Lavender – yum. Chocolate – yum. Lavender Chocolate – double yum! And after a recent trip to home of wonderful chocolate, Belgium, a friend brought me back a bar of Belgian Lavender Chocolate – hooray!
In the past we had always thought of pairing the amazing floral taste of lavender with white chocolate (try infusing cream with some of our delicious dried culinary lavender and a little lemon zest before melting with white chocolate to make fantastic chocolate pots or truffles). But here dark chocolate has been infused with lavender and the resulting bar of silky smooth bitter sweet yet floral chocolate is absolutely wonderful!
As we know, lavender has a calming effect that slows our central nervous system resulting in us feeling soothed and relaxed. It is also known that some of the compounds in chocolate act on the receptors in our brain to boost the release of feel-good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and endorphins. So the combination of calming and relaxing lavender and feel-good chocolate not only tastes fantastic, but can make us feel fantastic too.
Obviously a great way to enjoy lavender chocolate is just to let a square melt slowly on your tongue with a nice cup of coffee. But why not substitute lavender chocolate for the regular chocolate in any of your favourite recipes? Lavender chocolate brownies? Lavender chocolate cupcakes topped with lavender frosting (infuse milk with a good spoonful of our dried culinary lavender and then mix that into your icing sugar with a few drops of purple colouring and finish with a sprinkling of lavender buds)? Or even just a plain vanilla biscuit topped with a generous coating of melted lavender chocolate?
However a great use we’ve found for lavender chocolate (after some arduous testing!), and a lovely idea for an indulgent Mother’s Day breakfast (trust me, your mum will love it!) is lavender chocolate pancakes. To serve 4 you will need:
- 6 heaped tablespoons of self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tablespoon of caster sugar
- 1 large beaten egg
- 100g lavender chocolate, chopped into small chunks (or if you don’t have
- lavender chocolate try 1 teaspoon of dried culinary lavender and 100g of dark chocolate)
- Approx. 100ml milk
- Butter for frying
- Sift the flour and bicarb into a bowl and stir through the sugar
- Make a well in the centre and slowly incorporate the beaten egg and enough milk until you have a batter the consistency of very thick double cream
- Gently fold through the chopped lavender chocolate (or plain chocolate and dried lavender) until just incorporated – over mixing will cause your pancakes to be tough
- Melt enough butter to coat the bottom of a frying pan over a medium heat and pour in approx. 1 tablespoon of batter per pancake
- Cook until bubbles appear on the surface and the bottom of the pancakes are golden brown, then gently flip over and cook for a further minute
Serve these wonderful pancakes warm with a spoonful of crème fraiche, a drizzle of lavender syrup, a bunch of flowers and a homemade card that features more glitter and glue than pape
Happy Mother’s Day from everyone at Jersey Lavender Farm, and why not treat your Mum to some of our Lavender Chocolate here.