Easter Spices

Cloves

There are spices that make a season. Their pungent aromas permeate the air, enveloping you in sweet warmth and nostalgia. Those that make make you say, “Ahhh, it’s beginning to smell a lot like (insert season here)!” 

For Easter it’s the traditional trio of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, but there are others who join the spice party too. Cardamom, anise seed and allspice are all welcome additions, as well as ginger and citrus zests.

Cinnamon (sweet & spicy) 

Cinnamon
Image © Cynthia Nelson

Cakes/Pastries

Great addition in recipes with fruit (apple, banana), or carrot and pumpkin cakes. Adds intensity and flavour to icing.

Topping

A sprinkle adds a hint of flavour and colour to baked goods.

Sauce

Gives pastry sauces a warm and smooth flavour.

Cloves (a bit for a kick) 

Cloves
Image © Cynthia Nelson

Cakes/Pastries

Pairs well with pumpkin, banana, apple and orange.

TIP: add just a bit of ground cloves to your baked goods. Too much will overpower your other flavours.

Nutmeg (bittersweet) 

Nutmeg
Image © Cynthia Nelson

Cakes/Pastries

Especially complimentary in sweet breads, puddings, and fruit pies.

COOKING SENSE

When making some seasonal dishes that require the use of spices, try to buy new stock. Don’t use the spices that have been sitting in the back of the cupboard for a while as they would have lost of some of their potency.

Zest is the outer skin of a citrus fruit (oranges, limes, lemons) where the natural oils of the fruit can be found.

This article was published in the Easter 2015 edition of Cooking Sense magazine.