Rachel Lambert: forager, author, guide
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Wildly spiced shortbreads for a foraging course in Cornwall

Melt in the mouth shortbreads, with a tang of Alexander seeds and orange – scrumptious! If you're not familiar with Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum) then I have whole blog on Alexanders for you to browse. I also have a dozen recipes for Alexander seeds.

Makes 25

Ingredients

  • 100 g salted butter
  • 40 g Demerara sugar
  • 1 heaped tsp orange zest (from 1 orange)
  • 1 tsp roughly ground Alexander seeds
  • 125 g plain flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C/160°C fan and grease a large (30 x 40 cm) baking tray, or 2 smaller ones. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar add the orange zest and Alexander seeds and beat well. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, and then add to the creamed butter mix. Work the mix together, though don’t over mix as this will make the shortbreads tough.

Wildly spiced shortbreads for a foraging course in Cornwall

Flatten the dough onto a clean surface (you can roll it or use your hands) to about 20 x 15 cm, cut into around 25 rectangles, and using a table knife or palette knife (not a sharp knife), slice the rectangles off the surface and place in the baking tray, with at least 1 cm between them. Lightly prick the surface of each with a fork to create dotted design and bake for 8-10 minutes or until light brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

Wildly spiced shortbreads for a foraging course in Cornwall
Luscious vegan ice cream spiced with wild seeds

This is a divine, non-cream ice cream. Not vegan? You'll love this anyway! At the risk of repeating the whole theme of bitter-sweet, but hey, why change something that works so well.

Vegan, delicious and personally, I must put it back in the freezer to stop myself eating it all. This is one of the 6 (half a dozen) Alexander Seed recipes on my Alexanders blog.

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Identifying alexander seeds and leaves on a foraging course in Cornwall

Alexander seeds are an amazing spice, known for their peppery, aromatic tang with a hint of bitterness. An unusual flavour when bitten into, sometimes it's hard to know how to use these seeds. Here I share 6 of my best recipes for Alexander seeds.

1. Alexander seeded bread

A beautifully wild seeded bread recipe. Alexander seeds add a wonderful aromatic flavour and is perfect served with wild pesto from my Wild Food Foraging Book, great with Rock samphire salsa verde or even with kelp hummus from my Seaweed book.

2. Raw cacao and alexander truffles

Delicious and wild date-rich energy balls infused with the myrrh-like scent of alexander seeds. These are quick to make and a wonderful adult treat.

3. Alexander and orange shortbreads

Buttery, melt in the mouth shortbreads, with a tang of Alexander seeds and orange – scrumptious! The combination of orange and the bitter of alexander seeds is a winning combination.

4. Alexander and lemon drizzle cake

Looking like a poppy-seed cake, the slight bitter of the seeds go nicely with lemon, especially if you prefer a sweeter edge to your treats.

5. Alexander seed and chocolate truffles

Truffles get people excited; they feel special and luxurious. I love the crisp outer and soft inner of these chocolate truffles with the Alexander seeds playing on the pleasure of bittersweet.

Alexander and coconut vegan ice cream

Everyone agreed that this is a divine, non-cream ice cream. Vegan, delicious and personally, I must put it back in the freezer to stop myself eating it all.

I love the crisp outer and soft inner of these truffles. The Alexander seeds play on the pleasure of bittersweet, giving these dark chocolate treats a wonderful and surprising twist.

If you want to find out more about this plant, take a look at my Alexanders blog, there you'll also find a dozen alexander seed recipes. This recipe is made my first making Aromatic Alexander Seed and Lemon Drizzle cake - you'll find instructions for this below too!

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