Friday, May 24, 2013

Lavender Berry Gin Fizz and More...

Sciabica’s Lavender infused olive oil smells glorious. Secondly, it’s a lovely scented moisturizer. Thirdly, it is surprising how many flavors work well with lavender. Lavender is not just floral. It has citrus, herbal, and white pepper notes, too. It is marvelously complex. I found myself adding a few drops to almost anything, just to see what it was like. Like the Lavender Blackberry Vinaigrette. I just made a normal vinaigrette, added a little blackberry puree, and a little lavender olive oil to taste. Here’s a few other things I tried:

Lavender Lemon Curd
Lavender & Blackberry Ganache
Lavender Sugar
Lavender Berry Gin Fizz

The one thing that I really wanted to do was to make Lavender Macarons. Epic fail. The almond cookies taste delicious, but the technical aspects of making a perfect macaron elude me. The feet were imperceptible in one batch. In another batch, every single cookie cracked. In another batch, every single cookie spread into its neighbor and became one long macaron…again without feet. In another batch, I turned off the timer and forgot to pull the cookies out of the oven. Unable to admit defeat, I bought more almonds and sugar and eggs. I will master macarons.

Lavender Lemon Curd (this was supposed to be one of the fillings for the doomed macarons)
by Woo Brower

5 egg yolks (I used an all yolk recipe, because obviously I used all the whites in the doomed macarons.)
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 stick of butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 Tablespoon lemon zest

I like a tart lemon curd so there is a little less sugar than most recipes I’ve seen, but feel free to use a full cup of sugar.

In a double boiler, combine yolks, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Stir until sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Strain the mixture to remove any lumps. Stir in the butter pieces until melted away. Add the zest and Sciabica’s Lavender Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on the curd to prevent a skin forming as it cools. The lavender aroma and flavor was subtle. The lemon is front and center with the lavender subtly floral on the finish.

Lavender Blackberry Ganache (Yep, you guessed it. Another filling for the doomed macarons.)
by Woo Brower

6 ounces of fresh blackberries
3/4 cup of heavy cream, scalded
4 ounces white chocolate (I used Ghiradelli.)

Puree the blackberries in a food processor, strain the puree to remove the seeds. Discard the seeds/pulp remaining in the strainer. Set the puree aside. Heat the heavy cream until scalded. Remove from heat and add the white chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate. Add the blackberry puree and the Sciabica’s Lavender Extra Virgin Olive Oil, stir to combine thoroughly. Allow to cool and refrigerate, tightly covered. When ready to use, whip until fluffy. Can be used as a filling for cakes or hmmmm, I dunno, maybe macarons would be good.

Oh, yeah, the macarons drove me to drink. So I came up with two cocktails…with lavender. One involved an egg white and as we all know, the macaron egg white hex is upon me so that did not turn out…will work on it and report back. The other turned out well enough to soothe my ego.

First, a little Lavender Sugar to rim the glass. The flavor is subtle, as is the color which was derived from a combination of blackberry puree and a teen tiny dab of blue food coloring.

Lavender Sugar
by Woo Brower

2 Tablespoons of white sugar
1/2 teaspoon of blackberry puree (turns the sugar pink)
teensy tiny bit of blue food coloring (turns the pink sugar lavender)
(or skip the blackberry and the blue food coloring and just use a teensy bit of purple food coloring)

Combine everything in a small bowl, stir, pressing with the back of a small spoon. Stir until the color is evenly distributed into the sugar. Allow to dry for a few minutes, stir again, until loose. To coat the rim of a cocktail glass rub a cut lemon along the rim and dip the glass into the sugar.

Lavender Berry Gin Fizz
by Woo Brower

1.5-2 ounces of Gin
juice of ½ a lime
2-3 teaspoons of Lavender sugar (to taste—Hunter thought it needed a touch more sweetness)
3 mint leaves torn
3 blackberries (or any berry) muddled
chilled soda water (Lemon Pellegrino would be great, though sweeter)

Into a cocktail shaker add gin, lime juice, and lavender sugar. Shake or stir to dissolve sugar. Add the torn mint leaves, muddled berries and several ice cubes. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Pour into a tall glass, rimmed with the Lavender Sugar, and top with chilled soda water. Stir gently to combine. Alternatively, strain the drink into a chilled
martini glass rimmed with the Lavender Sugar, top with a splash of chilled soda water.

There are aromatic bitters, flower waters, and floral liqueurs that would be really good in this cocktail. Orange bitters, Crème de Violette, Orange Blossom water, St. Germaine to name a few. But, I wanted to try to make a cocktail with the floral element coming from Sciabica’s Lavender Oil.

No comments:

Post a Comment