Additives. Bad things chucked into pre-prepared foods to make them last longer. E-numbered somethings that we don’t really trust.
Yes. And, at the same time, no.
Additives. Those little tweaks you make to a recipe to personalise it, make it your own. I enjoy these additives, I have 100% control over when and where they’re used and in what quantities.
Take, for instance, coffee. I like a pot of coffee on a morning, helps me through the emails. But I don’t always like a plain pot of black coffee. My top 3 additives are:
- Ground cinnamon. 1/4 tsp of this into 3 tablespoons of coffee, add water and savour. Lovely.
- Cayenne pepper. 1/8-1/4 tsp depending on how much of a kick you want.
- Coffee Masala. This is a blend of a wide range of spices, not dissimilar to Garam Masala. 1/4-1/2 tsp of this and your coffee is transformed.
Now when it comes to baking, once I’ve done a recipe once or twice successfully, I can’t help tinkering… A little of this, a little of that, see what happens. Mostly it’s successful. My favourite recipe to play with is soda bread. Soda bread is the ideal vessel for your spices! I’ve had great success with about a teaspoon of one of the following:
- Garam Masala
- Ground fennel seeds
- Ground caraway seeds
They change the nature of the bread, lifting it above the humble soda bread and giving it a special something. The garam masala bread, particularly, went very well with damson jam. So much so that the loaf was largely devoured ahead of the scheduled meal it was supposed to have accompanied. Hey-ho.
Anyway. Point is, as long as you control the additives, you can have a lot of fun with them! So go on, spice it up!