Lavender perfection for cooking both savoury & sweet
The popularity of Lavender flavouring in food has recently risen sharply…. alongside the ever-photogenic ‘botanical baking’ trends to decorate our instagram screens! But we are not the first to recognise its varied potential – its early apogee was many centuries back when Queen Elizabeth I, allegedly, insisted a jar of lavender preserve should be on the table for every meal!
The authentic taste of an English summer has been captured in our unique culinary Lavender offering, giving chefs and home-cooks exciting new possibilities for sweet and savoury use. Our Lavender range has been featured in numerous food magazines and used by Gordon Ramsay, Juliet Sear and several Masterchef winners.
At Castle Farm, we grow a specific variety of Lavender called ‘folgate’which we use in our cooking collections. This lavender has a deep blue colour when dried and a sweet, summery flavor.
- Castle Farm Culinary Lavender Flowers– pretty little purple buds, with a delicate flavor. Often used in cakes and shortbread biscuits – works particularly well when paired with citrusy and lemon flavors. Also works beautifully when the Lavender flowers are combined with rock salt and cumin seeds as used as a rub on a roast joint of beef or lamb.
- Castle Farm Lavender Essence– Our Lavender food essences are made directly from the beautiful lavender oil harvested from our fields. (The oil itself is not generally suitable for cooking – except in chocolate-making – as it can leave a bitter sensation on the tongue and will be smelled rather than tasted.)
The Culinary Essences are an extract of the flavour element of the oil, formulated so they will integrate with other ingredients in recipes and give reliable, consistent results – making them ideal for commercial and domestic use.
We offer two distinct types of Lavender Food Essences: Hot Lavender Essence – (for baking and high temperature use in cakes, biscuits, fudge, stewed fruits, jellies, marmalades, chutneys and sauces) and Cold Lavender Essence – (for use in ice cream, cheesecakes, cold drinks etc).
Particularly popular when adding a few drops to a summery cocktail… with champagne or gin!
Our Lavender Syrup also has a beautiful sweet delicate flavour… and is lovely drizzled in cocktails, over ice cream or served with berries and fruit.
Some simple suggestions to get the most out of your lavender when cooking are below, but click here for more Lavender Recipes;
Lavender Essence softens the sharpness of some fruits, reducing the need for sugar. Add a few drops to stewed fruit such as plums, rhubarb or gooseberries and use with berries in summer puddings.
Lavender works brilliantly with citrus flavours, so use ‘Hot‘ essence in delicate lemon sauces for chicken or fish or in powerful orange marmalades.
Combine culinary lavender heads with ground coriander seeds for a spicy taste in chutneys or as a crust for roast beef or lamb – and then serve the meat with lavender jelly.
Try using lavender with tomatoes – it really works!
Marinade chicken pieces in honey and lavender flowers for barbecues.
NB. Chocolate is the one foodstuff that requires an oil rather than essence in its making. For that we generally recommend Kentish Lavandin Oil rather than lavender because its sharper character is great with a rich dark chocolate.
For more Lavender Recipes see here: