeing on them. The lamppost is probably not the best place to pick them from. It’s lots of fun little ones to collect lots of Dandelion flowers. It’s best to do this on a sunny day. Dandelions open up and face the sun. They taste much better on a sunny day too as their pollen and nectar and freely flowing.

I only made a small jar of dandelion honey but you can always double the recipe if you want to make more.


  • Dandelion flowers – 2 cups
  • Sugar- 1 and a half cups
  • Water – 2 cups
  • Vanilla extract (optional) – i tbsp
  • Juice from a lemon. I only had an orange to hand so I used orange instead.

Once you have collected your dandelion flowers you need to take out all the yellow petals, leaving the green behind. You can use scissors to cut these out put I just pull them out by hand.

Put all these petals with your water, vanilla and lemon juice in a pan. Bring to the Boil and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Let it cool down for about 20 minutes.

Once it has cooled, strain the petals through a Muslim cloth (a clean tea towel would work too). Keep the flower petal water and compost the petals.

Add the dandelion flower water back into the pan and add the sugar. Heat up again and let it simmer until it gets to the desired consistency. This can take up to 2 hours but it is usually much quicker.

Once it is ready pour it into a jam jar. Your dandelion honey can be used on biscuits, cakes, toast, to sweeten a drink, on ice cream, on pancakes or as a salad dressing.

I hope you enjoy making it 😍 Let me know if you do.

Wild Garlic Pesto

It’s wild garlic or Ransoms season. You will definitely smell it before you see it. It has a strong garlic smell which is the best indicator for identification.

Wild garlic is another really nutritious wild edible. It contains vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium and copper. Studies have shown that it may help reduce blood pressure, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease. All of the garlic family do this but Wild garlic is particularly good for this.

With wild garlic you just use the leaves in a recipe and leave the bulbs to grow again. It is actually illegal to uproot wild plants without the land owners permission.

Wild garlic can be used for many recipes. We have used wild garlic in a potato salad, with salt to make a seasoning, mixed into hummus, shied into cream cheese, added to scrambled egg and as a pesto with pasta like in this recipe that I will tell you about now.

You will need

50g of pine nuts (lightly toasted) or other nuts

50g of Parmesan or other cheese

150ml oil

150g wild garlic leaves.

A squeeze of lemon juice.


First rinse and pat dry your wild garlic leaves then chop them roughly.
Next add all your ingredients to your blender and blend until it is in a paste.

Add your pesto to a jar with a lid. It should keep for a week in the fridge.

We added ours to a nettle pasta we made which was delicious. Check out my blog for the nettle pasta recipe.

Nettle Pasta

We love nettles (Urtica Dioica) here at Forgotten Forest. They are so nutritious. Full of vitamins and minerals. It has vitamin A C K and B. It is full of iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium as well as many others. It act as an antioxidant inside your body to protect you from free radical. It really is a super food… it’s everywhere and it’s free too.

We have used nettles for food and medicine throughout history but unfortunately their amazing properties are often forgotten

Some of the the brilliant recipes you can make are Nettle soup, crisps, nettle, beer, tea, latte, seed balls, risotto, pasta filling and as a spinach substitute.

I have made a quite successful nettle cake too.

The seeds can be dried and added to a nettle seed ball for an energy boost too.

All the children love to try nettle crisps and and nettle tea at Forgotten Forest. It’s such an easy one to forage as it is unmistakable. There is the sting to watch out for but some marigold gloves stop the sting. The top young leaves are the best to eat. It is also important to make sure you don’t forage for nettles after they seed (around June) . They become quite bitter and can have a laxative effect and they can upset urinary tracts.

Nettles are often said to be detoxifying and that is usually because it makes us urinate more. If you are taking medications you can end up concentrating the effects in your body so it is always worth checking with your doctor if you are pregnant, on medication or breast feeding.

Heating the nettles helps to breakdown the sting. Usually by boiling or frying but you can bash it too to break the stings.

I have recently made a gorgeous nettle pasta after getting a pasta machine as a present.

Nettle pasta is really easy to make you just need

100g of flour

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

1 egg

5 nettle tops

this makes enough of one generous portion.



Put your flour and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Add your egg into the middle.

Grind your nettles using a pestle and mortar or a blender. Sprinkle into your mixture.

Mix up throughly until you can form a ball with your mixture. Then you need to knead it vigorously for 5 minutes.

Roll out your dough with a rolling pin. If you have a pasta machine you can pop it through to make it really thin. Then put it through again to slice it. If you don’t have a pasta machine then you can roll it thinly and slice with a knife.

Boil your pasta for 5 minutes in a pan and drain. Then add your usual pasta sauce. We made a gorgeous wild garlic pesto for ours and added Scarlett elf cup mushrooms.

Check my other blog for wild garlic pesto recipe.

Wild Garlic Breakfast Muffins

These wild garlic breakfast muffins are delicious and easy to make. Perfect, now the wild garlic is popping up in some places.

Remember to forage sustainably and make sure you are 100 percent on your identification. There are some poisonous lookalikes. The give away is their strong garlic scent when you rub the leaves.

You will need

to preheat your oven to 180 degrees

a hand full of wild garlic (chopped)

50g of cheese (optional)

125ml of oil (or melted butter)

300g of plain flour

1/2 ts of salt

1/2 ts of baking powder

125ml of milk

2 eggs

Mix all your ingredients together in a bowl. Do this by hand to make sure it stays muffin like. You should get a thick dough.

Grease a muffin tray and scoop in your dough.

Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes until it’s golden brown.

They are delicious warm. I also made some wild garlic butter that goes perfectly with it.

Keep them in an air tight container and they should last about 4 days. Great for a picnic snack whilst you are out foraging. Enjoy. Let me know if you try them. You could add all sorts of different ingredients such as carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes too.

Patterned Dyed Eggs

It’s coming up to Easter 🐣 so I thought I would try and get ahead of myself and write a little ‘How to guide’ on making these gorgeous patterned eggs.
We have an abundance of eggs as we keep free range hens. The white eggs work perfectly and the brown eggs work good too but it’s not as vibrant.

You will need eggs, flowers or leaves for the pattern, old tights, elastic bands or string, pans of water and dye. We have used natural dyes such as onion skins, tumeric, beetroot and red cabbage. You could of course use any food dyes you have for baking.

First you need to carefully place a flower or leaf onto the egg. Then place your tights around the egg and put an elastic band around the opening. It needs to be tight to hold your flower in place. If you want to do quite a few then you can use sections of tights with bands and string and both edges of the cuts.

Get your pan to the boil with all your natural dyes in.

Carefully place your eggs with their flower and tights on them into the pans. Let them boil for around 20 minutes.

Once they have boiled take the eggs out an let them cook. Check one and see how the colour has taken. You could always add it in longer if needed.

Unwrap your egg from the tights and carefully peel off the plant matter to reveal some gorgeous prints. These make perfect Easter hunt eggs or great just to decorate more. You can also eat the egg inside too.

Enjoy and let me know if you have a go. Hopefully we will get to make these at a class this year. A great Easter Activity. We love doing this at Forest School.