There are a lot of beautiful foods that fall brings us, but speculaas may still be number one. Yes, we know it’s on sale all year round, but the real experience comes when it’s cold and bleak outside – and the speculaas is preferably baked in the form of kruidnoten (since the end of August #sorrynotsorry). We believe that anyone who invented speculoos, speculaas for bread, should receive an award.
But eh, speculaas for bread? Is speculoos spread really that? We went to investigate.
Speculaas vs. caramelized biscuit
The short answer to ‘is speculoos the same as speculoos?’ is: no.
For the long answer we have to go back to more than a century ago, when the Netherlands still had colonies. We could get cheap spices from there, from which we could mix biscuit and gingerbread spices (only we didn’t call it that yet). This mix consisted and usually consists of cinnamon , cloves, ginger powder, nutmeg, cardamom and white pepper.
In Belgium, however, those spices were not that cheap at all – but they still wanted to make something similar to speculaas. They found a way to do that without spices, by using candy syrup. It is therefore claimed that the ‘loos’ in the cheaper caramelized biscuit comes from spiceless (without spices).
This is still reflected in the ingredients. Lotus caramelized biscuits, for example, consist of wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oils, candy syrup, raising agent, soy flour, salt and cinnamon – not real speculoos spices.
AH baker’s speculaas, on the other hand, is made from wheat flour, sugar, vegetable oils, raising agent, disphosphate, gingerbread spices, salt and invert sugar syrup. No candy syrup, but speculaas spices. (And now no more expensive than the caramelized biscuit, but it used to be.)
But what is speculoos spread then?
Like speculoos, speculoos spread is made without speculoos spices, but often with candy syrup and cinnamon. As a result, it has more of a caramelized taste than a spicy one – which is of course fantastic on bread.
Despite the fact that we are only too happy to invest in our biscuits with both speculaasjes and speculoos spread, there is indeed a difference. Speculoos contains spices that you will not find in speculoos, but speculoos tastes a bit sweeter. Just what you like!