Here is one recipe that did not make it to my Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 Cooking with Edible Flowers party. I decided to serve lavender cheesecake instead. In hindsight, this hibiscus coulis would have worked great with the cheesecake as a topping or even for the rose-scented fruit salad.
The hibiscus used in this recipe (and all other recipes using hibiscus in this blog, unless stated otherwise) is the Hibiscus Sabdariffa. It has many names and is commonly found in Mexican stores where it is called flor de jamaica or jamaica flower. Ironically, it is called sorelle in the Caribbean. In the Philippines this is commonly called roselle and rosella in Australia. In some African countries, it is called bissap. Whatever is the name, it is widely used in cooking, mainly in drinks. It has been said that it is the main ingredient in the Red Zinger tea. They actually do not look like the hibiscus you see in gardens or in Hawaii. This hibiscus look more like a bud and that’s how they’re harvested and dried. It has a sour taste and deep maroon/red color. I have not tried it but it probably will work well as a food coloring substitute for red velvet cake!
- 2 ounces dried hibiscus flowers
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
- Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 30 minutes, or until the flowers have softened (they wont get entirely soft). Take the mixture off of the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Place the mixture in a blender or food processor and purée. Strain through a sieve.
- Serve chilled. It will be much thicker when it is cold than it is hot.