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Cooking with Roses at Bloemfontein Rose Festival

Posted on October 17, 2012 by in desserts, events

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cooking with rosesCooking with roses is definitely not a normal thing to do here in my kitchen or any other ordinary kitchen for that matter, but things are about  to change as I am off to the Rose Festival in Bloemfontein this weekend.

I will be cooking three recipes with roses, yes, you read correctly cooking with roses! Not the Roses that are wrapped in bright sweetie wrappers, but the kind that grows in your garden! Bloemfontein after all is the rose capital of South Africa!

When I started planning this demo, I  was really at a loss for ideas and knew so little about cooking with roses. I knew rose water is used in things like Turkish Delight, Moroccan food and the classic rose petal jelly, none of which really appealed to me. Turkish delight is not my favorite sweet, the idea of adding sweet rosewater to a savory meat dish did not work for me and there is only so much you can do with rose petal jelly. Well, I tried the rose petal jelly and needless to say, I was not so successful! If you want to try, be my guest, here is a site with a few rose recipes!

cooking with roses

However, I wanted to use some of my easy recipes and put a rosy twist to them. The result was amazing, my family absolutely loved it! Cooking with roses went from gimmick to actually blowing my “test panel” away. In the end I was right. The roses and rose water added a fragrant Moroccan twist to my recipes, yet they remained familiar and comforting even if it was just for a conservative cook like me!

I made a Moroccan Inspired main course with chicken and couscous and Rose Posset, which is a spin on the classic English dessert, Lemon Posset. I also made my famous roulade, this time with a fragrant rose water and Turkish delight filling! I hope you love it as much as we did!

cooking with roses

Chicken with Goat’s Cheese and Pistachios on  Moroccan couscous

serves 4


4 chicken breast fillets

1 x 100 g goats cheese – sliced into 4 strips

2 T chopped chives

2 T pomegranate pips

2 T caramelized onions

250 g shelled pistachios

1 tsp fine cumin

1 tsp fine cinnamon

1 tsp fine dry coriander

Salt and pepper to taste

about 3 T olive oil

cooking with roses


Preheat oven to 180C. Place each chicken breast between 2 sheets of cling film and with a rolling pin, lightly tap the chicken breast to thin it out until it has almost doubled in size. Repeat with the other 3 breasts. Season the chicken with salt and pepper In the center of each piece of chicken place a strip of goats cheese. Top the cheese with some caramelized onion, chives and pomegranate pips. Now roll up each piece of chicken and secure with either butcher’s twine or a toothpick. Place the pistachios, cumin, coriander and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Use 1 T olive oil and rub each chicken roll with some olive oil and then coat with the beautiful green pistachio crumbs. Heat a pan that can go on your oven and add the remaining olive oil. Lightly brown the chicken rolls and then transfer the pan with the chicken to the oven and roast for about 20 – 25 minutes. Slice the chicken rolls and serve on a bed of Moroccan couscous.

cooking with roses

Moroccan Couscous

serves 4


1 cup couscous

2 T olive oil

1 medium onion – chopped

½ tsp dry fine ginger

½ tsp dry coriander

½ tsp fine cinnamon

½ tsp fine cumin

½ cup raisins or sultanas

8 Turkish apricots – chopped

8 fresh dates – chopped

½ cup shelled pistachios

salt pepper

2 cups chicken stock

1 tsp rose water (still weird to be cooking with roses or their bi products 🙂

½ cup chopped fresh coriander

1 cup fresh rose petals

1 handful of pomegranate pips

Heat a skillet on the stove and add the oil. Saute the onions with all the dry spices and lastly add the couscous and continuously stir the couscous until it is coated with the oil and the spices. Add the chicken stock and cover with foil and leave for about 20-30 minutes. After the allowed resting time, use a fork to fluff up the couscous and add all the other ingredients. Season and adjust seasoning if needed.(Details of the Rose Festival below)

cooking with roses

Rose Posset

serves 4 – 6


2 cups  cream

½ cup caster sugar

juice and zest of 1 lemon

1 cardamom pod – crushed

½ tsp rose water – use 1 tsp if you like a strong rose water flavor


Pour the cream into a pot with the crushed cardamom pod and sugar and slowly bring to the boil and boil for about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and rose water and pour into 4 small glasses or 6 shooter glasses. Allow to set in the fridge. Serve with crystallized rose petals.

cooking with roses

Meringue Roulade with roses and Turkish Delight

makes 2 large roulade


4 egg whites

200 g caster sugar

1 tsp cornflour

½ cup  rose petals – make sure they have not been treated with chemicals

For the filling

250 ml cream

2 T caster sugar

1 tsp rose water

about ½ cup chopped Turkish Delight – not the chocolate coated ones – cut into tiny little nuggets


Preheat oven to 180 C. Line a 20 x 30 cm baking sheet with silicon paper. Place the egg whites in the bowl of your electric mixer and beat until it forms soft peaks. Start adding the castor sugar one tablespoon at a time and beat well between each addition. When the mixture is smooth and glossy, fold the cornflour in with a metal spoon. Lastly fold in the rose petals and spoon the mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place another silicon sheet on top of the roulade and turn the pan upside down to release the roulade from the pan. Cool the roulade. When ready to serve, whip the cream and caster sugar until stiff and then fold in the rose water and turkish delight. Spoon onto the roulade and roll the roulade to form a beautiful log. Serve with more crystallized rose petals.

See you at the Rose Festival on Friday 19 October. I will be showing these recipes at a morning tea at Pretty Garden Nursery.

For more info on the Ladies Tea, contact Pretty Gardens

Contact Details
Phone:     +27 51 451 1400
Fax:         +27 51 451 1160
Address Details
Cnr. Du Plessis & Faan Ferreira Avenue
Langenhoven Park


Bloemfontein Rose Festival

When: Thursday, 18 October 2012 to Saturday, 20 October 2012
Where: Bloemfontein

For additional information contact:
Merryl Henning on +27 (0)51 448-3607 or +27 (0)82 416-7837.






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5 Responses to “Cooking with Roses at Bloemfontein Rose Festival”

  1. anel 17 October 2012 at 9:31 am #

    My vriendin en jy is die mooiste roos!! Dit is n beautiful post en die kos lyk net amazing!

    • nerinatimm 17 October 2012 at 9:33 am #

      Dankie baie, ek waardeer!

  2. Rhoda 19 October 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Wow, wat ‘n wonderlike oggend. Jou gemaklike manier van kosmaak is wonderlik en laat my (nie so ‘n wonderlike kosmaker) lus raak vir kook! En ek gaan alles wat jy gemaak het probeer. Bloemies groete R

    • nerinatimm 20 October 2012 at 7:29 am #

      Dankie Rhoda, dit was so verskriklik lekker om saam met julle te kuier…..Bloem is baie na aan my hart!


  1. Edible Flowers and Salad bowls - My Easy Cooking - September 4, 2014

    […] Rose Festival in Bloemfontein, I made a whole menu, using rose petals, flavors and color and the Turkish Delight Meringue Roulade is still a show stopper! Another classic recipe with roses, is the age-old rose petal […]

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