Spotlight: Speculaas, what trick-or-treat flavour combination are you daring to try…
Autumn is here, the daylight has become shorter, the temperature has become cooler, and the debate starts on how long we wait until the heating goes on – summer has officially ended. Like all good things as one flavour door closes, another flavour door opens and what better way to get us through the change of season than kicking off with a bit of spice to warm up our appetites? Name a more appropriate product to do this than the Speculaas biscuit. This delight originated from Belgium and the Netherlands and is known for its collection of spices, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, coriander, white pepper and cardamom. Using this combination of spices can provide a further depth of flavour to any product than just adding one spice – from the rich spiciness coming from the ginger to the sweet, peppery nuttiness coming from the nutmeg – why only have one when you can have them all.
The Speculaas biscuits are traditionally sweet biscuits shaped like St Nicholas, they were given to children to celebrate St Nicholas day around the 6th of December as a perfect pairing with the cold weather outside.
Although maybe a little early for Christmas, Starbucks knows this trick all too well, as they treat us to their new seasonal menu – with spice latte, and other spiced drinks making their annual appearance earlier and earlier. Granted the Speculaas blend was initiated as a Christmas product but as its popularity grew it has started popping up all year round. The Lotus brand leads the way by expanding into spreads, ice-creams, syrup, and has even established collaborations with brands such as Kit Kat – as their Lotus bar become a stable in their chunky bar range. The combination of spices undoubtedly pairs well in other sweet products such as Stollen, Christmas cakes and Damson jam using fruity flavours to highlight the Speculaas blend. But Chefs are starting to show us how to utilise these spices in savoury dishes, as restaurants in London create a Speculaas labneh to top spinach, courgette, feta and almond ravioli or use the lotus biscuit spread to top a pulled pork burger – creating a pure explosion of flavour.
Here at House of Flavours, we are all about the spice and with our own liquid blend of Speculaas 85/21206, we carefully balance each spice to create a product ideal for use in bakery and dairy-based products.
This simple pound cake disguised as a stack of American pancakes takes inspiration from a winter coffee lover’s favourite. Containing layers of Speculaas 85/21206 and Biscuit 85/21689 flavoured sponge enwrapped in a coffee and toffee fudge buttercream. The spices balance beautifully with the Coffee 85/22917 and Toffee Fudge 85/20803 to create a creamy Frappuccino sensation and then the chocolate caramel acts as the drizzle on top creating a roasted finish – a sweet wintery delight!
An autumnal-inspired twisted wreath sits on a sweet Speculaas 85/21206 flavoured dough is woven into a Speculaas 85/21206 and Biscuit 85/21689 flavoured filling. The first bite hits with a sweet spice sensation and is then followed by a cooked sweet brown lingering note – best served warm and covered in vanilla ice cream.