My 8th Blogiversary: Rhubarb Walnut Marmalade

Eight years ago today, on a June 14th 2007, I posted my first blog post ever on Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this blog would still be online after so many years. This post is number 926! And I cannot believe I am only 2 years shy away from double digits! This year I will celebrate with a special and sentimental Rhubarb Walnut Marmalade.

I am forever thankful to my family, friends, coworkers and all of you online for reading my posts, eating my food, help preparing it with me and leaving your cherished comments. I could never express enough my gratitude for each time you take a minute and come visit me here.

marmalade before and after

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Lemon Tarragon Cod with Toast

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a ‘host’ picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Marie-Anne at This Mama Cooks! Anne-Marie picked a movie that was on my list of food movies to see but I never really got around to it. The movie Toast is an autobiographical comedy-drama based on the childhood of food journalist and chef Nigel Slater.

toast

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Homemade Speculoos Spread

Last  Day to Vote 6pm PST! Please cast you vote for me to be the next food blog star! Just click here for my official entry Thank you!

A while back I mentioned how I fell in love with a particular product I received from a Foodie Exchange with Mathilde who resides in Bordeaux, France. This product was a sweet spread to be used on toast and it is made of a very popular cookie called Speculoos.

Speculaas is a type of shortcrust biscuit, traditionally baked for St Nicholas’ Eve in the Netherlands (December 5) and Belgium (December 6). Belgian varieties use no or less of the spices and are sold as Speculoos. I wrote a post about these cookies so click here to read more about them.

I went gaga over this spread….like finished it with a spoon in the jar! I did find some here but at 6.99 a jar it is a luxury treat. But what if I could make my own? Well I found a recipe here on the Seitan is my Motor blog. I can buy the cookies for about $3-$4 and most of the other ingredients I already have at home. Let’s see how it compares to the store bought version…

Homemade Speculoos Spread

150 g speculoos cookies
1 tbsp vanilla sugar (or regular sugar + 1/2 t vanilla extract)
50 g (a bit less the 1/4 cup) coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp canola oil or more if needed (I needed WAY more)

Directions

Grind the cookies into a fine meal using a food processor.

Melt the coconut fat and let cool down until luke warm. Mix speculoos meal with the sugar and cinnamon  in a bowl. Stir in fat and oil. Mix until well combined.

This spread will harden in the fridge and it is best to let it stand 30 min at room temperature when serving.

Notes:

– Experiment with the oils: play with the quantities or types of oils. if you cannot find coconut oil try using butter, shortening, vegetable oil, etc.
– If the spread gets too oily/runny and one or two additional processed cookies.

OK so it is not quite like the original thing as there is no way a home kitchen appliance can grind the cookies down enough but still it is quite delicious. Warning: this is very addictive stuff!

UPDATE: After retesting the recipe just now following Indigonat’s comment, my version is the crumbly spread version here. Still good but crumbly. For a creamy version check this post at cuisine de Gaelle in French. See the dirrefence in the resulty below when I tried hers.

Speculoos Splendor

A common question I get is: “What are some of your favorite products that you have received from the care packages you have received from the Foodie Exchange? Of course here are quite a few:the hickory smoked salt, saffron, the best mint teat ever from England, Pequin chilies, clotted cream fudge, Conney Island mustard, and Italian nougat. The list goes one and on.

But there is one item I received that has really knocked my socks off. Hello, my name is Evelyne and I am Speculoos Spread Addict.

Never in my life would I have believed I would become addicted to a spread used on toasts. I actually like my toasts plain enough with a smidgen of butter normally. But this stuff is so good I cannot get enough of it. Yes I have gone in with just a spoon and straight to the mouth. Never heard of Speculoos? Neither did I until I got a jar. But a little research online quickly convinced me I am not the only one spellbound by this product.

A bit of background on Speculaas from wiki.

Speculaas is a type of shortcrust biscuit, traditionally baked for St Nicholas’ Eve in the Netherlands (December 5) and Belgium (December 6). Belgian varieties use no or less of the spices and are sold as speculoos. In recent decades it has become available all year round. They are thin, have a caramel taste, are very crunchy, and slightly browned. Speculaas dough does not rise much. Spices used in speculaas are cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom and white pepper. Most Speculaas versions are made from white flour, brown sugar, butter and spices. The most significant characteristic is that these cookies have some image or figure stamped on the front side before baking while the back is flat.

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