infused whipped creams for summer desserts...help
Hello all. I have a lemon tart that I really want to accompany with a dollop of lavender whipped cream. I found a recipe on epicurious for lavender whipped cream (accompanying a meyer lemon cake) that involved bringing cream to a simmer with lavender and honey, then letting it sit to absorb for a half hour, then whipping it into a whipped cream. However, when I tried to do this it frothed instead of whipping. What did I do wrong? Perhaps the cream wasn't cold enough? Also, I used heavy cream instead of whipping cream - if this was my simple mistake, I apologize for asking!
Also, if anyone else has any other ideas for these kinds of infused creams, I'd love to hear them - it's such a nice subtle way to add flavor to a dessert!
You can do it one of three ways. The warm steeping method you mention above works, but you have to completely cool the cream before whipping. As in cold. cold bowl and beater helps, although to be honest I rarely do that and have never had an issue. I don't like the heat steeping method because I think it makes the cream thick instead of light if you heat it too much and change taste.
Second way is to cold steep, which requires a longer sitting time. Overnight or a couple of days.
Final way is to use a flavored sugar - blend your lavender with your sugar in a food processor and add that to taste.
I make several kinds of infused sugar with herbs to get flavors into different things and I do it by using the standard "sink a vanilla bean in sugar method". It worked so well for vanilla that I tried small jars of different herbs and sugar -lemon balm, mint, basil, lavender- all fresh from the garden and stuck whole in the jar with the sugar. It worked great without having to send it through the processor, didn't alter the color of the sugar or pulverize it and no herb bits in it. The flavor comes through in whipped cream and gelatins as well in other uses. I also do this to make extracts: herb + vodka, steep for awhile = extract. This allows me to layer a flavor, for example, a lavender scented panne cotta will have fresh lavender steeped in the milk, sweetened with lavender sugar and a drop of lavender extract. The end result is a slightly more pronounced lavender flavor but not overwhelming, just enough to hold it's own against the coulis used with the panne cotta.
I did a saffron infused whipped cream for a cake, and the recipe had me infuse the saffron in a small portion of the cream ahead of time, chilling it, before incorporating it with rest of the very cold cream and whipping. It whipped fine, but cold is important in whipping cream. The colder, the better is what I have heard, and many cooks chill both the bowl and beaters before proceeding, esp. if it is hot out.
I have had good results using either heavy or whipping cream, so I don't think that enters into it. I have heard that cream won't whip if it has been frozen, but I haven't verified it.
You can do this as well with torn mint leaves. Steep with the leaves then strain out before whipping. Give you a wonderful fresh subtle mint flavor.
I imagine you could do the exact same thing with anise hysop leaves. Or lemon verbena. Always trying to think of new uses for them now that they're going gangbusters in the garden.
Did you follow the directions? I had to look it up because letting it sit for half an hour and then whipping didn't seem right. . The directions below say to let it sit for half an hour, strain and then refrigerate until cold. If you whipped it at half an hour, it would foam. The heavy cream is fine. As everyone else said, make sure everything is cold.
You might try Lavender Honey. It is an import from Provence. It is very delicate, not an infused honey, just honey taken from the hives of bees who pollinate lavender blossoms. I love the stuff, so delicate and delicious.