Monday, October 18, 2010

It's Lavender for Lunch, Honey! or, A Lavender-Cardamom Dessert Duo

[A sister post by Meeta on What's for Lunch, Honey?: Lavender Cardamom Flan de la Casa]


Now, those of you who know Meeta and her What's for Lunch, Honey? blog raise your hands.  Those of you who don't--run hurry go check it out right now before reading on because it is an amazing blog, stuffed full of gorgeous photos, delectable-sounding recipes, and delightfully long and well-written (and well-researched!) content.  (She also has a beautiful photography portfolio full of eye-candy!)

Meeta and I actually "met" virtually via Hilda of Saffron and Blueberry and the wonderful time-waster social networking tool Twitter, and we are constantly lamenting the fact that we live half of a world apart from each other--Meeta in Germany and me on the West Coast of the States.  As I work through half of the night, I get tortured by the descriptions of Meeta's baking-in-progress on the other side of the world.  Remind me again why we haven't been able to invent a teleportation machine yet?!


A few weeks ago, Meeta tweeted about these amazing-sounding lavender sugar cookies she was making, and if there's one ingredient that I absolutely adore, it's lavender.  (My roommate asserts that it's my signature ingredient since she's never seen anyone else use more lavender in baking than I do.)  Long story short, Meeta and I ended up in this wonderful tweet-conversation (tw-onversation?) about all of the dessert ideas we could come up with involving lavender, volleying names of desserts back and forth across an ocean and a continent.  So many delicious ideas came out of that discussion that we decided to do sister posts on our blogs around the combination of lavender and cardamom--a sort of 21st century virtual dessert party!


So here it is-- the dessert duo that I would make Meeta if she could come visit me in California right now: a lavender-honey dark chocolate tart with a cardamom-lemon crust and lavender-honey ice cream with cardamom-almond tuiles.  Yes, I know, the names of the desserts are quite a mouthful to say, but trust me, they're quite a mouthful of nom-iness to eat, too!  :-)  Plus, how could I not incorporate honey into these desserts, given the name of Meeta's blog?  I just couldn't resist!


When making dessert duos or trios, I'm all about considering balance.  And I really loved how this pair of desserts turned out.  The spice of the cardamom and the floral scent of the lavender add a layer of interest to the tart, ice cream, and tuiles.  And the bitter, deep dark chocolate of the tart goes so perfectly with the sweetness of the honey-flavored ice cream.  You have the crunch of the tuiles against the smooth ice cream and the flakiness of the tart crust against the dense chocolate ganache as textural contrasts, and the lemons in the tart and almonds in the tuiles add a color of brightness and nuttiness to the overall dessert.  Finally--and this is my favorite part--a generous sprinkling of coarse lavender sea salt over the dark chocolate tart will make your tastebuds so, so unbelievably happy, I promise you.


Ah, now, before I go, I have to announce the winner of the (in part) CSN-sponsored Breast Cancer Awareness Month giveaway!  Congratulations, Tulle and Torts! An email is on its way to you, but if you see this first, send me one: s{at}dessertsforbreakfast{dot}com.


Thank you all for entering and helping to spread the word about Breast Cancer Awareness!  I had so much mouth-watering fun reading about your favorite pie flavors, of which strawberry rhubarb was a popular candidate!


Make sure to check out Meeta's sister-post to this one, for an absolutely divine lavender cardamom flan de la casa!  If you want to join in on the trans-Atlantic dessert conversation on Twitter, you can follow her @MeetaWFLH and me @shihbakes.  One day, Meeta, I'll come visit you in Germany!


Read on for recipes....




Lavender Honey Ice Cream
adapted from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop
makes ~one quart

1/4 cup dried lavender flowers
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup honey (I used wildflower)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
2 Tbspn sugar
pinch of salt

1. In a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the lavender and milk. Bring to just a simmer, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for at least ten minutes.
2. Stir together the honey and heavy cream in a bowl and prepare a fine mesh strainer on top. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until light. Set aside.
4. Strain the lavender from the milk, making sure to press all of the liquid possible out of the lavender buds. Discard the lavender buds. Return the milk to the stove and add the sugar and salt. Bring to a bare simmer.
5. Whisking constantly, pour a small but steady stream of the heated milk into the egg yolks to temper. Do this slowly while whisking quickly. Once the milk and egg yolks are combined, return to the saucepan and to the stove.
6. Heat the egg yolk and milk mixture while stirring constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so that nothing burns or sticks. Slowly cook the mixture until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat immediately once it thickens.
7. Pour the hot creme anglaise through the strainer into the honey and cream. Stir to cool.
8. Chill the mixture thoroughly.
9. Freeze the ice cream bas in your ice cream maker of choice. (Here's mine, which works like a dream, and I also have this one.)

Note: David Lebovitz's original recipe from The Perfect Scoop makes a sweeter, more honey-flavored ice cream.  The version I've posted here allows the lavender flavor to emerge a bit more and has cut back on the sweetness, which I prefer (I tested both recipes).


Cardamom-Almond Tuile
very roughly adapted from Joy of Cooking: All About Cookies
makes ~30-50 cookies, depending on size

1 1/2 oz sliced almonds
5 Tbspn unsalted butter, very soft
2 egg whites
1/8 tspn salt
1/3 cup + 1 Tbspn sugar
1/2 tspn ground cardamom
1/4 tspn vanilla
1/3 cup AP flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Bake the sliced almonds for 5-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and chop very finely.
3. Prepare at least two baking sheets lined with silpats or non-stick parchment paper. (You may want to lightly grease the parchment paper, but you won't need to grease the silpats.) Also have ready a very thin and wide spatula and a rolling pin (or something similar) over which to drape the tuiles while they cool.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, salt, sugar, cardamom, and vanilla until well combined. Add the finely chopped almonds and flour and mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Using an off-set spatula or the back of a spoon, spread very, very thin discs of batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Make sure to allow plenty of space between each tuile--they will spread.
6. Bake for 7-9 minutes, depending on the size of the tuiles, rotating the pan half-way through to facilitate even browning.
7. Remove from oven and immediately use the thin spatula to drape the tuiles over the prepared rolling pin. Let cool completely.

Note: Tuile batter may be made and stored, tightly-covered, in the refrigerator for a few days, if you'd like to make it ahead of time.
Note: Store tuiles in an airtight container if not using immediately. They are best used the day of.



Lavender-Honey-Cardamom-Lemon Dark Chocolate Tart
makes one 9" round tart, or the equivalent rectangular or square sizes.

for pastry:
260 gr AP flour
1 (heaping) tspn ground cardamom
1 Tbspn freshly ground meyer lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar
7 Tbspn butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
1 Tbspn freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbspn water, cold

1. Using a food processor or pastry cutter, mix the flour, cardamom, lemon zest, and sugar until combined. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the size of small peas.
2. Add the egg yolk and gradually add the lemon juice and water just until a dough begins to form when you press it between two fingers. Do not overmix.
3. Form the pastry into a ball and refrigerate for at least one hour. (or stick it in the freezer for a shorter amount of time.)
4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
5. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge and press the dough into the tart pan. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork, cover with parchment paper, and weigh down using dry beans or pie weights. Return to freezer for a few minutes if the dough has softened.
6. Bake for ~13-15 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden. Remove the beans and parchment paper and continue to bake for 3-5 minutes more, until the crust has completely turned golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.

for chocolate ganache filling:
10 oz. heavy cream
1/4 cup dried lavender buds
12 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
3 Tbspn honey
2 Tbspn butter
coarse salt
dried lavender buds

1. In a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the cream and lavender buds until just barely a simmer. Cover and remove from heat. Let steep for at least ten minutes.
2. Place the chocolate and honey in a heat-proof bowl, place a fine mesh strainer on top, and set aside.
3. Add the butter to the cream and lavender bud mixture and return to a simmer. Once the cream simmers, remove from heat and pour the hot cream through the sieve onto the prepared chocolate, making sure to press all of the liquid from the lavender buds. Discard the lavender buds. Let the chocolate sit for 2-3 minutes.
4. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and evenly distributed.
5. Immediately pour into the prepared tart crust.
6. Using your fingers (or a mortar and pestle), rub together an equal but small amount of coarse salt and dried lavender buds. Sprinkle liberally over the top of the chocolate. Let the tart set at room temperature until completely cool, about 1-2 hours. Serve at room temperature.



Enjoy!

44 comments:

  1. Ohhh, early morning in Budapest and I'm the first person to comment this post!!! :) I told you! First thing in the morning what will I do? Checking your new post!

    Lovely, gorgeus, beautiful!!! I'll make this tart as soon as I can! Yum!

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  2. That tart looks absolutely amazing. I've started focusing on variations of chocolate tart recently (using a fantastic Michel Roux recipe) and this is definitely a combination I'd love to try - especially since, somehow, I just happen to have all the necessary ingredients! I've had a pack of lavender buds sitting in the pantry for ages while I try to think of the perfect use for them, and I just bought a heap of Meyer lemons yesterday. Perfect. :)

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  3. The tart looks mouthwatering!!

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  4. I was wondering about the little sprinkles on the chocolate tart when I saw the pic on twitter, didn't expect lavender but I like it, they go well with chocolate. I also like that you have cardamom in it, thanks for sharing the recipe. :)

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  5. That bite on the tart!! it's heavenly! Love Meeta and love your blog, it's such a cool idea to share a dessert and an ingredient combo!

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  6. I love baking with lavender and haven't done that in ages! Beautiful styling, as usual - can't wait to make that gorgeous tart myself!

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  7. woah. everything about that just...takes my breath away...is too much to consider! I'm in love with the lemon-cardamom crust! God and lavender..and honey...and chocolate. I don't knwo how yuo came up with this but is just way too wonderful. I love you, can I marry you?
    Was that inappropriate? Sorry I tend to be like that.

    Thanks!!

    -Amalia

    http://buttersweetmelody.wordpress.com

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  8. I'm enthralled over this tart! I have lavender growing in my garden and cardamon in my cupboard, so you know I will be trying this recipe:) It looks deliciously BEAUTIFUL!

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  9. This is simply a dessert heaven. I want to pick one up and sink my teeth in it.beautifully done.

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  10. Delicious as always! I want it now!
    x
    Nicole
    http://nicolefranzen.blogspot.com/

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  11. If Meeta comes to visit, you have to call me too. Especially if she gets these kind of goodies. YUM!

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  12. I recently started using lavender and I have to say it adds a beautiful note into the dish!! gorgeous creations.. I am eating my screen!!

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  13. Oh am i late? have you still got some left for me? oh steph this is such a feast. you are a dessert temptress and i love what you have created! the play with the flavors and ingredients. just perfect. thanks - now we need to discover the teleportation machine!

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  14. yum! I want this so badly right now,my mouth watering yum!

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  15. wow <3 Pretty~ its like a visualgasm!
    I'm surprised the lavender taste doesn't get over powered by the dark chocolate.
    I feel like I overuse the love heart sign whenever I read your posts but honestly how I react when i read them!

    Hum, I'm starting to reconsider the appropriateness of the vocabulary used at the beginning of this post..

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  16. Thank you so much, all!

    @Zizi: Yay! I'm glad I posted it an hour early. :-)

    @Jess: please, let me know how you like it! I've found chocolate tarts to be great for all different combinations of flavors.

    @buttersweetmelody/Amalia: LOL--I can't say I've ever gotten a marriage proposal in a comment before--you're the first! :-P

    @Sue: make sure you let me know how you like it!

    @Kristen: done! I think Meeta can pick you up on the way from Germany. :-)

    @Meeta: I love what *you* created! Cream and lavender and cardamom? Yes, PLEASE!

    @Iris: <3!

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  17. You had me at "Lavendar Honey Dark Chocolate," and help my attention the entire way (trying not to drool!) That tarts sounds completely amazing. I'm writing it on my to-bake list NOW!

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  18. I am sorry but I have nothing to say about this post, this stunning photos and that decadent dessert except - WOW! I am blown away! Utterly amazing!

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  19. Yum, these look so delicious!! The photos are gorgeous! Iove lavendar in cooking.

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  20. What a great duo. And at least Twitter and the internet in general have allowed you guys to connect over such a great distance. It's amazing to think that the internet is really just something of our generation. Anyway, all of this looks delicious and I wish I could teleport across the country to taste them ;p.

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  21. Oh my gosh, this looks SO yummy. And the photos are awesome to boot. :)

    I love how you're making a friend halfway across the world. The internet rocks (most of the time).

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  22. The tart looks mouth watering-ly beautiful, and what gorgeous photos!

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  23. Hopped on over to your blog via Meeta's post and I'm struggling to decide whose dessert looks more scrumptious! But I'm a chocoholic through & through so I think your chocolate tart is going to win this round.

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  24. This is so intriguing and STUNNING!!!!!

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  25. spectacular photos! lovely, lovely post!

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  26. OMG - Your tart looks and sounds amazing! This is MUST make! Stunning photos!!!!

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  27. oh my goodness, this looks amaaazing! yummm.

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  28. My god, this tart looks amazing. I love the addition of lavender and cardamon.

    I’d love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my new food photo gallery showcasing beautiful baking.

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  29. Oh I just must make this...of course I'm on the West Coast so if you're really desperate to share it with someone you could probably twist my arm... Let me know if you ever come up with that teleportation machine...all my web peeps seem to be across the continent if not on another one!

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  30. Who ever you are, i love you and your recepies !!! Thanks this is paradise !

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  31. Love this tart, though I think I messed up on the amounts for the crust. Can you tell me how much flour converted to cups, my crust didn't turn out as crumbly as I imagines. Any advice?

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  32. @Laura: I would very much encourage you to use weight measurements because they're much more exact and will produce more consistent results. But, if you don't have a scale available, I believe 260 gr of AP flour translates to roughly 1 3/4 cups. Did you use a food processor or a pastry cutter? A food processor will give you a more shortbread-like crumbly dough while you'll get a more flakey dough out of using a pastry cutter. Please feel free to email me, and we can talk in more detail! (s [at] dessertsforbreakfast [dot] com). Glad you tried the tart!

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  33. Hi, I just found you via pintrest. I love both your lavender recipes. And your photography is so beautiful!

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  34. cant't wait to try this (and have it for breakfast!)

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  35. cant't wait to try this (and have it for breakfast!)

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  36. oh my goodness, this looks amaaazing! yummm.

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  37. Oh my gosh, this looks SO yummy. And the photos are awesome to boot. :)

    I love how you're making a friend halfway across the world. The internet rocks (most of the time).

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  38. Who ever you are, i love you and your recepies !!! Thanks this is paradise !

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  39. You had me at "Lavendar Honey Dark Chocolate," and help my attention the entire way (trying not to drool!) That tarts sounds completely amazing. I'm writing it on my to-bake list NOW!

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  40. yum! I want this so badly right now,my mouth watering yum!

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  41. I recently started using lavender and I have to say it adds a beautiful note into the dish!! gorgeous creations.. I am eating my screen!!

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  42. I love baking with lavender and haven't done that in ages! Beautiful styling, as usual - can't wait to make that gorgeous tart myself!

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  43. That tart looks absolutely amazing. I've started focusing on variations of chocolate tart recently (using a fantastic Michel Roux recipe) and this is definitely a combination I'd love to try - especially since, somehow, I just happen to have all the necessary ingredients! I've had a pack of lavender buds sitting in the pantry for ages while I try to think of the perfect use for them, and I just bought a heap of Meyer lemons yesterday. Perfect. :)

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you and reading your comments! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog. Happy feasting!

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