Friday 23 September 2016

Speculative venture with biscuits

Orange & Speculaas Biscuits
 I've been trying out Speculaas Spice mix with more recipes. I used it for Orange and Cinnamon Biscuits instead of Cinnamon. It makes the flavour is even more intense. 
What you need 
Orange & Speculaas Biscuits 
2 tsps Speculaas spice mix
8oz/225g self raising flour
4oz/110g butter
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp golden syrup
1oz/25g soft brown sugar
1 egg beaten
Zest and juice of 1 orange

Sift the flour into a bowl and mix in the cinnamon. Melt the butter, honey, golden syrup in a pan with the sugar. Allow to cool slightly and then add this to the flour. Add the beaten egg and then the orange zest and juice. Mix well to combine. Place small teaspoonfuls of the mixture on baking trays about 5 cms/2 inches apart. Bake in a preheated oven  180C/Mark 4/350F for 10-12 minutes until brown at the edges. The mixture makes around 30 biscuits.

Meryl’s tip : These biscuits are very tempting and keep well for a few days  if you can resist! And try Grandma's Overnight Cake with Speculaas Spice MixLet me know what you think. 

Monday 12 September 2016

Speculating with Speculaas Spice

Overnight Cake with Speculaas Spice 

 Grandma was always keen to use spices to enhance the flavour of her baking so I was delighted to try speculaas spice mix from Steven at The Speculaas Spice Company.
Grandma’s Overnight Cake was a good place to start as her original recipe contains nutmeg, mixed spice and cinnamon. This cake tells you to leave it overnight before baking. I’ve also reduced the sugar in Grandma’s original recipe and relied on enough sweetness in the dried fruit.

Overnight Cake 

450g/1lb plain flour
225g/8oz butter
2 tsps speculaas spice mix
50g/2oz sugar
2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
450g/1 lb mixed dried fruit
2 eggs (beaten)
1 pint milk (or milk and water) 

Rub the butter into the flour and add the other dry ingredients. Mix in the eggs and milk. Leave in a bowl overnight – in the refrigerator. Place the mixture in a 23cms/9 inch tin. Bake in a preheated oven (300F, Mark 2, 150C) for about 1 ½ hours.
Meryl says : I used 2  x 1kg/2lbs loaf tins rather than a large cake tin. 
It was a tradition in The Netherlands for Dutch bakers to make their own secret spice mixes. Steven has continued the family tradition and the memories of his Grandma’s Speculaas biscuits to set up his own company in London, promoting this wonderfully exotic spice mix which we can enjoy today. His Speculaas Spice mix consists of a mixture of nine spices including cinnamon, cloves, ginger and six other spices. The traditional Dutch way is to use Speculaas in biscuits but it works well with cake and pudding recipes.
I took the Overnight Cake to Wentworth WI in Yorkshire where I was doing a talk about my Grandma’s life and her baking. The members loved the taste and aroma of the spice. Thanks to Steven  - I’ll be trying out more of Grandma’s recipes with Speculaas Spice mix. After all, our Grandmas did know a thing or two about baking! What do you think?