Friday, January 13, 2012

Lavender's Blue, dilly, dilly

As I'm obviously on a flowery roll (see Blog title page) I thought I'd do a post about one of my favourite flowers -Lavender.  Obviously I like (love) the smell of it, but it's more than that - I think it's something to do with it's associations in my mind - that is holidaying in France; Chateau gardens rimmed with fragrant bushes that brush against your legs as you walk past, releasing the dense oily fragrance; hot days lounging in a pool in Italy, the bees droning in the heat as they forage in the nearby lavender bushes.  It has an instant calming effect on me - I use it in the bath and put drops of essential oil on my pillow to help me sleep; line my dresser drawers with it and as of yesterday cook with it too!  I was drawn to a recipe in the summer to make Lavender cupcakes and in the spirit of research when I was on holiday in Norfolk I went here.  It was a disappointing visit unfortunately as I'd expected to see fields of lilac and a shop stuffed with everything Lavande!  Not to be, however I did pick up some lavender essence that I'd never encountered before.  I didn't ever get round to the cupcakes, but what I did do this week was make some lavender hot chocolate!  It was delicious; everything a proper hot choc should be - dense and creamy; comforting and reassuring with a hint of lavender in the aftertaste.  I used the essence (a tiny tiny droplet) as well as the buds but it would work equally well without the essence.
Here's what you do..

lavender hot chocolate

Since lavender is quite fragrant, adjust amount according to preference. For a creamier hot chocolate, a 1 to 1 ratio of dark to milk chocolate can be used. Makes 2 servings.
hot chocolate:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 3 ounces dark chocolate (70% cacao)
  • 1 ounce milk chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon lavender buds
whipped cream:
  • 1/2 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or seeds from 1/4 of a whole vanilla bean pod
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated white sugar
For whipped cream, place cold cream, vanilla, and sugar into a cold mixing bowl (If you have essence this is the stage at which I'd add a tiny amount). Beat the mixture with a whisk or mixer until stiff peaks form. keep refrigerated until ready for use.
For hot chocolate, heat milk and lavender over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the milk begins to simmer. Remove from heat and let lavender steep for 5 minutes. Strain lavender and return milk to saucepan. Over medium heat, add chocolate and mix until chocolate is melted and incorporated. Whisk milk mixture for 10-20 seconds until frothy. Pour into mugs or bowls and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.


  1. I just tried this and it was amazing!! keep em coming!! x

  2. 16 years - where does the time go?
    Many Happy Returns