Lavender is in full bloom at the moment, helped by an exceptional summer here in Ireland (a once in 15 years occurrence apparently)! Using floral flavours has always intrigued me in cooking and unfortunately, the syrups/aromas I have found in the shops have been quite disappointing (either way too strong or too weak to get just the right amount of flavour going through without being overpowering). So, I searched the web for some way to use my own lavender in my kitchen. I came across this syrup and flavoured sugar recipes, which are very easy to do and will give you a beautiful yet subtle lavender aroma in your baking.
For the syrup:
20 stems of lavender (freshly picked for me)
Muslin cloth and a sieve for filtering
For the lavender sugar:
200g golden caster/granulated sugar (or white sugar)
3 or 4 stems of lavender
- Lavender syrup: cut the stems so the whole flower fits into your saucepan. Give them a wash under the tap to get rid of the nasty crawlies!
- Place water, sugar and lavender in the saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Let it simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, boil some water and pour into the bottle/container for your lavender syrup. Leave to stand for 10 minutes to sterilise, then empty.
- Line a sieve with muslin cloth and filter out the lavender.
- Using a funnel, pour the syrup into the sterilised container. Will keep for weeks in the fridge.
- Lavender sugar: tie the lavender stems together with a twine and suspend, flowers upside-down in a dry room for 24 hours to dry.
- Place a little sugar in a container, then some of the dried lavender, then another layer of sugar and so on.
- Leave for 2 weeks, then filter out the lavender (otherwise, it will be too strong). You can use this sugar in many cakes/biscuits/frosting preparations.