It was a random night a week or so ago when I came across a Facebook post from my friend Nichole of Gap Creek Gourmet.
Continued below in the comments, someone mentioned infusing lavender into the milk and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Lavender is probably one of my favorite unusual flavors. I perused the internet on the best way to infuse the lavender into the milk – hot or cold infusion? The Kitchn recommended letting it just get to a simmer, while I used a cold infusion this past weekend to make lavender cream for scones (I did just say I loved lavender!) so I figured I’d do both, why not?
I used the same amounts of milk and lavender for both: one cup of milk and 1/2 heaping tablespoon of food-grade lavender buds. The cold got stirred into the milk, put in a jar and stuck in the fridge.
The heated infusion I wanted to watch closely so I didn’t scorch the milk or make it taste like cooked milk. I combined the two ingredients in the pot, stirred, and set the heat to just above medium and set my stopwatch. It began to start lightly simmering and releasing steam at 8 minutes so I removed it from the heat and put it in another jar to store in the fridge. They both got labels so there wouldn’t be confusion later.
(Definitely strain the lavender buds away using a fine mesh colander.)
Is the goal a richly scented lavender milk or a milder hint? That really depends on how floral you like your foods, as some people find the flavor to be a bit soapy from the association of lavender as a cleansing scent more than an edible one. But I find it to have a sweet almost citrusy taste, like if it was possible to take a bite of a spring breeze.
So here are the results: the warm infused lavender milk is way to astringent. I don’t think milk was meant to be heated and then cooled and then consumed.
The cold infused lavender gives off a nice, light lavender taste and scent. It’s pleasant on its own, but was elevated to a more complex but still simple enough flavor profile with the addition of some honey lightly swirled in.
Lavender is used for relaxation purposes and having a small bowl of lavender infused Cheerios as it inches towards bedtime seems like it’s doing the trick to get me on the right foot to an easy night’s sleep.