Lavender pannacotta with almond brittle

When I had Jess and Laura around for dinner a while ago I had prepared this dessert the dat before because once again I made pannacotta.

I love this little concotion and will probably not stop making it until I have tried every flavour I can possibly think of – and maybe not even then.

This time I flavoured the pannacotta with lavender, and because of this particular flavour I used less sugar than usual. Instead I added sweet almond brittle to serve with it and it turned out really well. It was nice with the contrasting textures as well with the crunchy sugary nuts and velvety cream together.

I was in a hurry when preparing this and therefore I used quite a lot of lavender to flavour the cream quickly. If you have more time on your hands you can use less lavender with the cream and instead leave the mixture in the fridge for a few hours before making the pannacotta.

Lavender pannacotta, serves 3

400 ml cream

25-30 ml caster sugar

2 tbsp lavender

2 gelatine leaves

Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl and cover with cold water. Pour the cream, sugar and lavender into a saucepan and bring to the boil whilw stirring. Remove from heat. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and add it to the mixture – stir to combine. Pour the mixture through a sieve to catch the lavender and let the creamy mixture cool for 15 minutes or so. Then pour into dessert bowls, ramekins or what you prefer. Leave to cool, then place in fridge overnight to set.

Almond brittle

1 tbsp salted butter

2 tbsp caster sugar

1.5 tbsp cream

two handfuls almonds

Place all ingredients bar the almonds in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the almonds and let the mixture become a golden colour, while stirring. Pour onto a baking sheet and leave to cool completely. Chop and place on top of the pannacottas before serving.

Lavender chicken

Here’s another recipe with inspiration from The Little Paris Kitchen. Unfortunately the recipe is not to be found on the BBC website, only in Rachel Khoo’s cookbook, but after seeing the program it was quite easy to make my own version. It worked really well, my dinner guests can certainly guarantee that.

I served it with simple sides so the chicken took centre stage. Green beans and new potatoes also work with the French theme. For the sauce I just reduced the juices from the pan and added some butter to it. Truly delicious!

Lavendel chicken, serves 4

With inspiration from Rachel Khoo.
 

1 whole organic cornfed chicken, 1.5 kg approx

Marinade:

3 tsp dried lavender

2-3 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 lemon, the zest and juice

2 tbsp honey

2 tbsp mild olive oil

salt

black pepper

For the sauce:

2 tbsp butter

Cut the chicken into any pieces you like. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a big mixing bowl and cover the chicken with it. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200C and remove the chicken from the fridge. Place the chicken pieces in a roasting tray and cook in the oven until the meat juices are clear, approx 40 minutes. Let the meat rest under tin foil while making the sauce. Pour all the juices from the roasting dish into a saucepan and reduce till about half. Whisk in the butter and serve with green beans and new potatoes.