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Friday, January 21, 2011

Lavender Ice Cream - an aromatherapy dessert



The first time I encountered lavender ice cream was several years ago when I was at a lavender farm in Adelaide with my friend and her cousin, A and P. P was having lavender ice cream and we were amazed that there was such a thing. He was trying hard to convince us that it was nice and encourage us to have a bite. We didn't even want to try as the idea of lavenderish dessert, or any lavender flavoured food for that matter, didn't sound appealing at all. It is perfumery, floral, I just thought that it was not going to work.

That was long time ago before I was into food and cooking. Now, things have turned, I love anything floral, be it rosewater, jasmine, orange blossom and of course, lavender.

I still have culinary (edible) lavender that J, my workmate, gave me. It is the last two precious tablespoons that I have and the lavender ice cream made with the new ice cream maker  would make a perfect choice.


Culinary lavender

The house smells wonderful when I was cooking the lavender cream for ice cream mixture. It was just something that makes me smile and feel relaxed. Lavender is also my favourite aroma. It was then like killing two birds with one stone making lavender ice cream. It was dessert making as well as an aromatherapy.


Lavender cream mixture smells like heaven!

I also send this post to Weekend Herb Blogging which is hosted by Honest Vanilla.
Here is the recipe....

Lavender Ice Cream Recipe
makes about 750 ml

INGREDIENTS
6 egg yolks (I have tried making it with 3 yolks and it was still creamy and tasted as nice)
250 ml (1 cup) milk
250 ml (1 cup) thickened cream (whipping cream with minimum 35% fat content)
100 g (1/2 cup) caster sugar (fine sugar)
2 tablespoon lavender flowers (culinary type)


METHOD

Mix milk, cream and lavender in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring it to the boil. When the mixture start to boil, immediately remove the saucepan from heat.

Cover the cream mixture with cling film to prevent the milk skin formed. Stand the mixture for an hour to bring out more lavender flavour.

Bring the lavender cream mixture back over medium-high heat until it comes to the boil. Strain the mixture to remove lavender.



In the meantime, beat egg yolks with caster sugar at medium-high speed until it is pale, thick and creamy (the sugar will almost dissolve).


Pour the hot lavender cream mixture into the egg mixture and stir at low speed until well-combined.

Put the mixture back into the small saucepan and cook it over low-medium heat. Keep stirring the mixture until it coats the back of the spoon. It will take approximately 4-5 minutes.

The cream mixture is ready when it coats the back of wooden spoon.


Transfer the mixture to a bowl sitting on top of an ice bath (this is to cool down the mixture and to prevent egg become scramble as egg will continue to cook even though it is off the heat).
Note: I have tried skipping the ice bath and put the mixture straight into the fridge (NOT freezer)  I then wait until it is completely cool down before start the ice cream churning process.

Once the ice cream mixture is completely cool down. Put it into the ice cream maker and follow the instruction of the manufacturer.

Note: If you do not have an ice cream maker, I say, go and buy one now :-) Well, you can actually make an acceptable ice cream without an ice cream maker but there'll be more works, i.e. you'll need to chill the mixture in the freezer and keep taking it out and breaking it with the beater few times before the ice cream has set. This is to break the ice flakes forming.


Beautiful aromatic ice cream!
 




6 comments:

  1. sounds like the perfect relaxing combination! will try it this weekend for sure

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  2. The idea of aroma of lavanda in food still seems strange to me. But of course I would try, if I had some eatable lavanda...
    ...if I even find it

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  3. @Anonymous - This ice cream is great. I'm sure you'll love it.

    @ Dalia - I know what you mean. That's what I felt at first as well. I was surprised how subtle lavender taste was. It is just floral and nice enough without being too perfumery.

    I saw the edible lavender at Essensial Ingredients (about $5 for a small tub).

    There're some articles on the Web about using lavender for cooking. It seems that the common lavender should be fine with cooking too. Below are some links:

    http://whatscookingamerica.net/Lavender.htm

    Sue

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  4. Lovely recipe; will have to wait for the seasons to change and have bookmarked it!

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  5. you wrote lavender leaves but you made it with lavender flowers
    those are the flowers

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  6. Thanks for pointing that out. You're right, I should have put it as flowers, not leaves. It's my issue of English-as-a-second-language :P.

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