On a recent trip through Okanagan wine country in central British Columbia, I was sitting in the pretty flower garden at Peachcliff B&B, enjoying the scents of lavender and roses. As I sipped the crisp local white wine, I was inspired by the aromas and the countryside to create this unique dessert. Lavender had been in the forefront of my mind anyway, and I was lucky to be in the area just as it started to bloom.
At first I thought, "Will this taste like hand lotion?" The answer? It doesn't! Lavender adds a slightly herbaceous, almost fruity flavour, with a very faint, flowery note. I also made Lavender Syrup from the flowers (recipe here).
This decadent dessert is not overly sweet, so it pairs wonderfully with a slightly sweet white wine that has great acidity, like this botrytis-affected Riesling from Wild Goose Vineyards in Okanagan Falls, BC.
I hope you try this decadent, creamy treat, and that it evokes images of wine country for you as well.
Click through for recipe and instructions...
Lavender Panna Cotta with Blueberry Riesling SauceMakes 6 small dishes
Ingredients: Lavender Panna Cotta
- 1/3 cup cold water
- 2 teaspoons unflavoured gelatin
- 1.5 cups heavy cream or whipping cream (unwhipped)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons dried lavender flowers
Ingredients: Blueberry Riesling Sauce
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons late harvest Riesling or other sweet white wine, such as ice wine, divided
- Pour 1/3 cup cold water in a bowl and sprinkle in 2 teaspoons of unflavoured gelatin. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, whisk together heavy cream, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and salt, and bring to just barely boiling. Remove from heat.
- Stir in lavender flowers and vanilla, and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Pour gelatin mixture into the cream mixture and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Strain out lavender and pour into small dishes. Refrigerate overnight to set.
- To make the Blueberry Riesling sauce, combine blueberries, sugar, water, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of Riesling in a saucepan. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until thickened.
- Mash some, but not all, of the berries with a potato masher.
- Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon of Riesling.
- Chill in refrigerator overnight to thicken.
- Serve Panna Cottas with a heaping tablespoon of Blueberry Riesling Sauce. Enjoy!
This article first appeared in the Summer issue of Stimuli magazine.