This is a love story between sugar and spice.
Spice is often the party girl, the loud, bold, exuberant element in the mix. There is also another art, more subtle yet equally seductive. Married with sugar, spice can provide a delicate fragrance, hard to put your finger on but one that gives backbone to a dish. It can balance tartness and bring sweetness so you can tone down the sugar. Flavours can be enhanced by a thoughtful addition from the spice cupboard, making chocolate more chocolatey and fruit taste more of itself. Added not in shouts, but in whispers, an intrigue of spice deepens allure. In this book, we explore how to unlock flavours, and how to marry them to make much more than the sum of their parts.
Floral and fruity spices pair well with rich fats. Warming spices like ginger and clove play off treacly brown sugar. Anise sweetens, lemony coriander seed brightens and herbaceous notes pick out complexity in chocolate. A suspicion of nutmeg cuts the sweet creaminess of custard for a more rounded tart, and a whisper of cardamom makes inky poached plums jaunty and interesting.
Chapters are divided by taste to guide you towards a dessert or bake that is bright and zippy, floral and fragrant, or dark and spicy. Recipes include spice switches so you can be creative and playful with your combinations. For those with an eye to expanding their repertoire, there are helpful spice-matching features and flavour wheels to inspire. A whole world of inviting new flavours awaits.