So here it is– the perfect dessert duo! A lavender-honey dark chocolate tart with a cardamom-lemon crust and lavender-honey ice cream with cardamom-almond tuiles. Yes, I know, the names of the desserts are quite a mouthful to say, but trust me, they’re quite a mouthful of yumminess to eat, too! 🙂
When making dessert duos or trios, I’m all about considering balance. And I really loved how this pair of desserts turned out. The spice of the cardamom and the floral scent of the lavender add a layer of interest to the tart, ice cream, and tuiles. And the bitter, deep dark chocolate of the tart goes so perfectly with the sweetness of the honey-flavored ice cream. You have the crunch of the tuiles against the smooth ice cream and the flakiness of the tart crust against the dense chocolate ganache as textural contrasts, and the lemons in the tart and almonds in the tuiles add a color of brightness and nuttiness to the overall dessert. Finally–and this is my favorite part–a generous sprinkling of coarse lavender sea salt over the dark chocolate tart will make your tastebuds unbelievably happy, I promise you.
Lavender Honey Ice Cream
(Makes ~one quart)
1/4 cup dried lavender flowers
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup honey (I used wildflower)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 large egg yolks
2 Tbspn sugar
pinch of salt
1. In a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine the lavender and milk. Bring to just a simmer, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep for at least ten minutes.
2. Stir together the honey and heavy cream in a bowl and prepare a fine mesh strainer on top. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks until light. Set aside.
4. Strain the lavender from the milk, making sure to press all of the liquid possible out of the lavender buds. Discard the lavender buds. Return the milk to the stove and add the sugar and salt. Bring to a bare simmer.
5. Whisking constantly, pour a small but steady stream of the heated milk into the egg yolks to temper. Do this slowly while whisking quickly. Once the milk and egg yolks are combined, return to the saucepan and to the stove.
6. Heat the egg yolk and milk mixture while stirring constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan so that nothing burns or sticks. Slowly cook the mixture until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat immediately once it thickens.
7. Pour the hot creme anglaise through the strainer into the honey and cream. Stir to cool.
8. Chill the mixture thoroughly.
9. Freeze the ice cream bas in your ice cream maker of choice. (Here’s mine, which works like a dream, and I also have this one.)
(Makes ~30-50 cookies, depending on size)
1 1/2 oz sliced almonds
5 Tbspn unsalted butter, very soft
2 egg whites
1/8 tspn salt
1/3 cup + 1 Tbspn sugar
1/2 tspn ground cardamom
1/4 tspn vanilla
1/3 cup AP flour
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Bake the sliced almonds for 5-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and chop very finely.
3. Prepare at least two baking sheets lined with silpats or non-stick parchment paper. (You may want to lightly grease the parchment paper, but you won’t need to grease the silpats.) Also have ready a very thin and wide spatula and a rolling pin (or something similar) over which to drape the tuiles while they cool.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, salt, sugar, cardamom, and vanilla until well combined. Add the finely chopped almonds and flour and mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Using an off-set spatula or the back of a spoon, spread very, very thin discs of batter onto the prepared baking sheets. Make sure to allow plenty of space between each tuile–they will spread.
6. Bake for 7-9 minutes, depending on the size of the tuiles, rotating the pan half-way through to facilitate even browning.
7. Remove from oven and immediately use the thin spatula to drape the tuiles over the prepared rolling pin. Let cool completely.
Note: Tuile batter may be made and stored, tightly-covered, in the refrigerator for a few days, if you’d like to make it ahead of time.
Note: Store tuiles in an airtight container if not using immediately. They are best used the day of.
Lavender-Honey-Cardamom-Lemon Dark Chocolate Tart
(Makes one 9″ round tart, or the equivalent rectangular or square sizes)
260 gr AP flour
1 (heaping) tspn ground cardamom
1 Tbspn freshly ground meyer lemon zest
1/4 cup sugar
7 Tbspn butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 egg yolk
1 Tbspn freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbspn water, cold
1. Using a food processor or pastry cutter, mix the flour, cardamom, lemon zest, and sugar until combined. Cut the cold butter into the flour mixture until the size of small peas.
2. Add the egg yolk and gradually add the lemon juice and water just until a dough begins to form when you press it between two fingers. Do not overmix.
3. Form the pastry into a ball and refrigerate for at least one hour. (or stick it in the freezer for a shorter amount of time.)
4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
5. Remove the pastry dough from the fridge and press the dough into the tart pan. Prick the bottom of the dough all over with a fork, cover with parchment paper, and weigh down using dry beans or pie weights. Return to freezer for a few minutes if the dough has softened.
6. Bake for ~13-15 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden. Remove the beans and parchment paper and continue to bake for 3-5 minutes more, until the crust has completely turned golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
for chocolate ganache filling:
10 oz. heavy cream
1/4 cup dried lavender buds
12 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
3 Tbspn honey
2 Tbspn butter
dried lavender buds
1. In a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the cream and lavender buds until just barely a simmer. Cover and remove from heat. Let steep for at least ten minutes.
2. Place the chocolate and honey in a heat-proof bowl, place a fine mesh strainer on top, and set aside.
3. Add the butter to the cream and lavender bud mixture and return to a simmer. Once the cream simmers, remove from heat and pour the hot cream through the sieve onto the prepared chocolate, making sure to press all of the liquid from the lavender buds. Discard the lavender buds. Let the chocolate sit for 2-3 minutes.
4. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and evenly distributed.
5. Immediately pour into the prepared tart crust.
6. Using your fingers (or a mortar and pestle), rub together an equal but small amount of coarse salt and dried lavender buds. Sprinkle liberally over the top of the chocolate. Let the tart set at room temperature until completely cool, about 1-2 hours. Serve at room temperature.