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 receive a sample of speculaas spice mix from Steven at The Speculaas Spice Company.
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 from 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 I was keen to try  it with Grandma’s cake recipes.

Grandma’s Overnight Cake was a good place to start as her original recipe contains nutmeg, mixed spice and cinnamon. The name of this cake is exactly as it says – you leave it overnight before cooking. I’ve also reduced the sugar in Grandma’s original recipe to let the sweetness from the dried fruit come through.

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. I took the results 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 cakes. Thanks to Steven  - I’ll be trying out more of Grandma’s recipes with Speculaas Spice mix. After all, Grandmas did know a thing or two about baking! 

Let me know if you try the speculaas spice mix.

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