Chrysanthemum tea always reminds me of Grandma. I will always remember when I was young, Chrysanthemum flowers would be blooming around this time of year. The colour and smell in the garden would be wonderful! Then Grandma would pick, wash then dry them out in the sun. Then as the weather got cooler, she would brew us a pot of Chrysanthemum tea. Yum! I'd always ask to have mine with some sugar. As always, she would treat me!
It's been a very long time since I've had that tea party with Grandma but it's a memory that will always be with me with every Chrysanthemum tea I drink.
For many, Chrysanthemum reminds us of Mother's day. Also known as May flowers - these fragrant, aromatic flowers are known in Chinese culture to have many health benefits.
Couple this with mandarin season also coming into full swing, what a perfect time for this recipe. The original recipe came from a cupcake book from a friend of mine and was title Camomile and Mandarin Cupcakes. However, I decided to change it up with Chrysanthemum in place of Camomile. And I'm calling them muffins coz they really don't need the icing - it's too good on it's own.
¾ cup milk
5 grams dried Chrysanthemum flowers
150g butter, chopped
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 tspn finely grated mandarin zest (of about 2 mandarins)
2 mandarins, peeled, seeds removed and segmented
½ cup fine semolina
1 ¼ cup self-raising flour
1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Line 12 muffin holes with paper cases.
2. Place milk and Chrysanthemum flowers into saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to stand to infuse. Strain.
3. Place butter, sugar, eggs, mandarin zest and mandarin in a food processor (one with cutting blades, not a cake mixer). Process until almost smooth. Add milk mixture, semolina and flour and process until smooth and a thick batter.
4. Pour mixture evenly among the cases. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of a muffin. Transfer on to a wire rack to cool. Serve. Can be kept in an air tight container for a few days.