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COOKING WITH GALA

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LAVENDER DESSERTS

Lavender-Vanilla Ice Cream:

Choose a favorite vanilla ice cream recipe. Tie about a tablespoon of lavender blossoms in a square of cheesecloth. Add a split vanilla bean and the lavender to the hot custard mixture for the ice cream. Let stand until cool to infuse. Remove the cheesecloth bag and the vanilla bean. Freeze the ice cream as directed by the manufacturer of your ice cream maker.

Orange Compote with Lavender:

Slice oranges into pieces about inch thick. Make a simple sugar syrup of equal parts water and sugar. Add several fresh lavender sprigs and a little orange liqueur. Poach for about 30 minutes, or until the orange rinds have turned a deeper color and are tender. Serve over pound cake or ice cream.

Lavender Scones:

Preheat oven to 220C. Sift together 225 g plain flour and 15 ml baking powder. Rub 50 g of unsweetened butter into the flour mixture until it resembles bread crumbs. Stir in 50 g of sugar mixed with 10 ml of fresh chopped lavender florets (reserve a pinch for the top of the scones before baking them). Add enough milk to make soft sticky dough and turn the dough out on a well-floured surface. Shape the dough into a round, patting down the top to make a 2.5 cm depth. Using a floured cutter (or glass), stamp out 12 scones. Place them on an ungreased baking sheet, brush the tops with a little milk and sprinkle on the reserved lavender. Bake 10-12 minutes until golden brown; serve with warm plum jam and clotted cream.