cooking with lavender

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 600ml (1 pint) double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split or 2.5 ml vanilla essence
  • 15ml culinary lavender grains
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 125g caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  1. Pour the cream into a saucepan, add the vanilla and lavender grains then slowly bring to the boil.  Turn off the heat, cover and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with the tablespoon of sugar, then add the infused cream and mix thoroughly.  Strain into a jug, then pour into 6 ramekins.  Place the ramekins in a roasting tin, then fill the tin with hand-hot water to half way up the side of the ramekins. Bake at 150 C (300 F) Mark 2 for 30 - 35 minutes.  Cool, then refrigerate overnight.
  3. Melt the remaining caster suger in small, heavy based saucepan over a low heat; do not stir. When a pale syrup begins to form, rotate the pan gently until it has all disolved. Increase the heat a little and cook to a rich, chestnut brown, this will only take a few seconds so keep a close watch.  Pour immediately onto a lightly oiled baking try and allow to cool until set hard.  Crush the caramel into a fine powder using a rolling pin or food processor.
  4. Spoon the crushed caramel over each custard in a thin, even layer. Cover the custard completely. Place under a very hot grill for about 30 seconds until the caramel melts and the surface is smooth. Place in a cool place (not the fridge) for up to an hour before serving.

Lavender and raspberries are a great combination, so why not try adding a thin layer to the bottom of the ramekins before adding the infused cream.