Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Provence in dessert form

Ever since I recently discovered food-grade dried lavender at my local World Market, I've been in love with the stuff. So far, I've tried two desserts using lavender: honey lavender ice cream from the blog Very Good Things, and tonight, this lavender lemon pound cake from the pastry-chef-authored blog The Pastry Department (can I just say I love her banner graphic? Yay, salt caramel!)

My favorite thing about the ice cream was that it came out a very sunny Provencal yellow, especially nice with the flecks of lavender in there. The recipe doesn't have you strain the flowers out, and I'm torn on how I feel about that. I liked it presentation-wise, but the buds themselves had a slightly bitter flavor. I think lavender infuses itself into things well enough that you don't need to keep the buds in. Still, though, I'd make it again -- I'd just strain out the flowers before freezing the base. Also, the honey flavor was nice. I used a raw, unfiltered honey for the ice cream so that you'd really be able to taste it. And Mark brought me back some Tupelo honey from his trip to Florida that I can't wait to use in this recipe.

And, the pound cake. Okay, lavender steeped in melted butter=OHMYGOD. I have GOT to find ways to use lavender butter in other dishes. Imagine the possibilities...sigh. And I can't give a final verdict on the cake, as it's still cooling. But I did lick the batter bowl, so things are looking good.


Anonymous Mark said...

I'm looking forward to eating day-after pound cake, when the syrup has had a chance to sink in.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Last year for Christmas, I bought my Aunt some lavender shortbread, and it was quite good. A little unusual, but nice. I haven't had it in anything else, but I'd be willing to try! And hey, where's they picture?!

2:55 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I have a recipe for lavender syrup which is heavenly poured over fresh strawberries sitting on sour cream. I agree that the buds can be unpleasant to actually eat, though--so gritty to bite on and they get stuck in your teeth--so I vote for straining them out and then just decorating the platter with some fresh ones.

8:13 PM  

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