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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Inspired by Fiona Sciolti’s demonstration on how to make a nut brittle infused with vandotsch speculaas spice – see for demonstration video, below – I decided to make my own nut brittle with pecan nuts.
The Speculaas 'Master Chef's speculaas spice infused pecan nut brittle
What follows is an overview of the ingredients that I used to make the vandotsch speculaas spice infused pecan nut brittle, including:
- 400g granulated sugar
- 115ml water
- 113g unsalted butter
- 113g light golden syrup
- 15g (3 tea spoons) vandotsch speculaas spice mix
- 340g lightly toasted pecans
- some Fleur de Sel or crushed Maldon sea salt
- In a large non-stick saucepan, combine the sugar, water, butter and golden syrup and bring to a gentle boil. Set a timer for ten minutes.
- Stirring occasionally, watch for the color to change from clear, to a light brown. This may take 10 minutes or less.
- As soon as the color is golden add the vandotsch speculaas spice.
- Using a candy thermometer, stir occasionally and cook the mixture to a hard crack stage (144 degrees C).
- When the mixture reaches 144 C immediately remove saucepan from the stove.
: be diligent about monitoring the mixture temperature - the temperature will spike quickly after it reaches 145C.
- Working quickly, and stirring continuously, add the pecans all at once.
- Pour at once onto a prepared non-sticking baking sheet or silcone baking mat.
- Using a rubber spatula, spread and flatten the mixture as needed, sprinkle with salt and allow to cool for about 20 minutes, until brittle.
- Snap the nut brittle into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature.
This brittle has a great shelf life, if kept in airtight container; it will keep for 2 months.
How to make vandotsch speculaas spice nut brittle