Kashmiri Lavender Dried Buds
Lavender plants are small, branching and spreading shrubs with grey-green leaves and long flowering shoots. … The plant produces flowers on shoots or spikes which can be 20–40 cm (8–16 in) long. The flowers are lilac or blue in color. Lavender can grow to 0.4 m (1.3 ft) in height and live for 20–30 years.
For most cooking applications the dried buds, which are also referred to as flowers, are used. Lavender greens have a more subtle flavour when compared to rosemary.
The potency of the lavender flowers increases with drying which necessitates more sparing use to avoid a heavy, soapy aftertaste. Chefs note to reduce by two-thirds the dry amount in recipes which call for fresh lavender buds.
Lavender buds can amplify both sweet and savory flavors in dishes, and are sometimes paired with sheep’s-milk and goat’s-milk cheeses. Lavender flowers are occasionally blended with black, green, or herbal teas. Lavender flavours baked goods and desserts, pairing especially well with chocolate. In the United States, both lavender syrup and dried lavender buds are used to make lavender scones and marshmallows.
Lavender buds are put into sugar for two weeks to allow the essential oils and fragrance to transfer; then the sugar itself is used in baking. Lavender can be used in breads where recipes call for rosemary. Lavender can be used decoratively in dishes or spirits, or as a decorative and aromatic in a glass of champagne. Lavender is used in savory dishes, giving stews and reduced sauces aromatic flair. It is also used to scent flans, custards, and sorbets.