Friday, January 11, 2008

Blowing Hot and Cold

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Hot, cold, Sunny, cloudy. You never know what it's going to be. The weather in Sydney has been as indecisive as a temperamental bride-to-be umm-ing and ahh-ing her way through everything. I don't think I have seen the weather this ambivalent until of late; moody, yes; merciless, yes, but this ambiguous, no. You never know what's coming your way, and I've given up trusting the weather people, they seem to get it wrong most of time.

With the weather being so volatile, I thought I would beat mother nature to the punch and just put away something sweet and icy for when a hot summer's day would come. If we were going to get one, that is. I found that making a batch of ice cream on a cloudy day, is the perfect nest egg for future hot days.

And well what do you know, summer does eventually decide to show up and in true Sydney fashion, it showed up in such a way that you will want to jump out of your skin, or at least straight into a cold pool of water. Woe to all those who don't have air-conditioning, or aren't in near proximity to a body of water.

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Being the environmentally-conscious greenies that we are, were a little stingy with the air-conditioning and try not use it unnecessarily and like to leave it up to mother nature to provide the cool breeze. Although when Sydney summer is at its peak, you can forget the breeze; you can also forget the words balmy and tropical, it's more like stifling and blistering and not to mention the muggy nights. There's just no relief. By this time there is absolutely no hesitation in grabbing the remote and turning on the cool air. I'm trying to remember why I love summer again.

Ahh yes, there is this one thing, besides the beach of course- it's Ice Cream! I hate to say it but let's just do a united shout out and hi-five for ice cream. Whoever decided to put some cream and eggs
together and said let's churn this baby till it gets thick and freeze it is a godsend. In my opinion, nothing makes children and adults alike as happy as ice cream does.

This ice cream not only took the edge off during the hot days but it also comes as an extremely tardy recipe for the guys at Harden Honey. I had promised them some recipes on the supply that they had generously given me months ago but never got around to making something decent and worthy of their honey. So here it is, finally, a gorgeously smooth Honey Lavender Ice Cream.

Using honey instead of sugar is great of you are thinking about minimising refined sugars in your diet, honey is not only a natural sweetener and is full of antioxidants. It also adds a nice floral accents to the ice cream, more so than ordinary sugar would. I would recommend using a mild honey for this ice cream as a stronger, richer honey would drown out the subtlety of the lavender.

And to add to the fanfare, I made these cute ice cream cups made of wonton wrappers. It's a great alternative to waffle cones, especially when you don't have one of those nifty waffle cone presses.

Honey Lavender Ice Cream

Recipe from
Makes about 1-litre

Lavender bunch

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup full cream milk
2/3 cup mild honey
2 tbsp dried edible lavender flowers
2 large eggs
1/8 tsp salt

Bring cream, milk, honey, and lavender just to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, then remove pan from heat.
Let steep, covered, 30 minutes.
Pour cream mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and discard lavender.
Return mixture to cleaned saucepan and heat over moderate heat until hot.

Whisk together eggs and salt in a large bowl, then add 1 cup hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking.
Pour into remaining hot cream mixture in saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thick enough to coat back of spoon and registers 75 to 80°C on a thermometer, about 5 minutes (do not let boil).

Pour custard through sieve into cleaned bowl and cool completely, stirring occasionally. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.
Churn custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden.

Crispy Ice-Cream Cups
recipe from Donna Hay Magazine Issue 36

1-pack wonton wrappers*
40g unsalted butter, melted
icing (confectioner's) sugar, for dusting

Preheat oven to 200
Brush wonton wrappers with melted butter.
Press wrappers into a 12-hole muffin tray. (Depending on the size of the wonton wrappers you have bought you may have to use more than one wrapper. If you are using more than one, brush between each layer.)
Bake for 5-6 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Turn out into a wire rack and cool.
Dust with icing sugar.
Scoop ice cream into the cups and serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

I would eat this ice cream anytime..even during our NY winter :)

Anna (Morsels and Musings) said...

this looks great. i love honey in ice cream and i think this combination sounds dreamy.

Mandy said...

although it's cold here in the US, I have to bookmark this recipe to try in the coming months. I adore the combination of lavender and honey. :)

Nic said...

I really like the little wonton cups, clever idea Jen!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

ah yes, the weather here has been just as unpredictable - it was 70 degrees yesterday, and it's winter!! crazy!!

the honey-lavender ice cream is so innovative - gorgeous scoop!

test it comm said...

Nice photos! I like the little wonton bowls.

Katia Mangham said...

The ice cream looks so inviting. I love the wonton cups, so easy to do too! Unfortunately we are still in winter, but hopefully not for long since I live in the south.

Marianna said...

Honey-Lavendar ice cream...A DREAM COME TRUE!! Definately got to try this...even if it's still freezin'cold in this part of the world!

Cakespy said...

Oh lord this looks good!! Thank you for the awesome recipe. I had honey lavendar chocolates recently, and it has made me obsessed with the combo. I am interested to see how it would translate to an ice cream like this!

Popsicles & Lollipops said...

Oh this looks delectable. I am bookmarking these recipes for the upcoming summer months. Believe it or not it is actually cold here in Florida. We usually have what seems like eternal summer. Oh, by the way, thanks also for introducing me to Donna Hay ..(source of those almost too cute to eat cups)!

Alya said...

Great idea! To use the wonton pastry as a shell.

Alya said...

By the way, do you shoot these pictures in a studio or on location/in the kitchen?

Anonymous said...

Using wonton wrappers as part of the dessert!? Cool idea.

Helene said...

Perfect! I just bought lavender at the farmers market..and mom is bringing my favorite honey in a couple of weeks...This is perfect for the temperatures we are having. Gorgeous shots Jen!

kate said...

i have had a recipe for honey lavender ice cream in my database for YEARS. i can't even remember where i got it. and i've never tried it!!

i have to do that. new year's resolution. all new year's resolutions should be so yummy!

Maria Luisa said...

I love your images, I love your recipes...

Mandy said...

I am in love. Lavender with honey…I didn’t think it could get better but then I read “ICE CREAM.” This is going in my “to –make” list, and will be rushed to the top since I have a brand new cuisinart ice cream maker. Thanks for the recipe, thanks for the beautiful photography.

Thanks, Mandy