This year I’ve been fighting my black thumb of death and I actually have been growing some fresh herbs at home, like basil and mint. I don’t have a lavender plant, but I love the scent and buy it often.
I’ve been using them in savory dishes, but how about desserts? I’ve made three different sweet sauces infused with herbs to top three flavors of TCBY Frozen Yogurt, to celebrate National Yogurt Month! I went to Walmart and purchased Strawberry Swirl, English Toffee Crunch, and Mint Chocolate Chunk. I am always so excited to see TCBY Frozen Yogurt on the shelves, because it’s so rare around where I live.
For more of my shopping story, please visit my Google+ album.
The herbs themselves as well as the flavors of TCBY I chose were definitely inspirations for these sauces. First up is Strawberry Sauce with Basil and Balsamic Vinegar. I macerated the strawberries in sugar and a little bit of lemon juice, and added chopped basil. That blob in the little bowl is balsamic vinegar that I’ve reduced down to 1tsp, which I mixed in with the strawberry mixture. This was definitely the easiest sauce!
The second sauce was lavender-scented caramel sauce. I made caramel for the first time!
And added some lavender “tea”.
Finally, I made a mint chocolate sauce, adding mint simple syrup to melted chocolate chips.
You could pair the sauces many ways, either sticking with same/same (like strawberry frozen yogurt with strawberry basil sauce) or mix it up. Here I’ve got the strawberry basil sauce with the English toffee crunch. The strawberries were so sweet after they were macerated in the sugar, while the balsamic vinegar added some tang, and the basil was really flavorful as well.
The caramel lavender sauce went with the mint chocolate chunk frozen yogurt. It was a really interesting and not weird combination. The mint tamed the floral scent of the lavender, which can sometimes be too strong. But the lavender lingered at the end and I loved it.
The chocolate mint sauce was drizzled on top of the strawberry frozen yogurt. Because the sauce was still hot, my frozen yogurt was starting to melt. This is not a nice picture, but it tasted good. Of course strawberry and chocolate go great together, but the mint was a nice subtle, but invigorating, touch.
It was FUN making these sauces. It was even more fun for me and the girls to clean up my photo props. I thought they wouldn’t like the herbs but they didn’t mind them at all. Well, except for the mint garnish I forgot to remove for one of my girls. I did get a yuck face from that!
Hope you’ll give these recipes a try…but remember that TCBY Frozen Yogurt tastes so good on its own!
I often forget it’s yogurt. Just can’t believe something that satisfies the sweet tooth so well is so much better for you than ice cream. 150 calories (or even less?!). Yes please.
Wish there was more TCBY Frozen Yogurt available around where I live. Will try to savor these cartons until next time, but it won’t be easy!
Strawberry Sauce with Basil and Balsamic Vinegar
Recipe adapted from Sustainable Table
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup sugar for strawberries
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil and reduce it to about 1 tablespoon. This will sweeten the vinegar by removing some of its acidity. Cut the strawberries in small pieces after removing any leaves. Place them in a bowl, add the sugar, the reduced balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and the basil. Let them macerate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Caramel Sauce with Lavender
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes
- 1 cup of sugar
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon of dried lavender
First, make some lavender “tea” by boiling 2 cups of water. You can just boil it in a kettle. Place the dried lavender into a bowl that can stand hot water, and after the water has boiled, pour it over the lavender in the bowl. Allow to steep, longer for a stronger flavor. Then make the caramel. Have all your ingredients ready to go, at room temperature. Add the sugar to a heavy-bottomed 2-3 quart saucepan (the caramel may expand) over medium-high heat. When it starts to turn color and boil, begin stirring vigorously. When the sugar turns to a dark amber color, stop stirring and remove from heat. Stand back as you add the butter (it might splatter) and stir until it melts. Then add the whipping cream and stir to combine. Allow the pan to cool a little bit, then pour into a heat-safe bowl. Add a few tablespoons of the lavender tea at a time, tasting the caramel along the way, until you like the strength of the lavender in the caramel.
Warm Chocolate Sauce with Mint
Recipe adapted from Gayle Gand via Food Network
- 9 oz semisweet chocolate
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
- 1 cup water
- 2 sprigs of fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup of sugar
Make mint simple syrup by bringing the water, sugar and mint sprigs to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and allow the mint to infuse the simple syrup. Then make the chocolate sauce. In the top half of a double boiler, combine the chocolates over simmering water. With the heat still on, add the mint-infused simple syrup. Don’t add all of it, or the chocolate will be too watery. Stir to combine. Take out softened mint sprigs and use food shears to cut leaves into small pieces, and add them to the chocolate mixture.
Find TCBY Frozen Yogurt on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and join the TCBY Twitter Chat in honor of National Yogurt Month! The chat is tomorrow 6/28 at 1pm EST, and you could win 3 $25 Walmart Gift Cards and 1 $100 Walmart Gift Card if you join! RSVP here!
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and TCBY Grocery #CBias #SocialFabric #TCBYGrocery. All opinions are my own.