Lavender is best known for its fragrant, delicate Provencal appearance in soaps, sachets, essential oil and other body care products. But as mentioned in the earlier article, it can be used in culinary.
When cooking with lavender it is key to ensure using culinary/edible lavender and not lavender prepared for things like potpourri which can be treated with chemicals.
Culinary lavender may be purchased at well stocked grocery stores. With a small amount added to many recipes, a simple dish can be elevated to having international flair!
Being particularly compatible with the flavors of honey and lemon, lavender is a perfect summertime herb to brighten seasonal foods. Here is one of a dessert receipe to share : Lavender Creme Brulée
2 vanilla pods
400 ml semi-skimmed cream
400 ml single cream
8 large free-range yolks
100 g sugar
15g culinary lavender flowers
50g caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 100°C. Score the vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out the vanilla seeds with a knife or a teaspoon. Place the seeds into a saucepan, add the pods, cream and milk as well as the lavender flowers and slowly bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, beat together the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy. Pour the filtered milk and cream to the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes in a bain-marie, stirring often, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
Remove any bubbles or froth from the mixture before dividing it between your ramekins. . Place carefully in the preheated oven and cook for 40 minutes or until the mixture has set but is still slightly wobbly in the centre. Allow to cool at room temperature then place in the fridge until ready.
Sprinkle the brown sugar and caramelize with a kitchen blowtorch. Serve immediately.