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Herbal Desserts


hazardnc
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Over twenty years ago, I made rose geranium pound cake using a recipe from the Hilltop Herb Farm in Texas. It was, at that time, a truly unique dessert, and everyone loved the subtle rose flavor.

Since then, I have pondered other ways to use herbs in desserts; perhaps a lemon verbena panna cotta with blueberry couli or pineaple sage creme brulee.

I have tarragon, thyme, verbena, pineapple sage and rose geranium in my garden as well as the usual suspects (basil, sage..) Any ideas?

Edited by hazardnc (log)
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My favorite dessert herb is rosemary. It pairs perfectly with sweet flavors and is especially good with figs, orange, and lemon. (But don't stop there.) Basil makes a great sweet flavoring, and cilantro with lime can be used in many desserts.

When I was writing my Marshmallows book I included many savory herbed flavors; unfortunately, my publisher vanquished them from the book, much to my disappointment. Savory herbs are where it's at these days, IMHO.

Have fun!

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

HowThe Cookie Crumbles.com

HomemadeGourmetMarshmallows.com

As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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Rose geranium is also very nice infused in a pouring custard (creme anglaise). The flavor goes great with strawberries, blue and blackberries.

I recently made some lavender syrup with culinary lavender. I haven't done anything fancy with it dessert-wise yet, but we've been enjoying it at breakfast as a sweetner for chopped nectarines and blueberries.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Over twenty years ago, I made rose geranium pound cake using a recipe from the Hilltop Herb Farm in Texas.  It was, at that time, a truly unique dessert, and everyone loved the subtle rose flavor.

Since then, I have pondered other ways to use herbs in desserts; perhaps a lemon verbena panna cotta with blueberry couli or pineaple sage creme brulee.

I have tarragon, thyme, verbena, pineapple sage and rose geranium in my garden as well as the usual suspects (basil, sage..)  Any ideas?

I adore basil ice cream.

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I love the idea of the creme anglaise flavored with rose geranium and other flavors. I found a recipe for tarragon ice cream, and given that basil has that anise-like flavor, that would be wonderful too.

Anyone care to share a recipe? To make infused marshmallows (I've made the vanilla marshmallow recipe from this site), what do you do? I can imagine all kinds of great applications for herb infused marshmallows!

One year, I made a wonderful blueberry-lavender jam....

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My family loves Rosemary Creme Brulle and Lemon-Rosemary Sorbet with Campari, both from Patrick O'Connell's "The Inn at Little Washington Cookbook." Rosemary Creme Brulle is lots of fun to serve at a dinner party; everybody loves it, asks for seconds, but nobody can guess correctly what it is.

I also make lots and lots of recipes by Susan Belsinger, whose books introduced me to the joy of fresh herbs at a time when most of my friends were just starting to use dry herbs in their cooking.

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I love pineapple sage. I like to infuse some leaves in a warm simple syrup, then use that to lightly sweeten a fruit salad. I add torn pineapple sage leaves to the salad, and sprinkle the beautiful flowers on top. It's a really summery treat.

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Rose geranium is also very nice infused in a pouring custard (creme anglaise).  The flavor goes great with strawberries, blue and blackberries.

I recently made some lavender syrup with culinary lavender.  I haven't done anything fancy with it dessert-wise yet, but we've been enjoying it at breakfast as a sweetner for chopped nectarines and blueberries.

Lavender syrup soaked into lemon pound cake is very good. I imagine a sorbet of some sort would be good with the cake, too.

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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For the farmer's market that I'm selling stuff at I've done shortbread and butter cookies with lavendar or rosemary. They both sold well, the rosemary I had to offer samples of, people couldn't fathom that combo. I added a handful of each chopped lemon balm and lemon basil leaves to a very tender crumbed white cake recipe I made into cupcakes -that was very nice. Am gonna take some chopped mint and put in a brownie recipe next time.

Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

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Am gonna take some chopped mint and put in a brownie recipe next time.

We did that in college. Ummm... yeaaah... that's uhhh... mint. :raz::biggrin:

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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For the farmer's market that I'm selling stuff at I've done shortbread and butter cookies with lavendar or rosemary.  They both sold well, the rosemary I had to offer samples of, people couldn't fathom that combo.  I added a handful of each chopped lemon balm and lemon basil leaves to a  very tender crumbed white cake recipe I made into cupcakes -that was very nice.  Am gonna take some chopped mint and put in a brownie recipe next time.

Rosemary can work well in many desserts. Here is a great recipe that Abra pointed out to us in one of her blogs: Cornmeal Cake with Rosemary Syrup and Blackberries

I've made it several times to great reviews.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I love pineapple sage.  I like to infuse some leaves in a warm simple syrup, then use that to lightly sweeten a fruit salad.  I add torn pineapple sage leaves to the salad, and sprinkle the beautiful flowers on top.  It's a really summery treat.

I snapped up a sage called "golden delicious" at our local farm stand last week and did an infused syrup with it. It's quite heady -- other than to flavor drinks, I haven't decided how to use it.

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For the farmer's market that I'm selling stuff at I've done shortbread and butter cookies with lavendar or rosemary.  They both sold well, the rosemary I had to offer samples of, people couldn't fathom that combo.

Ooh! I love rosemary shortbread. I've also heard that rosemary and vanilla go well together.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I love tarragon and dark chocolate-- my favorite use is in an infused ganache, used to fill a pasta frolla.

Also, as a quick dessert, chop up strawberries and/or peaches, toss them with a little lemon zest and some fresh basil, and dump it all over vanilla ice cream-- best summer sundaes EVER.

Torren O'Haire - Private Chef, FMSC Tablemaster, Culinary Scholar

"life is a combination of magic and pasta"

-F. Fellini

"We should never lose sight of a beautifully conceived meal."

-J. Child

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I've made a bonbon with pineapple pate de fruit layered over basil ganache, which was a good combination. Another combination that Michael Recchiuti has in one of his chocolates is tarragon and grapefruit.

I second the thyme and berry combination, too. For example, I've made a blueberry cobbler with some thyme added to the blueberry mixture, which worked well (I'd think lemon thyme would be particularly good).

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i really like doing vanilla bean with bay leaves - makes an especially nice gelato, but i've done creme brulee with these flavors, too.

apples & rosemary work well together - i think that lynne rossetto kaspar has a recipe for a apple & rosemary cake in one of her books - the splendid table, maybe?

all kinds of herbs are great for poaching fruits - esp. thyme & bay leaves, i think. i also like to infuse honey with different herbs, and then use it as a sauce, or to poach things like figs.

i've made a very light lavendar syrup to serve with a honey flan - very nice flavor combo.

lemon verbena is one of my favorites, too - have used that in creme brulee, ice cream and also panna cotta, to great effect. i think it would make a nice gelato, too - delicate but flavorful. oh, and basil ice cream is GREAT!

:smile:

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I've made strawberry sorbet with pineapple mint that was fabulous - but not very unusual in terms of using a herb.

I had a dessert in a local restaurant that paired rosemary & pineapple that I thought was a good combination - but the execution needed to be improved apon. The rosemary pound cake was very dense & dry, and unfortunately, it was served very cold. If the cake had been allowed to come to room temp before serving it might have been much better. If I recall correctly, there was a pineapple rosemary simple syrup and a pineapple chutney that went with it - or something like that!

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