As promised, here’s a bit more the best value members of the garden, edible flowers. These guys really earn their keep! Looking good and tasting great is no mean feat. Having the combination of beautiful gardens and great food really makes the Hundred House special, and it’s great to be able to share some of that with you.
First up, Lavender; we’ve seen it used with varying success, it’s been the downfall of more than one contestant on a certain British Baking contest. Use with care, it gives a unique flavour to desserts, can be used to create flavoured honey, sugar and vinegars, and the sprigs complement pork, lamb and chicken. It has a mass of health benefits too, being renowned for helping us to sleep, and soothe anxiety, as well as aiding digestion.
One of the nicest ways to use it is in a delicate dessert this adaptation of our classic Panna cotta is a glorious end to a summer meal.
Lavender Panna cotta
For the lavender flowers
225ml/8fl oz. water
100g/3½oz caster sugar
handful lavender flowers
For the panna cotta
- 625ml whole milk
- 170ml pouring cream
- 125g superfine sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 6 gelatine leaves
To prepare the lavender flowers
Heat the water and caster sugar together in a pan.
Stir until the sugar melts. Boil gently so the liquid reduces a little.
Remove from the heat, and allow to cool.
Once cooled, add the lavender flowers to the pan.
Allow to steep, to create a delicate lavender syrup. After a few of hours, remove the lavender and allow to dry. Keep them to decorate the panna cotta.
To make the Panna Cotta
- Mix milk, cream, sugar, cardamom and vanilla bean & seeds in saucepan over medium heat
- Bring it to boil then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes
- Soak gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes until soft then squeeze the excess water out. Add them to milk mixture until combined.
- Remove from heat & pass through a fine sieve into clean jug
- Pour into cups and refrigerate overnight
- Turn the panna cotta out onto individual serving plates and drizzle the lavender syrup over them. Decorate with the crystallised lavender flowers.