Since starting Smoot’s Flavor Farm, I’ve grown several herbs that were new to me. Many of these have surprised my taste buds, delighted my senses and made me wonder why they weren’t more common. Chervil is one of those herbs.
Well-known to French chefs, chervil is likely a lesser-known herb due to its seasonality (only in spring!) and the fact that it doesn’t dry well, meaning it’s only used as a fresh herb. But it deserves more attention.
A pungent anise aroma and flavor, with sweet, minty after tones, this herb is as flavorful as it is versatile. You’ll find it in savory dishes such as Béarnaise sauce, often referred to as the child of Hollandaise sauce. It’s a staple in the French herb blend fines herbes–a mix of chervil, chives, parsley and tarragon. And it’s an egg’s best friend. But those sweet, minty after tones also mean chervil is an excellent herb for sweet treats.
This herbal infused icing captures chervil’s delicate flavors. It’s perfect drizzled over sweet spring treats, like muffins, scones and cake. Pair it with our rhubarb cake recipe for an amazing flavor combination that will shed those winter blues once and for all.
Pro Tip: For a thicker icing, opt for heavy cream rather than milk and vice versa. You can also adjust the sugar to milk ratio to achieve the right consistency, although adding more sugar can make it very sweet.
- 3 – 4 Tablespoons milk or heavy cream
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup fresh chervil, lightly chopped
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- Over low heat, heat the milk or heavy cream until it’s warm to the touch. Icing uses very little liquid, so take care not to scald.
- Add the chopped herbs, mix well and let steep for about 5 minutes.
- Strain the herbs through a strainer or cheese cloth.
- In a bowl, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and infused milk or cream until smooth. You can sift the sugar into the bowl to remove lumps.
- Make it ahead of time! You can cover and chill the icing in the fridge for up to 2 days.