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How to Bake with Lavender


“The the best way to describe Lavender is that it overlays a sweet fruity floral mintyness to baking.  It works with both sweet and savoury and it somehow transforms the everyday baked goods into something remarkable just by showing up in a recipe.  It is worth noting though, that with lavender ... less is more”. Vanessa Kimbell

 

lavender-bread 2-680

Over the years I have come to the conclusion that you either love it, hate it or perhaps just a little afraid of it. Blue, mauve, indigo or pink, wonderful aromatic lavender hasn’t always been in vogue  ...  but it always seems to get a reaction.  I'm a fan of using lavender in baking.  It is a first cousin of rosemary and it elevates the top notes with purple fresh mint tones.  It's a hard taste to describe, but really wonderful to use in everyday baking,  so thank goodness lavender is fashionable to bake with again.

There are three top tips when you are using lavender to bake with:

  • If your lavender is dried then soak it in a few drops of full fat milk for half an hour.  This hydrates the lavender and the fat facilitates the essential oil distribution in your cake or bread.
  • If you are baking with fresh lavender then use twice the amount as you would if dried. Dried lavender is much more concentrated in flavour than fresh.
  • Do not overdo the amount of lavender. It is far more delicious as a back note than as the lead flavour.

Lavender combines well with other flavours.  Try lavender and honey bread, or lavender and lemon cake, or baked goats cheese on lavender bread, and my final tip is to use the fresh flowers scattered over your baking.

You can find out which varieties to bake with here.

 

 

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