When on holiday in Brussels over Easter we found many speculoos desserts on the menu in cafés and bars. It was a common flavour in icecream parlours. Heading out for a late night beer in the Grande Place and a speculoos trifle slash tiramisu was on the menu.
The spread is now available in larger Sainsbury’s and has been for a couple of years, and so is no longer something I have to stock up on in French supermarkets. It wasn’t so readily available when I made an online supermarket order and they brought the biscuits instead.
This recipe was half made up, half inspired by browsing these French recipes and a website somewhere that included savoury ones (eg lamb tagine where you add crumbs of speculoos biscuits with mint leaves and olives at the last moment.)
Speculoos is gaining in popularity – Olive magazine recently had an interesting looking cheesecake with a speculoos crust.
1x 250gr Biscoff / Lotus biscuits
75gr salted butter
half a jar lemon curd
half a jar – 200gr smooth Speculoos spread
Reserve three biscuits and blitz the remainder in a food processor
Melt the butter over a low heat and add the biscuit crumbs. Stir well
Divide the biscuit base between six ramekins and press in.
Chill a few hours until the base is firm. (Not essential, but it will help avoid the crumb coming away in the next step)
Spoon a dessertspoonful of lemon curd onto the top of each biscuit base.
Combine the speculoos with the mascarpone and stir until well combined. (You may prefer to leave it lightly mixed but well marbled?)
Pipe the speculoos cream onto the base. Chill again.
Break the reserved three biscuits in half and use to garnish.
I only really know about Speculoos biscuits as an accompaniment of espresso or café coffee. Order a coffee, and get a lovely little spicy biscuit wrapped in plastic. I’d mostly thought of it as a ginger sort of thing.
If you like your speculoos enough, you can buy the same biscuits they use in cafés here on Amazon.
Also recently Time to Cook Online Blog gave a recipe for making your own Spekulaas biscuits, based on a Dutch recipe, where they are common. In the Netherlands, you can buy the spice mix, but elsewhere you just have to make it yourself. I’m not rushing to do it because either my pestle and mortar are not very good or my technique is poor – it goes all over the place! I’m not in a hurry to grind cloves by hand.
Interestingly, Time to Cook does not list ginger as one of the spices in the mix – but the Wikipedia page does.
The reason for my renewed interest was a trip to a French hypermarket while we were in Normandy last week. In addition to the classy French food and booze and the crate full of French stationery destined for the classroom we bought, we also strayed in the “Pâté à tartiner” aisle where there are things to spread onto baguettes for French children’s tea time. We swooped on some Cora own brand white chocolate spread and then eagle-eyed P also spotted some Speculoos spread.
Once we got home we found it’s delicious! It almost has the colour and grainy texture of peanut butter but is sweet and spicy. The jar will not last long in our house and it’s all we can do to remember to spread it on bread and not just eat it out of the jar with a spoon. I haven’t seen it in UK supermarkets, but you can buy it on eBay. (Also available in crunchy!)
Whilst searching for the spread, I also found on Amazon this Speculoos syrup – similar, I suppose to the sort of syrup Starbucks use to make a gingerbread lattè. Another suggestion for its use is to flavour whipped cream. Delicious suggestion.
Photo credit – Charles01. PS is it ok to link to images hosted on wikipedia or do I have to copy them?