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Orange Flower Water Substitute

Asked by kw___. Answered on 4th October 2016

Full question

Hi, I see orange flower water in quite a few of Nigella's recipes which unfortunately I cannot get hold of where I am. Any substitute for this? Thank you.

Our answer

Nigella uses orange flower water in some recipes, such as Arabian Pancakes With Orange-Flower Syrup (from NIGELLA SUMMER). The orange flower water is made by distilling orange blossoms and it has a slightly more floral orange flavour, without the acidity. You can use substitutes but it depends on how the orange flower water is being used.

If you are using the orange flower water in baking then very finely grated orange zest or 2-3 of drops of orange oil can be used as an alternative. The water is quite delicate so the zest of 1/2 to 1 full orange should be enough. If the water is being used in a syrup or glaze, a custard or whipped cream then orange juice or an orange liqueur such as tripe sec or Cointreau could be used instead. You may need to taste and add a little extra sugar if the mixture is too sharp.

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