Lavender Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

If there is anything I love to shop for, it’s fresh herbs. I’m often found standing in the produce department (or at the farmer’s market) with bouquets of greenery under my nose, placidly inhaling their intoxicating scent.

I kneel amongst my flowerbeds tenderly rubbing their leaves between my  fingers, to accentuate the earthy perfume. I can’t WAIT, until my beds are full of mint, basil, thyme, dill and lavender. In my mind, no dish is complete without a fresh aromatic herb!

Lavender is an herb that comes and goes in culinary popularity. Known for its piney, yet floral essence, it’s considered a wonderful accompaniment to mild proteins like chicken and fish. Personally, I think it deserves a little more credit. Its flavor may be subtle at first, but it has an accumulative quality that can hold it’s own against strong flavors like lemon, or even chocolate.

Here, I’ve paired it with dark chocolate for a surprisingly balanced and bewitching frozen treat! This ice cream puts most mint chip ice creams to shame, and is a pleasant departure from your everyday freezer-aisle flavors!

I couldn’t resist adding this photo titled “Lingering Dog Longs To Lick Lavender.”

Cook’s Notes:

My lavender plants are not yet in bloom, so I’ve substituted culinary buds. They can be found in most large supermarkets or online HERE. It’s nice to have dried buds on-hand to give you a burst of spring flavor in the dead of winter. If you have access to fresh lavender this time of year, you can use the stems and leaves, as well as the flowers.

I used a vanilla bean for a deep vanilla undertone. Buying vanilla beans in bulk cuts the cost, but if you don’t use them fast enough, they dry out–limiting their benefits! I recently found a wonderful product I wanted to share with you. This Vanilla  Bean Paste made by Singing Dog, is bolder than vanilla extract, and much less expensive than whole beans. It keeps well and is a fantastic substitute when you don’t have access to vanilla beans.

To prepare:

Pour the cream, half-n-half, sugar, and salt into a medium sauce pot. Place the pot over medium heat until it  comes to a low simmer. If using a vanilla bean, cut the bean down the center lengthwise. Carefully open the bean and scrape out the paste.

Add the lavender buds and vanilla paste to the cream mixture. Stir; then remove from heat and cover.

Place the covered pot in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to cool. (If you’re in a hurry, place it an airtight container and put in the freezer for 1 hour until thoroughly chilled, but NOT frozen!) Once the mixture is chilled, Strain out the lavender buds and pour into an ice cream maker. Churn for 20+ minutes until the desired consistency is reached.

Meanwhile, chop the chocolate bar into fine shards.

Add the chocolate to the ice cream maker. Churn until the chocolate is evenly distributed.

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Yield: 1.5 quarts

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Lavender Dark Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream
2 cups half-n-half
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 ½ Tb. dried lavender buds (4 Tb. fresh chopped lavender)
1Vanilla Bean (or 1 tsp. vanilla paste)
1-2 Drops Purple Food Coloring (optional)
4 oz. Dark Chocolate Bar

Directions:

Pour the cream, half-n-half, sugar, and salt into a medium sauce pot. Place the pot over medium heat until it comes to a low simmer.

If using a vanilla bean, cut the bean down the center lengthwise. Carefully open the bean and scrape out the paste. Add the buds and vanilla paste to the cream mixture. Stir; then remove from heat and cover. *Add a drop or two of food coloring if you want to enhance the lavender color.

Place the covered pot in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to cool. (If you’re in a hurry, place it an airtight container and put in the freezer for 1 hour until thoroughly chilled, but NOT frozen!)

Once the mixture is chilled, Strain out the lavender buds and pour into an ice cream maker. Churn for 20+ minutes until the desired consistency is reached.

Meanwhile, chop the chocolate bar into fine shards. Add the chocolate to the ice cream maker. Churn until the chocolate is evenly distributed.

Serve immediately or put in an airtight container and freeze.

Other ASP recipes involving lavender…

Gingersnap Ice Cream Cups with Blueberry-Lavender Sauce

French Lavender Lemonade

Creamy Lavender Flan

These gorgeous bowls are made by Villeroy & Boch. Check out their Flow Line!

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105 Responses to “Lavender Dark Chocolate Chip Ice Cream”

  1. #
    51
    Susi — March 4, 2011 @ 9:08 am

    Sommer, this is probably one of the most creative flavors of ice cream I have seen in a long time. It looks and sounds amazing. I have not cooked much with lavender myself, but this recipe has inspired me to give it a try.

    Reply

  2. #
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    blackbookkitchendiaries — March 4, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    This looks amazing. i love how creative you are with this combo. thank you for sharing this with us and have a great weekend.

    Reply

  3. #
    53
    Victoria @ Mission: Food — March 4, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

    What a fun alternative to mint chocolate chip (or regular chocolate chip) ice cream. I love the color and can only imagine the lovely floral flavor of this ice cream.

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Claudia — March 4, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

    This does look welcoming. A bit chilly here so ice cream will wait but the lavender does entice. I’m ready to plant herbs. Unfortunately the ground is not. Gorgeous photos.

    Reply

  5. #
    55
    sweetlife — March 4, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

    how lovely, we must have been on the same wave length..i made lavender brownies yesterday!! I love the color..simply stunning
    have agreat weekend!!

    sweetlife

    Reply

  6. #
    56
    UrMomCooks — March 4, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    Yay! Warm weather and ice cream!!! Those bowls of ice cream look absolutely delicious! Thanks for the tip about vanilla bean paste – I will definitely check that out! And here’s to lavender season right around the corner!

    Reply

  7. #
    57
    Chris and Amy — March 4, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

    Bewitching, indeed. What a fantastic idea!

    Reply

  8. #
    58
    Cat — March 4, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

    My children both loved the lavender ice-cream we tried last summer and have been begging me to make some ever since. The chocolate might even convince my partner to try it too.

    Reply

  9. #
    59
    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen — March 4, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

    I am a sucker for ice cream! I could eat it year round…in fact, I crave it more in the winter! I can’t wait to try this! :)

    Reply

  10. #
    60
    Kita — March 4, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

    What beautiful ice cream. Ill have some nice lavender this spring and am itching to try my hand at ice cream.

    Reply

  11. #
    61
    5 Star Foodie — March 4, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

    What a heavenly frozen treat! I love the idea of lavender-chocolate flavor combination, sounds amazing, a must try!

    Reply

  12. #
    62
    alison — March 5, 2011 @ 1:09 am

    looks divine!:)

    Reply

  13. #
    63
    Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris — March 5, 2011 @ 1:44 am

    With all the times I’ve been to Provence, I have never seen lavender icecream..Definitely, I have to try your recipe! Thanks!

    Reply

  14. #
    64
    Katie@Cozydelicious — March 5, 2011 @ 7:29 am

    I love the flavors here! I am a huge lavender fan. And your photos are, as usual, beautiful.

    Reply

  15. #
    65
    Katerina — March 5, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    Only recently have I discovered lavender and I just loved its flavor. This ice cream must taste divine!

    Reply

  16. #
    66
    Fresh and Foodie — March 5, 2011 @ 10:15 am

    Beautiful! Wow, I seriously need an ice cream maker. Thanks for the note about the vanilla bean paste. I’ve never seen that before, but vanilla beans are expensive and an alternative would be nice.

    Reply

  17. #
    67
    Kate @ Diethood.com — March 5, 2011 @ 10:46 am

    Sommer, this is incredible! Truly drooling! I am a huge fan of ice cream, but I’ve never played with it in this manner… I’d love to give this a try! Besides, it will be nice to use the ice cream maker that just sits there collecting dust.

    Reply

  18. #
    68
    The Mistress of Spices — March 5, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

    OMG!!! This sounds like an amazing ice cream. Too bad I didn’t pick up any of the great lavender from Toulouse during the Salon de l’Agriculture which took place here a couple of weeks ago. I’m going to save this recipe and try it when I can find some lavender. Yum!

    Reply

  19. #
    69
    Monet — March 5, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

    What a stunning dessert. Like you, I think fresh herbs complete a meal. Lavander reminds me of my father (he grows huge bushes in his yard) so thank you for sharing this with me tonight. It made me crave icecream and recollect fond days of childhood.

    Reply

  20. #
    70
    Jenny (VintageSugarcube) — March 5, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

    I have never seen lavender ice cream. How cool! And I’ve never heard of vanilla paste. I’m going to buy some and give it a whirl. Soo glad I came across your blog. Kudos to you.

    Reply

  21. #
    71
    Sophie — March 6, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    Ooooh Sommer!! What a delightful lavender ice cream!! A truly beautiful recipe too!

    Thanks for the useful links where to buy stuff etc!! MMMMMMM,…!!!!!! I also love your other lavender dishes too!

    Reply

  22. #
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    pigpigscorner — March 6, 2011 @ 11:12 am

    I’ve yet to try cooking with lavender..sounds so lovely!

    Reply

  23. #
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    Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking — March 6, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    Wow this looks and sounds wonderful. I just did a post on my herb garden the other day. I am so ready to go out and pick all of the wonderful herbs in our garden! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

    Reply

  24. #
    74

    I don’t know what it is, but when I see that ice cream I think about the movie Brigadoon.I love everything about it and while I know the chocolate thing would keep me away, I can’t imagine it being any different than it is. It is a perfect, sophisticated ice cream. Wow.

    Reply

  25. #
    75
    Terese — March 7, 2011 @ 7:17 am

    Having personally taste tested this amazing creation, I can think this is now my personal favorite ice cream flavor!! STELLAR!

    Reply

  26. #
    76
    denise @ bread expectations — March 7, 2011 @ 11:24 pm

    Oh, this has got to be the most beautiful and delicious ice cream flavour I’ve ever come across. If I saw this in the ice cream freezer at the supermarket, I would pounce on it!! LOVE the photos!

    Reply

  27. #
    77
    Sanjeeta kk — March 9, 2011 @ 2:58 am

    So lucky to get lavender beans and fresh vanilla pods! Love the colorful and flavorful ice cream.

    Reply

  28. #
    78
    JoyceLYH — March 9, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    I love the way it’s pastel purple with flecks of dark choc!

    Reply

  29. #
    79
    Christian — March 9, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

    Slight correction: “scrape” not “scrap.”

    Reply

    • Sommer — March 10th, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

      Thanks Christian! ;)

      Reply

  30. #
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    Pam — March 10, 2011 @ 7:00 am

    I made a lavender so