Rose-Lavender Pooh Bear

By | Monday, November 21, 2011 Leave a Comment


Some years back I was playing around with cooking with flowers. I made rose petal jam (the most beautiful jam I have ever made), lavender jelly (smelled of lavender but pretty much tasted like apple jelly), Rosolio (Italian rose liquor), various nasturtium recipes, and so forth. Of the flowers, I most enjoyed using roses as an ingredient. I generally used the flowers of a fairly common but rather old-fashion climbing rose called Rosa 'Cecile Brunner'. My neighbor at the time had a huge plant climbing into a tree that overhung my yard, so it was easy to harvest endless 'Cecile Brunner' flowers. They are quite pale, so they don’t impart much color (a problem for the Rosolio), but they have a nice smell and flavor. When I moved to my new house I planted a Rosa 'Cecile Brunner' vine of my own.

Eventually I decided to go “off the reservation” and start inventing. This “Rose-Lavander Pooh Bear” is my favorite creation from that time.

Ingredients:

  • Milk (I use whole cows milk)
  • Honey
  • Rose flower petals
  • Lavender flower heads

This is one of those recipes where everything is annoyingly variable based on the ingredients you have available and your personal taste. What kind of roses you are using, what time of day they are picked, how mature they are, and so on, will completely dictate the amount of flavor they produce. Similarly for lavender – varietal, time of year, weather, and so forth will create very different results. Finally the honey is dependent on the type of honey, how much sweetness you enjoy, and how much you want to have the honey flavor balance with, sit behind, or mask the flowers' flavors.


For a portion that I recently made I used about 12oz of milk. I added roughly1.5 Tbs honey, the petals from 6 Rosa ‘Cecile Brunner’ flowers, and 4 lavender flower heads.


Method:

  • Steep the rose petals (not the stems, sepals, stamens, etc.) and lavender flower heads in the milk over low heat until the flavor is infused into the milk. Probably about 10 minutes.
  • Taste the milk along the way to see how the flavor is progressing.
  • When the flower flavor is good, add honey to taste
  • Bring to a scald to get it nice and hot (do not boil)
  • Strain
  • [Optional] After straining you can froth it with an immersion blender if you like. I enjoy it that way, but it is one more piece of equipment to clean, so I usually only froth it for guests.

I used to garnish the drink with a rose flower or additional rose petals, but really they just get in the way. Now I serve it straight up in a coffee or cocoa mug.


Yummy, Pooh!
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