I’ve really enjoyed working with the Spice Islands team, creating recipes for the Flavor Explorer blog, using their excellent spices and learning from their experts on what makes their spices stand out from others. I use spices daily in my baking, often mixing cinnamon and cloves in spice cakes, or infusing vanilla beans for ice cream or syrup for poached pears. And while I spent some time with classic flavors, I also got a chance to play around with seasonings like wasabi and garam masala, too.
The next Explorers will be Todd and Diane of White on Rice Couple, who have a beautiful garden, and endless ideas to use their fresh produce. I can’t wait to see what recipes they come up with!
But I’d like to share some of my favorite spices and baking ingredients from Spice Islands before I hand the baton off to Diane and Todd. I’ve assembled 10 baker’s chests of seasonings that you can have a chance to win. Simply leave a comment mentioning your favorite baking spice or seasoning, and you’ll be entered to win. The winners will be chosen at random (please see contest rules here.)
Spice Islands ground Saigon cinnamon
Once you start using Saigon cinnamon in your baking, you’ll never go back to ordinary cinnamon again!
Spice Islands Saigon cinnamon sticks
I use cinnamon sticks when poaching fruit or infusing in custards to add a spicy-sweet background note.
Spice Islands whole nutmeg
Grated fresh nutmeg is a wonderful addition with other spices in gingerbreads and spice cakes.
Spice Islands cream of tartar
I’ll often add a pinch to egg whites to help them stabilize when beaten. Great for meringues and soufflés.
Spice Islands cinnamon sugar grinder
Fresh, aromatic cinnamon is yours at the turn of a wheel. Grind cinnamon over warm, baked apples with a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting alongside.
Spice Islands orange peel
Soak a little dried orange in orange liqueur, and include the bits of concentrated flavor in a fruit compote or pancake batter.
Spice Islands ground cloves
A touch of cloves adds a bit of zing to fall desserts that include apples or pears, or add a pinch to give a plum compote an elusive note of flavor.
Spice Islands pure vanilla extract
I always have a bottle of vanilla extract within reach when baking; its sweet, smooth scent accents everything from chocolate chip cookies to quick breads.
Spice Islands vanilla bean
Plump beans are filled with tiny seeds, waiting to impart their floral aroma to a batch of freshly churned vanilla ice cream.