Following on from last week’s blog about how lavender can save you money on your cleaning bills, we’d like to point out just how economical our wonderful lavender really is. This thought was brought to the forefront of our minds after watching the sad departure of Norman from The Great British Bake Off. How are the two connected you may be thinking? Well read on….
Now, lovely Norman spent the preceding weeks of his Bake Off career by stubbornly ignoring the judges, Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, and cooking the simplest bakes he possibly could – salt and pepper for savoury bakes and a ‘wee drop of vanilla essence’ for sweet. However week 5 of Bake Off saw Norman faced with the challenge of creating a Showstopper Tiered Pie. A spectacular creation was produced which he finished off with a lavender meringue topped pie. This, however was to be Norman’s downfall. Usually somewhat shy of flavourings, Norman took the judges’ comments to heart and threw both himself, and a seemingly entire fistful of lavender, into his meringue. Unfortunately Norman forgot the cardinal rule of cooking with lavender – a little goes a long way!
We have previously given you recipes for lavender meringues, just gorgeous with softly whipped cream and summer berries, but the aim is for your meringue to have a beautiful floral hint of lavender, rather than a sucker punch of it! As with all ingredients you can have too much of a good thing and where lavender is concerned you really only do need a little, especially when using our dried culinary lavender which, through the drying process, becomes more concentrated.
It is often difficult to tell you exactly how much lavender to use in a recipe, as different people’s palates can vary significantly. So we often recommend starting with just a little and then working your way up. Brewing a delicious cup of Lavender Tea can be a great way to start judging the amount of lavender you personally are going to want to use in recipes. For example if you like your lavender teas steeped for just a short amount of time, then use slightly less lavender in your recipe, whereas if you prefer a much stronger brew then feel free to up the amount of lavender proscribed.
Also we would always recommend only ever using a specific culinary lavender in your baking. Jersey Lavender Farm Dried Culinary Lavender has been harvested at the exact moment when the lavender holds the most floral and delicate flavour, before any unwanted bitterness has developed. You can also rest assured that our culinary lavender has been specially sieved and filtered so that it is ready to use straight from the packet.
So the lesson is, a little lavender goes a long way. Bad news for Norman, great news for our wallets!