When you think of a dessert, you probably think of something that is sweet and made with chocolate, cream or a host of other ingredients that get the taste buds excited. Spices can also be used when making desserts as they can add a savory flavor to the dish.
Chili is a spice that has been used with a dessert, and is gaining momentum. It’s often added to chocolate, such as pudding or a cake. You want to use it sparingly unless you enjoy a little heat. Another option if you enjoy heat is curry. This is a spice that brings out the sweetness of the dessert while still giving the warmth that you would find with chili. Cayenne is something to consider as well as this gives a little more heat while also giving a bit of sweet flavor.
Cinnamon is a spice that you have probably used a good bit of with desserts. Top a sweet potato or pumpkin pie with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. It can also be used on top of muffins or cookies. One of the things you need to remember with cinnamon is that it will burn easily, so it’s best to put it on top of the dessert right before baking. If the spice is added to the dessert instead of on top, then it doesn’t matter as much. Combine the cinnamon with a bit of lemon for a different kind of taste that is sweet and refreshing.
If you like cookies or simple cakes, then consider lavender, a bit of lemon and cinnamon blended together before adding it to a shortbread recipe. You can use the shortbread mixture to make small cakes that are topped with lemon zest or cookies that have lemon and lavender on top.
One of the fresh fruits that is easy to use with any dessert is the strawberry. You can make pies, cakes, cookies and other delicious items with the red berries, but you can bring out that freshness with a bit of basil and basil syrup. Try to use more of the fresh basil instead of the syrup as you want to keep the fresh flavors combined. For a different kind of ice cream that is also made with a fresh fruit, add small pieces of plums and tarragon. These ingredients will give a delightful aroma and flavor that is a little on the tart side. Fresh lemongrass is also an option, especially if you’re making a sorbet.
Before you begin mixing several spices together consider starting with one or two, as fresh herbs and spices are concentrated compared to those that you get from a store in a bottle. This means that the flavors will be a bit stronger in smaller amounts. You don’t want to overdo it, and you can always add more later.