YUM!!!! It was SO good! I decided to make Ice Cream for the Fourth. I have had homemade vanilla ice cream before and it just never was that good. I’m not a big fan of vanilla anyways. I decided on chocolate but as I was getting the ingredients I remembered this delicious chocolate bar I had that was infused with lavender. That got me thinking, “I bet I can do this with ice cream!”
It was a BIG hit and even my husband, who is afraid to try anything new, loved it! It was so rich and creamy and the lavender gave it such an interesting twist. The flavor combination is something so difficult to explain. You just have to try it!
Here is my recipe adapted from this recipeby Alton Brown at foodnetwork.com.
Lavender Infused Chocolate Ice Cream – makes 1 1/2 quarts
3 Lavender Flower Heads*
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder **
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Special Equipment – mesh tea strainer ball and an Ice Cream maker
Remove the flower buds from the three heads of lavender slightly crushing the buds to release the oils. Place the buds into a mesh tea strainer ball and close. Place cocoa powder and 1 cup of the hald-and-hald into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Add the tea strainer to the saucepan and add the remaining half-and-half and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally and remove from heat.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine. Remove the lavender ball from the cream mixture. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.
Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.
*If you aren’t using your own homegrown please be sure to buy culinary lavender.
** There is also dark chocolate cocoa powder available which would be cool to try!