Vegetarian food blog featuring nourishing home cooked recipes, creative baking and luscious chocolate.

Spice Drops – Giveaway #47

 

Spices really are the spice of life, or at least they are in my world. I find it hard to imagine not having a ready supply of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, vanilla and chilli, all spices I use on a regular basis in my baking and cooking. Cumin, coriander and turmeric are firm favourites too, but I have many other spices stuffed away in my cupboard. It is these, other less used spices that can be a bit of a problem. Spices are expensive and once ground, they don’t have a very long shelf life. Ideally, for real freshness and flavour, I would grind all of my spices as I need them, but this just isn’t practical; I’m usually in a hurry and often can’t grind them as finely as I’d like. This results in having to throw some of my precious spices away as they just become to old to use.

Holy Lama have come up with an ingenious solution to this dilemma – spice extracts, or as they like to call them Spice Drops. These are highly concentrated extracts which have a shelf life of three years. Priced at around Ā£3 a bottle, these could cost considerably less than buying whole or ready ground spices over the same time period. The extracts come in little 5 ml bottles with droppers for precise and easy measures. Although the spice drops work well in baking, it is recommended that they are added at the end of cooking where possible to keep the flavours vibrant. As regular readers will know, I like my products to be as natural as possible. The extracts are held in caster oil, which is fine, but I was a little concerned to see it was hydrogenated oil and wonder why this is necessary. However, they are ethically made in Kerala, South India. The company website states it offers fair wages to its staff and fair prices to it’s farmers. Most of the staff are women and many of them are from disadvantaged backgrounds. Sustainability is important so the factory’s carbon footprint is deliberately low. Holy Lama is a member of the British Association for Fair Trade Shops and Suppliers. All that counts for a lot.

The range is quite large and include spice blends as well as individual spices. There are a number of kits containing a collection of relevant spices. I had my eye on the Baker’s Spice Drop Kit, a collection of five spices: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla. However I was only sent a bottle of cinnamon and one of tulsi to try out.

As soon as I unwrapped the outer layer of protective plastic from the cinnamon bottle I nearly swooned with the wonderful scent that emanated from it. I adore cinnamon and if forced into a corner, would probably name it as my favourite spice. One drop is meant to be the equivalent of Ā½ a teaspoon of the ground spice. I tried a tiny drop neat and it was very strong – not something I’d recommend. I tried it out to good effect in my Spicy Orange and Chocolate Easter Bundt. I used one drop only, hoping to get just a hint of cinnamon and it worked perfectly.

 

The tulsi I was a little more unsure about. CT and I drink quite a bit of tulsi tea and are accustomed to the flavour. Holy basil, as it’s also known, has a very distinctive taste and although I was keen to try it with chocolate I wasn’t at all sure it would work. I decided to use it first in a cup of hot chocolate, a rich dark drinking chocolate I am currently reviewing. The directions say one drop for every 200ml of liquid or more to taste. I had 250ml of liquid and used only one drop and it was very powerful. I’m not sure I shall be taking to tulsi hot chocolate as a regular drink, but it did sort of work. Like coffee and tea, it has similar bitter notes which marry well together. It was, however, too strong and I was left with a powerful tulsi taste in my mouth for a long time afterwards. So for this extract, I would suggest, proceed with caution.

Thanks to Holy Lama for the spice extracts. There was no requirement to write a positive review and as always all opinions are my own.

Giveaway
Holy Lama have offered up a selection of five spice extracts to one lucky Chocolate Log Blog reader. This Baker’s Kit consists of: cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla. To be in with a chance of winning, please fill in the Gleam widget below. You will need to leave a comment on this post which then gives you additional chances to enter if you so wish. Gleam will pick a winner at random from the entries received. If you are commenting anonymously, please give me some way of identifying you as I will be verifying the validity of entries. Any automated entries will be disqualified. This giveaway is only open to those with a UK postal address. Winners will need to respond within 7 days of being contacted. Failure to do this may result in another winner being picked.
 
 
Prizes are offered and provided by Holy Lama and Chocolate Log Blog accepts no responsibility for the acts or defaults of said third party.
 
Closing date is Wednesday 28 May 2014

Do take a look at the Chocolate Log Blog giveaway page to see if there is anything else you would like to enter.

Spice Drops

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Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Trinity Axelson
    30th April 2014

    I love cinnamon and vanilla, especially in baking! They are my go to ingredients no matter the recipe!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Janet Rawstron
    30th April 2014

    Nutmeg is my favourite spice in the kit. I use it freshly grated in both sweet and savoury dishes.

    • Leave a Reply

      Choclette
      30th April 2014

      Thanks Amrita. We drink tulsi tea anyway, mostly for its health benefits, but I was keen to do a bit of experimenting.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    30th April 2014

    ginger – I love gingerbread so would make some of this.

    KATHY D

  4. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    30th April 2014

    Cinnamon for bread
    Claire D

  5. Leave a Reply

    Kate Glutenfreealchemist
    30th April 2014

    Spice drops? What an ingenious idea!!! I too am a cinnamon girl at heart, but I would love to experiment more with cardamom (without the risk of getting the pods stuck in my teeth!!

  6. Leave a Reply

    laura banks
    30th April 2014

    vanilla we use it for all sorts but the hubby is trying to teach me to make proper custard

  7. Leave a Reply

    Amanda Philp
    30th April 2014

    Cardamom for curries, especially chicken curry

  8. Leave a Reply

    debbie godbolt
    30th April 2014

    cinnamon to make cinnamon buns and chilli to use on everything savoury x

  9. Leave a Reply

    Miriam Said
    1st May 2014

    Cinnamon and vanilla. The vanilla for when I am baking cakes also cake and Apple pie baking with the cinnamon, but I also like coffee with a touch of cinnamonin it. Yum.

  10. Leave a Reply

    denise
    1st May 2014

    I would choose cinnamon for baking as its delicious and smells divine

  11. Leave a Reply

    Galina Varese
    1st May 2014

    It will be a tough choice between cinnamon and vanilla, as I use both extensively in my baking

  12. Leave a Reply

    Zoe R
    2nd May 2014

    Nutmeg and I would make a lovely homemade rice pudding just like my nana used to make

  13. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    6th May 2014

    gingerbread men & women with the ginger @msedollyp

  14. Leave a Reply

    Hekna
    11th May 2014

    Would have to be vanilla – I use it in everything I bake including the cream and butter cream!

  15. Leave a Reply

    Julie Savage
    11th May 2014

    Vanilla to go into my butter icing for the cupcakes

  16. Leave a Reply

    Rachel White
    15th May 2014

    It would have to be the chilli. . I use it in everything but my signature dish is quesilladas… mmm yummy. .. šŸ˜€

  17. Leave a Reply

    Rebecca Gransden
    23rd May 2014

    I would love to make some proper ginger biscuits.

  18. Leave a Reply

    styles5433
    24th May 2014

    Ginger I love it . and I would make Ginger curd. Delicious on toast or toasted bagels

  19. Leave a Reply

    Mike Gerie
    26th May 2014

    Cinnamon for to add to a fruit loaf

  20. Leave a Reply

    Mike Gerrie
    26th May 2014

    Cinnamon for a fruit lof

  21. Leave a Reply

    pam lawrence
    26th May 2014

    I love vanilla and cinnamon, and use them both extensively in baking and desserts x

  22. Leave a Reply

    Charmian Filewood
    27th May 2014

    Vanilla, in cupcakes and a lot of my home baking

  23. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    27th May 2014

    Vanilla so many uses in cooking

  24. Leave a Reply

    agaue1
    27th May 2014

    vanilla i use it load sin baking and also in coffee šŸ˜€

  25. Leave a Reply

    pauline black
    27th May 2014

    vanilla to use in baking, also cinnamon. Actually they would all be pretty useful!

  26. Leave a Reply

    grisser
    28th May 2014

    Cinnamon in freshly made French toast- ooh, going to make Some now….

  27. Leave a Reply

    Rachel Davies
    28th May 2014

    Cinnamon for me as I have just discovered French Toast and can’t get enough of it

  28. Leave a Reply

    David W
    28th May 2014

    Ginger, so i could make gingersnap cookies the way my grandmother used to. delicious

  29. Leave a Reply

    Lynsie Lynn
    28th May 2014

    Cinnamon – I make amazing Cinnamon buns and danish pastries! A weekend treat for the hubby and kiddies šŸ™‚ We all love it! šŸ™‚

  30. Leave a Reply

    HayleyT
    28th May 2014

    It would be Cinnamon! I love the taste and the aroma! I would use it in my baking, cakes, french pastries, on top of egg custard tart, and on freshly made French Toast!

  31. Leave a Reply

    Pam Francis Gregory
    28th May 2014

    Vanilla in a sponge cake – yum!

  32. Leave a Reply

    Sam Fernley
    28th May 2014

    Cinnamon in an apple pie

  33. Leave a Reply

    tarbs gill
    28th May 2014

    Cinnamon – great for gingerbread!

  34. Leave a Reply

    Anonymous
    28th May 2014

    Cinnamon is my favourite, I use it in cakes and in hot choc drinks. x

    Keeley Shaw

  35. Leave a Reply

    Shauna Barratt
    28th May 2014

    cinnamon is amazing!

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