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Jan 28, 2011 11:31 AM

Herbs in desserts?

I use basil and mint in desserts, most often in ice cream, cookies and crepes.

Do you use herbs in your desserts? If so, which ones and how?

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  1. Rosemary and lemon is a nice combo for muffins, breads, etc. I've made lemon-thyme cookies before and people loved that they couldn't identify it immediately.

    I wonder if cilantro can be used in desserts...

    2 Replies
    1. re: staple

      There's a chocolate shop I go to that sells gelato and sorbet, including a cilantro-lime sorbet. It is wonderful. I make special trips when I'm in the neighborhood.

    2. Often! Basil in sorbet and gelee and with blackberries on pavlova, lemon thyme in simple syrup sauce, mint in panna cotta and fruit fools, lemon verbena in lemon olive oil cake, lavender in shortbread...

      EDIT - I forgot the rosemary chocolate sauce I make for either savoury dishes (i.e. braised short ribs) or for ganache, truffles and so on. I also use rosemary in citrus drinks (although drinks are not so much a dessert). I make rosemary preserves of all kinds including nectarine rosemary jelly.

      1. over at Tigers and strawberries, the chef in black has a recipe for szechuan peppercorn cookies.

        1. Mostly as you do, although I also love rosemary in dessert. Made a rosemary, honey, and pistachio ice cream last summer that was killer. Sometimes I'll steep a little basil or mint or rosemary in cream the night before whipping cream for a nice dessert. And there's a nice and dead-simple upside down pear rosemary cake in _The Herbal Kitchen_.

          Oh, herbed cream is also great in little chocolate pots.

          1 Reply
          1. re: eight_inch_pestle

            Ooooh... steeping basil, mint, or rosemary in cream is a great idea! Never thought of that. Thanks for the idea.

          2. I have had lavender in a couple desserts and found it to taste like soap--especially the whipped cream.

            8 Replies
            1. re: escondido123

              I was going to say, I've had lavender panna cotta. It was exceptionally well-made because I don't like lavender, and I loved this. (Before anybody asks why I ordered a flavor I don't like, I DIDN'T - it was comped due to a kitchen error on entrees.)
              I've also had cayenne ice cream, and if ginger counts ( I know, it's a rhizome), I've had a white chocolate/ginger mousse that was great.
              My sister the uncook added tarragon to sugar cookies once, and they were completely inedible, but it also had something to do with the cookies themselves.
              Does weed count as an herb to you? Couple of years ago I was gifted with a choco/mint brownie and plowed through it, marvelling that I couldn't taste the cannabis. However. I sure felt it a couple hours later.................zzzzzzzzzzzz........drooool........

                    1. re: mamachef

                      Ah the Bay Area. Ran into unannounced altered brownies at a party, only kicked in later, almost went facedown into the pizza I was eating. Molasses-spice cookies hide the flavor better than brownies, or so i'm told.

                    2. re: escondido123

                      I think it takes a really light hand. It is hard in some ways to judge the amount. I have heard of people using the flower, and I always thought you would use the leaf. I made some poundcake with a small amount of fresh lavender leaves and it was pretty good. It was very subtle. I think fresh is easier to use than dried.

                      1. re: wekick

                        I make a lavender pound cake almost every Easter with the dried flowers - it's delicious and subtle.