Friday, May 11, 2012
Cooking With Lavender: Lavender Whipped Cream
It's always rather interesting when people pick up packets of culinary lavender at the Lawton Farmer's Market and are surprised that you can cook with it. Well, needless to say, after I get done extolling the many and varied virtues of consuming, cooking with, and otherwise using lavender, their eyes begin to glaze. (Sorry, can't help it.)
So here's yet another fun and versatile way to use culinary lavender.
It just kicks that whipped cream up a notch, making it a bit more complex and oh, so yummy.
First we'll start by infusing the cream with culinary lavender buds.
Super easy, just add a tablespoon of culinary lavender to a pint carton of whipping cream and bring up the heat just until a few bubbles start at the edge.
Remember, we're just heating it here to get the infusion started. Then remove from heat, put on the lid and chill thoroughly.
Once the cream is chilled, strain out the lavender buds.
To the cream, add 1/4-1/3 cup granulated sugar, or whatever your taste dictates. (Sometimes I use lavender sugar, or half lavender sugar and half plain sugar.)
Now whip the cream until it is the consistency you like your whipped cream to be. (Caution: do not overwhip, because as you know it will break down again and it is ruined. Yes, I learned that the hard way a long time ago!)
So now you can chill your Lavender Whipped Cream for later, or use it right away.
To say I love whipped cream with strawberries would be a serious understatement. I think they're the perfect marriage of taste and texture, don't you? And really, sort of sexy and sensual. Have you ever noticed when you mention whipped cream and strawberries your girlfriends just smirk? I mean.
I love to stuff those giant California strawberries. You can easily make a dessert out of just one of those big boys. Cut off the leaves, remove the core, slice a few slits in the top and just pipe that delicious lavender whipped cream in. My culinary lavender is blooming so I added a few fresh blossoms for color.
Or, topping sliced strawberries with lavender whipped cream...simple and delicious.
Love strawberries and whipped cream on angel food cake, or layered in a sponge cake. I even love a dollop on hot chocolate. Lavender and chocolate? Yes, but we'll have to wait for another day so I can extol the virtues of that concoction!
I know I've said this before, but the real key when cooking with lavender is don't overdo it. If 1 tablespoon isn't a strong enough flavor for you, try 2 next time. It's all adjustable.
The easiest, and most sensual way is, of course, just dipping and biting. Or sharing.
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