It is thought that the Dutch name Speculaas comes from the latin 'speculum' that means mirror.
Traditionally speculaas biscuits are the mirror image of the carved wooden moulds they are baked in.
Windmill shaped speculaas biscuits are known throughout the whole world, as are male or female speculaas figurines.
These days speculaas biscuits can take any shape or form. But you can do so much more with speculaas spice than just making biscuits.
Find out more about the delicious dishes you can make using vandotsch speculaas spice mix.
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I was delighted to be introduced to Manju Malhi at the Foodies Festival at Kenwood, north London, on May 5th 2014, and I am very honoured that she decided to use my vandotsch speculaas spice in a live demo at the Festival.
Manju Malhi is a British-born chef and food writer, specialising in Anglo-Indian cuisine. She was brought up in North West London where she grew up surrounded by Indian culture, traditions and lifestyles. Manju has come up with her own self-styled cross-over "Brit-Indi" style of food, which mixes Indian and Western influences.
Makes approximately 24 biscuits (using a 5cm diameter cookie cutter)
100g plain flour
10g (2 teaspoons) vandotsch speculaas spice mix
2.5g (½ teaspoon) baking powder
50g soft brown muscovado sugar or white sugar
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, vandotsch speculaas spice mix, baking powder, sugar and butter until well combined.
- Using your hands, bring the mixture together as a dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out to a 0.5cm thickness.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut out shapes or circles from the dough and place them onto the lined baking tray.
- Transfer the biscuits to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden-brown.
- Set aside to cool on a wire rack, then serve.
Manju came to prominence in 1999 when she won a competition to find a guest chef for the BBC's Food and Drink programme and cooked with Antony Worrall Thompson on the show. She has also appeared amongst several other programmes, on ITV's Saturday Cooks and This Morning, Channel 5, Sky One, BBC1's Saturday Kitchen and Paul Hollywood's Pies and Puds.
Manju Malhi has written 4 cookbooks that are sold globally specialising in good Indian food using good ingredients which are easy and accessible to the audience. Currently Manju has a television show running across Asia that reaches over 800 million viewers encouraging them to get back in the kitchen and cook dishes from scratch.
Through her books, television shows and www.manjumalhi.com, Manju’s common thread is simplifying the art of cooking and educating and encouraging consumers in knowing what they are buying and eating - creating good food using good ingredients.
Since we met, Manju has created a delicious recipe for biscuits using vandotsch speculaas spice mix - details of which are below:
How to make Manju Malhi's speculaas spice biscuits
"The vandotsch speculaas spice blend is very easy to use and extremely versatile for that added kick to your dishes be they savoury or sweet."
"It has that warm aroma that evokes cosy evenings by the fireside and exotic far flung places due to the notes and hints of cinnamon and clove that are present."