Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Provence A couple of years ago, I traveled across the South of France with a friend, eating our way from town to town. It was May, the weather was perfect, and the eating was mostly very good. The taste that really stayed with me after the trip, was a pot of honey infused with lavender that I bought at a food market in San Rémy.

It’s a funny thing, sometimes I think that we are fools here to work so carefully with ingredients and process. Most ice cream makers would buy their mix and flavours in big tubs from companies such as Pregel and Fabbri. They are the smart businesspeople, and I really mean that. If you want to make money with an ice cream shop and want to make your own ice cream without too much bother, that is how you do it. You save a fortune on labour and ingredients, and a good percentage of customers aren’t too bothered.

Provence AgainStill, I suppose the world needs a few fools, and I can’t get past the taste thing. Fresh ingredients just taste better, and besides it’s much more fun to play. For example, I’ve never seen Lavender and honey ice cream from a mix company! So last year, I put my mind to making it, and I think it’s a wonderful flavour. Recently I was asked for the recipe, so I’ve modified it for home use.

Here it is, if you want to try it. Chances are your kids (if you have any) will hate it, so you can eat it all yourself. Let me know how you get on.

By the way, this may sound strange, but it’s a great partner to chocolate cake!

LavenderMurphy’s Honey Lavender Cream

1 Cup (237ml) Sugar
5 Egg Yolks
1 1/8 Cups (266ml) Cream
1 1/8 Cups(266ml) Milk
2 Tablespoons Lavender Flowers
2 Cups (475ml) Water
3 tablespoons liquid honey

1. Cook the lavender flowers in the water over low heat until the water has reduced to 1/10th of the volume.

2. Remove from the heat and strain. Stir in the honey.

3. Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until thick and pale yellow.

4. Bring the milk to a simmer.

5. Beat the milk into the eggs and sugar in a slow stream.

6. Pour the mixture back into pan and place over low heat. Stir until the custard thickens (around 70C). Use a thermometer, as at 75C the eggs will scramble!

7. Allow the custard to cool.

8. Mix in the lavender and honey.

9. Whip the cream.

10. Gently fold in the custard.

Ice Cream Mix11. Freeze using a domestic ice cream machine, or cover and place in the freezer.

Yield: 6 Servings

Notes:

1. I suggest you use a simple, liquid honey. Darker or more complex honeys will have a very strong flavour, so in that case use less!

2. Lavender flowers should be available at your local health food shop.

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Chocolate and Chocolate Sauce

We have been spending a lot of time these days talking about chocolate, and being chocoholics there are worse conversations to have!

Over the last six years, we have had an on-going discussion about Valrhona vs. Callebaut. We originally used the Callebaut for everything, then switched to Valrhona two years ago. The difference in Melted Chocolatetaste is immense – the Callebaut is deep and rich, the Valrhona is clean and simple on the palate. Valrhona is a much smaller company, and they have a top reputation among the gourmet community. In terms of eating chocolate, we wouldn’t touch another. But things get complicated with ice cream. Often “cruder” flavours taste better when they are combined with the ice cream mix…

In any case, we did a test for chocolate sauce using both, and liked the Valrhona better on its own, but the Callebaut better when served over vanilla ice cream.

If you want to try our recipe, here it is:

Murphys Ice Cream Chocolate Sauce

  • 150 gm chocolate (Valrhona Araguani or Callebaut 72% is what we used. If you can’t find either, just use a very good quality bittersweet chocolate. Note that it will only taste as good as the quality of chocolate you use!)
  • 75 ml cream (42% fat)
    20 gm cocoa (We use Green and Black Organic)
    175 ml milk
    75 gm sugar

Chocolate SauceFollow these instructions carefully if you want a velvety, glossy result:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler to between 34 and 45C (you can use a mixer bowl in larger pot with water in it)
  2. Mix together the sugar and cocoa.
  3. Put in a pan with the milk and warm to about 45C until dissolved.
  4. Add the milk mixture to the melted chocolate in small parts, mixing in between until it’s incorporated. Keep this up until you have a smooth emulsion. (The chocolate will clump at first and look dreadful, but don’t worry, trust the process!)
  5. Add the cream.

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