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 recipes you can make using vandotsch speculaas spice mix.
I had never heard of Nanaimo bars before so I was intrigued when Scottish baker and food blogger Stuart - aka 'MrCakeyboi' - used our vandotsch speculaas spice mix in creating a speculaas version of these Canadian bars. The original recipe for Nanaimo bars also by MrCakeyboi comprises a biscuit base, thick custard filling and topped with chocolate.
What follows is an overview of the ingredients that Stuart used to make the vandotsch speculaas spiced Nanaimo bars, including:
Makes approximately 20 bars
Ingredients for the Biscuit Base:
- 113 grams unsalted butter
- 55 grams granulated sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 5 grams (1 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 15 grams (1 tablespoon) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 320 grams digestive biscuits – crushed (21 biscuits approx.)
: for extra ‘kick’ replace digestive biscuits with similar amount of (any "old") vandotsch speculaas biscuits that you may have made before. Or, do half and half.
- 90 grams desiccated coconut
- 65 grams pecan nuts chopped
Ingredients for the Filling:
- 56 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 250 grams icing sugar
- 2 tablespoons custard powder
- 7.5 grams (1 ½ teaspoon) of vandotsch speculaas spice mix
Ingredients for the Topping:
- 140 grams dark chocolate (65% min)
- 15 grams unsalted butter
I refer to MrCakeyboi write-up for directions on how to bake his vandotsch speculaas spiced Nanaimoth bars.
How to make vandotsch speculaas spiced Nanaimo bars
"I also took some into work and all of my colleagues were blown away by the flavours – the chocolaty biscuit base with coconut and nuts and then the spicy sweet filling."
"Everyone could taste different spices in the mix – cinnamon, ginger and I got a bit of an anise flavour.”