Lively up your shelf! Spice a-peel

Kimberley’s holiday kitchen 

It’s Easter time and that means chocolate eggs and hot cross buns! Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, hot cross buns are enriched bread made with spices and citrus zest/peel. They are marked on top with the symbol of the cross, made from either a flavourless flour water mix or a mix of powdered sugar and milk.

This weekend I undertook a hot cross extravaganza and made hot cross cookies, scones and my signature buns known as hot cross bunnies; obviously made in the shape of a (Easter) bunny.

Hot cross scones
Hot cross cookies

Previously I have made hot cross brownies and plan to make hot cross pancakes and muffins for next year.

Many recipes for hot cross buns call for ‘mixed spice’. So what exactly is in this blend?

Hot Cross Bun spice mix:

2 teaspoons of true cinnamon
½ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon clove

This quantity will be more than sufficient for one full batch of hot cross buns. Use the leftover spice blend to make cookies, scones, cake or whatever else you can think of to ‘hot crossify’.

*For best flavour, grind the spices fresh just before using in a recipe.
*For more pungency double the amounts of allspice, nutmeg and clove.

 

Lively Up Your Shelf! Indian Spices

And India gave unto the world pepper, turmeric, coriander and cardamom.

Pepper is said to be a digestive aid. It comes in black and white and is used to flavour food both during and after cooking. Pepper was a hot commodity in the spice trade of ancient times. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=74

http://www.ancient.eu/Pepper/

Turmeric is known as an anti-inflammatory and gives curry spice its distinctive colour. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78

Coriander or cilantro has healing properties due to its high phytonutrient content. Supposedly the love or hate of cilantro has a genetic link. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/20/cilantro-aversion-gene-study_n_1901124.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=70

Cardamom belongs to the same family as ginger. It offers digestive support and contains essential oils which contribute to its healing properties. Black cardamom is favoured for savoury dishes (eg curries) while the green is employed in sweet dishes (dessert, chai tea). http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cardamom.html