Monday, May 6, 2013

May Cakes Recipe!

Rhiannon mixing petals and flours.
One of our many varied May Day traditions is to bake with dandelion petals. This year we made dandelion buns and dandelion pancakes. Both of them were experimental, so I have no recipes for them. I do, however, have this recipe for Dandelion May Cakes, which is usually our maypole-dancing treat.
Dandelion May Cakes (gluten/dairy/nut/corn-free)
Emily van Lidth de Jeude
Harvest a basket of fully-opened large dandelion blossoms. Before they begin to close up (as soon as they are picked), carefully pull the petals from the blossoms, making sure to remove the bottom of the petals, where the flavour is. Discard the greens and continue collecting the petals until you have enough for your needs.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Put butter or baking paper a baking sheet, and set aside.

Combine in a bowl:

  • 1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup (slightly packed) dandelion petals
  • 1 ½ tsp cream of tartar
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 4tbsp unrefined sugar
This work this mixture with your hands until petals are fully coated in the flours, and no more large clumps remain.
Cut into the flour mixture until it resembles course meal:
  • 4tbsp non-dairy butter or cream from the top of separated coconut milk
Mix up in measuring cup or small bowl:
  • ½ cup rice milk or the watery part of the coconut milk
  • 1 large egg
... and then pour over the flour mixture, mixing until dough forms large curds

Mix in:

  • 1/3 cup currants
On baking sheet pat dough to a circle, 3/4” thick. Cut into 8 wedges, to represent the 8 solar festivals (and by extensions, the seasons, and the turning of the year). Brush top with
  • 1 egg-white
Bake until just barely browned, and done, inside.

Our May Cakes Tradition:
Using a burnt stick from the Beltane fire, the children also scratch a charcoal X (rune: gyfu) into the bottom of one of the cakes, and the person who draws this lucky cake becomes the May King/Queen for the following year, is crowned with flowers. When the newly-crowned king/queen jumps over the fire, s/he symbolizes the turning of the year, and bountiful crops.

This year things were a little different; Tal was away, and I wasn't inspired to make May Day happen. So, being the resourceful person that she is, Rhiannon created May Day when he was home again! We had wild salad as usual, at a campfire dinner, followed by a very dark little maypole dance on a 1x2 with plastic wrapping ribbons tied onto it! Fabulous! Even without the traditional cakes, the colourful ribbons, etc. the real celebration is in love shared, and of course there was plenty of that!!

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