How to Bake With Spices

In our new video series Cook's Notes, we spend an intimate moment in the home kitchens of talented cooks to learn about their story and food philosophy. In this installment, author Samantha Seneviratne explores using spices in baking.

Released on 10/20/2015

Transcript

00:03
Cinnamon,
00:04
nutmeg,
00:06
vanilla, cardamom, and cloves,
00:10
ginger, and then,
00:12
then there's a crazy chapter.
00:14
There's caraway, fennel, anis,
00:17
bay leaves, lavender,
00:20
Chilean peppercorns.
00:25
Is that everything?
00:26
I think that's everything.
00:32
I use sugar a lot,
00:33
I mean, I'm a baker.
00:36
But I think that if you're gonna add sweetness to your
00:38
baked goods, you can sort of use sugar along with a lot
00:41
of other things to make a more interesting dessert.
00:47
I didn't realize how much I loved things like cardamom
00:50
and anis and fennel and bay leaves.
00:54
I actually discovered a lot about what I like, too,
00:57
in the course of writing this book,
00:59
which is cool.
01:02
I wanted to be a baker and a librarian.
01:04
That was my dream job: a baker-librarian.
01:07
Books and cakes.
01:08
I think my parents were always afraid that I wouldn't
01:10
be able to support myself,
01:12
reading and baking cakes,
01:15
but it seemed to work out.
01:17
I used to have friends over, that was what we did for
01:19
the afternoon was spend a whole day baking a
01:22
fancy cake from scratch.
01:24
That was fun for me, I don't know if my friends liked it!
01:28
Well I like this recipe in particular because it's so small
01:32
and you think you know what you're going to get,
01:34
but it's an opportunity to pack in a lot of flavor.
01:37
So this is decorticated cardamom.
01:40
As soon as you start grinding it, you can really smell it,
01:43
which is absolutely the reason why you want to grind
01:47
it fresh, every time.
01:48
For ease, I always use pre-ground cloves.
01:50
Pre-ground cloves last a really long time, and the cloves
01:53
are just sweet and fragrant, so I think together they
01:56
make a nice pair.
01:57
Dates almost have sort of a caramelized sweetness to them,
02:00
a really deep, rich sweetness.
02:03
You don't taste every element necessarily, but you sort of
02:05
get this big flavor,
02:08
this big multi-layered flavor
02:10
that's really wonderful.
02:12
And it's so small and little but you can actually pack
02:14
a lot in.
02:15
Don't you think?
02:16
Aren't they adorable?
02:19
You wanna use your desserts fully,
02:21
and experience them fully,
02:22
and have the most fun and the most deliciousness
02:25
you can pack into every bite.
02:26
I like it, I thought it was good.
02:28
And it's different, you know,
02:30
it's different than what you can get out and about
02:32
so it felt like it was valuable.
02:34
I think spices are a good way to make it count.
02:41
It's really good!
02:44
Can I say that about my own recipe?