Spices are such a great way to add a bit of flavour to your bakes. Here we breakdown 5 (ish!) of our favourites, with some ways to think about using them next time your baking. Let us know how you like to use spices in your bakes in the comments below.
Native to South America, pink peppercorns are also known as rose pepper and are unrelated to black pepper- so expect a very different flavour! They can be used in a similar way to juniper berries, and with their bright beautiful colour they look fantastic in meringues and fools. They also work great in shortbreads with raspberries and strawberries. View our pink peppercorns by clicking here.
Cinnamon (and cassia)Cinnamon offers a very distinctive sweet taste, that goes beautifully with apples, almonds, and French toast. Infused in milk, cinnamon is a great addition to creamy desserts like crème brulee. One thing to watch out for is the type of cinnamon you’re using or buying. True cinnamon (sometimes called Ceylon) it a subtle and sweet taste, whereas cassia is more pungent with a less delicate flavour. You can tell the difference by the curliness of the sticks- cassia is much thicker and less curly than true cinnamon sticks. View our true cinnamon sticks by clicking here, and our ground true cinnamon by clicking here.
Nutmeg (and mace)
Nutmeg, from the Banda Islands of Indonesia, is sweet with a warm richness a little like cloves. It’s slightly sweeter than its counterpart mace, which is the red aril that surrounds the nutmeg inside the fruit. Both go great with fruits like plums and apples, and are also great with vanilla. Be careful with mace- its stronger and tarter and so you don’t want to use as much in your bakes. A little nutmeg in a vanilla cupcake is a lovely way to spice up a simple bake. View our whole nutmeg by clicking here, ground nutmeg by clicking here, and ground mace by clicking here.
Cardamom is one of my favourite spices to use in baking. Black cardamom pods are much less frequently used in baking recipes, though their warming smoky flavour is great when paired with ginger and dark chocolate. Green cardamom (native to Southern India and Sri Lanka) is much more common in sweet recipes; with floral and lemony undertones it goes perfectly with coffee. Pair with lemon in sweetbreads, or with coffee in a cake. You can use the seeds from the pod, or the ready-to-go powdered form. A little bit of good quality cardamom goes a long way. View our whole green cardamom by clicking here, and our ground green cardamom by clicking here.
Allspice is native to the West Indies. Fat brown berries are picked unripe and left to dry for up to a week, brought in every night to avoid them rotting in dew. Both ground or as whole berries, allspice gives a warm fragrant aroma, a little like cloves, mace or cinnamon, and is excellent cooked with figs, chocolate, blackcurrants, or beetroot. With autumnal fruit it makes for a rich and deep flavour. View our whole allspice berries by clicking here, and our ground allspice by clicking here.
With all these spices, a little of a good quality spice goes a really long way. Make sure that all the spices you’re using are in date, and if they’re not offering a strong aroma they’re probably not going to pack a punch when you add them to your recipes. At The Teaspoon Club, we offer spices in tailored quantities so you can get exactly what you need, from a teaspoon up to jar refills. All our spices are high-quality, and all come in home-compostable plastic free packaging.