Friday, August 19, 2011
Gorgeous Summer Berries with Lavender Honey
Is there anything more beautiful than perfect summer berries? Last weekend we had a delicious meal at the Cape Sea Grille on Cape Cod, and my dessert was a basket made of spun sugar filled with summer berries and drizzled with lavender honey. Spectacular! And it seems so simple to make, too!
Well, let me tell you, it's awfully humid here on the Cape in August, and our beach house has no air conditioning. Today I tried and tried to replicate that sugar basket, but all my efforts produced only sad lumps of soft, warm sugar. I'm still so excited about this dessert, I decided to post it without any sugar basket pictured, and I'm including the directions to make one so if your kitchen is a little cooler than mine, you can try it.
Lavender honey is made by bees who only take pollen from lavender flowers. The Cape Cod Lavender Farm in Harwich, MA is one source of this delicious treat, but unfortunately they don't seem to be selling it on their website (www.capecodlavenderfarm.com). Hope you can find some near you... it's wonderful!
1/2 cup sugar (raw works fine)
1/4 cup water
Pour the water in a small saucepan on medium heat. Pour the sugar into the water, but do not stir. Let cook about 10 minutes until the mixture turns a reddish amber color (or is 310 degrees Fahrenheit). Still do not stir; if you need to mix the sugar and water, swirl the pan around. While the sugar is cooking, prepare the molds you want to use to shape the baskets. I used two small bowls (abt. 3" diameter) turned upside down on a cookie sheet. Grease the backs of the bowls with oil. You may also want to put down some parchment paper.
Remove the sugar from the heat and let cool a minute or two. When the mixture will drip slowly from a spoon, drizzle it over your molds, or onto parchment paper, in interesting shapes. To make a basket, move your spoon methodically from the center of the bottom of the bowl to the outside perimeter and back, as if you were drawing a sun with rays or a starburst. When you have enough vertical stripes of sugar, move your spoon in a circular or spiral motion to make the horizontal stripes. Some sugar will drip down onto your cookie sheet -- this can be cut off with a knife as the sugar cools and hardens.
If all goes well (and your humidity is low), your sugar shapes will harden and you can use them to decorate desserts. Good luck!
This recipe has been shared on Fresh Bites Friday. Click here for more recipes using real food.
It has also been shared on Fresh Food Friday at Bella Vita. Click here for more recipes shared by readers.
Also shared at Tablescape Tuesday at Between Naps on the Porch and Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home and Inspiration Friday on At The Picket Fence and This Week's Cravings at Mom's Crazy Cooking.