Lavender Ice Cream with Bittersweet Chocolate Shavings

 

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Fine, I admit it.  I want to be Meryl Streep in It’s Complicated.  Pretty sure anyone who’s into food wants to live in the foodie paradise that is her life in that movie.  But that’s not the only reason I wanted to make Lavender Ice Cream.  I used to live in Columbus, OH home of the world’s greatest ice cream/happiness supplier Jeni’s Ice Cream.  They too make a Lavender Ice Cream.  So it’s been on my radar on a couple of levels.   This makes me slightly more original right…

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Why has it taken me so long to get lavender in my kitchen? Whenever I see recipes for lavender I file it away along with recipes for rose water and other obscure ingredients I’ll never actually have access too.  I was way off.  Turns out lavender was just waiting for me in the bulk spice section at Whole Foods.  And now I want to put it in everything.

 

When I think of lavender I think of bubble baths and candles… overall calming associations.  This recipe is steeped with the lavender and then the lavender is discarded.  So I thought I would barely taste it.  Wrong- lavender has a kick in culinary format and its presence is definitely felt in the ice cream.  In the best way possible.

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Inspired by HowSweetEats

You’ll need:

2.5 cups heavy cream

1.5 cups whole milk

0.75 cup granulated sugar

0.25 cup dried culinary lavender

0.25 teaspoon salt

2.5 teaspoons vanilla extract

8-12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped/shaved*

 

*I was checking out at the grocery store when I realized I forgot to buy chocolate.  The recipe called for white chocolate but I thought bittersweet was more up my alley.  I remembered I had one of those comically large Trader Joes chocolate bars at home and was convinced that would cover it.  When I got home I saw the recipe called for 12 ounces of chocolate (0.75 pound!).  That’s obscene.  I fortunately had about 11 ounces which I used but less would probably be better.  It did stretch out the batch of ice cream which is important considering how quickly I’m consuming it.

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Let’s do this:

Add cream, milk, sugar, lavender and salt to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Continue to heat until the mixture becomes warm and begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat, add in vanilla extract and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 60 minutes while the lavender seeps in.  After an hour, strain the milk through a sieve and discard the lavender. Add the mixture to a bowl and refrigerate until cold, mine took about 60 minutes.

Once it’s cold, add the mixture to your ice cream maker and churn according to directions. A few minutes before it is finished churning, add in the bittersweet chocolate. Once it’s finished churning, scoop the ice cream into a freezer-safe container and cover. Freeze for at least 4 to 6 hours. Let sit for a few minutes before serving so the ice cream can soften.  Try to share with at least one other person.  I have not done this yet.

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