Welcome to the next installment of my Meet the Spice Blend series, where I'm sharing the inspiration for, back stories of, and uses for my ever-expanding collection of small batch, handcrafted spice blends. Next up, let's meet Rose Spice!!
The Inspiration - A Trip to the City of Roses
The year was 2007. I was about a year into my former career as a litigator, and I was in Portland, Oregon assisting on a deposition for a big case. I had some time to kill, so I decided to check out the city's famous Rose Garden. If you've never been you should definitely check it out the next time you're in Portland. It is absolutely gorgeous, and the fragrance of the blooms is out of this world.
Later in the trip, I popped into a local coffee shop (because, as a young attorney, you essentially run on caffeine, and my tank was dangerously low), and the Rose Spice Latte on the menu caught my eye. I asked about it, and the barista lit up and went into a detailed explanation of why it was the most magical item on the menu. How could I say no to that? I was, after all, in the City of Roses and had just visited the enchanting Rose Garden. And you know what? I don't know about the rest of the menu at that little coffee shop (nor, in fact, do I even remember where the coffee shop was), but that latte was, indeed, magical.
Flash forward to 2021. I was getting ready to do a pop up for the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday, and I wanted to do something special and a little romantic. For some reason, that Rose Spice Latte I had enjoyed all those years ago popped into my head, and I went to work trying to create my own version of the spice blend I remembered. It took some time and some experimenting, but the result of those efforts is my Rose Spice, a combination of rose petals, cardamom, vanilla bean powder, fennel, star anise, and cloves. It's romantic and whimsical and delicious.
Flavor Profile - Rose Spice
Rose Spice is a truly enchanting blend that captivates the senses with its delicate and aromatic flavor profile. At its heart lies the subtle sweetness of dried rose petals, which infuse a romantic, floral essence into every bite. Complementing this floral note are the warm, earthy undertones of cardamom, and the creamy, slightly sweet notes of vanilla bean powder. Fennel adds a touch of herbal freshness, while star anise and cloves bring a delightful hint of spiciness and warmth, culminating in a harmonious blend that elevates both sweet and savory dishes.
Versatility in the Kitchen - Rose Spice
Wondering how to use Rose Spice in your own home cooking and baking? Check out these creative suggestions:
1. Rose-Infused Tea: Brew a soothing cup of rose-infused tea by adding a pinch of Rose Spice to your favorite tea leaves or herbal blend. The floral notes will beautifully complement the tea's flavors.
2. Rose-Scented Rice: Sprinkle Rose Spice into your rice while cooking for a fragrant and exotic side dish that pairs well with a variety of cuisines.
3. Vanilla-Rose Pancakes or Crepes: Enhance your morning pancakes or crepes by adding a dash of Rose Spice to the batter along with vanilla extract. Top with fresh berries and a drizzle of honey for a delightful breakfast treat.
4. Rose Spice Lattes: Stir Rose Spice into your morning latte for a unique twist on your coffee routine. Add some frothy milk to create a fragrant, comforting drink.
5. Rose-Spiced Yogurt: Mix Rose Spice into Greek yogurt, and then sweeten it with honey or agave syrup for a refreshing and exotic dessert or snack.
6. Rose-Spiced Cookies, Cakes, or Brownies: Incorporate Rose Spice into your favorite baked goods recipes for a floral and aromatic twist on classic treats.
7. Fruit Salads: Sprinkle a pinch of Rose Spice over fresh fruit salads to elevate their flavors with a hint of floral and spice.
8. Rose-Infused Syrup: Create a simple syrup infused with Rose Spice to drizzle over desserts, pancakes, or waffles for an elegant and flavorful touch. Or use it in your next cocktail for a sophisticated twist.
9. Rose-Spiced Roasted Vegetables: Toss root vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes with a bit of olive oil and Rose Spice before roasting them for a unique and fragrant side dish.
10. Rose-Spiced Ice Cream: Mix Rose Spice into your homemade ice cream base or sprinkle it over store-bought ice cream for a delightful floral twist.
11. Rose-Spiced Chocolate Bark: Spread some melted semi-sweet chocolate onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle it with some Rose Spice, some raspberries, and some pistachios. Freeze until solid and then break into pieces for a delicious sweet treat or edible gift.
12. Rose-Spiced Rice Pudding: Stir Rose Spice into a creamy rice pudding for a luscious and aromatic dessert.
Experiment with these suggestions to discover how Rose Spice can add a unique and delightful dimension to your culinary creations. Its floral and aromatic notes make it a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory dishes, allowing you to infuse your meals with a touch of elegance and creativity.
A Bite of Good Recipes that use Rose Spice
My absolute favorite way to use Rose Spice is in recipes that also contain chocolate because, let's be honest, is there any more perfect a pairing than chocolate and roses? So romantic... and SO delicious. Not convinced? Try one of these A Bite of Good recipes next time you want to bake up something sweet and special.
Fun fact: The cake portion of these two recipes is identical, so the choice is really between the toppings. If you prefer chocolate ganache, go with the Rose Spice Chocolate Heart Cakes. If you prefer a spiced buttercream frosting, go with the Chocolate and Rose Spice Cupcakes.
Ready to get your own Rose Spice? Get it here.