A real Spice girl

Posted January 9th, 2013

I love people who are passionate about what they do and Emma Grazette is no exception. She's got a seriously cool job.

As a spice maestro she could probably name any spice from just the tiniest whiff, along with its Latin name and a complete, detailed history. Better than that though, she knows how spices work with food, which is why she co-presented Channel 4's The Spice Trip with chef Stevie Parle (we wrote about him a while back, have a look on our blog).

After spending 3 years as Head Development Chef at The Spicery in Bath she now spends her time raising awareness of spicy foods and their nutritional benefits by organising lots of cool pop-up dinners. She's even got a book out about her trip with Stevie called Spice Trip: The Simple Way to Make Food Exciting.

Anyway, Emma has whipped us up a belter of a winter recipe - spelt & cinnamon hot cakes with yoghurt & winter spiced berries, pictured above. Have a gander:

Spelt and cinnamon hot cakes with yoghurt and winter spiced berries

To make about 25 yummy hot cakes you'll need:

  • 250g plain flour (if you don't fancy using spelt)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 260ml mil
  • a pinch of salt
  • a good knob of butter & more for spreading
  • 4 good handfuls of berries - why not use a combination of blackberries, raspberries, blueberries etc
  • plain yoghurt to serve
  • some maple syrup or honey to drizzle - optional but delicious

To make them:

  • Sift the flour into a bowl (if using wholemeal spelt flour add the husks back after sifting) add a pinch of salt, 1 tbsp of sugar and the baking powder.
  • Melt a good knob of butter and add to the flour along with the eggs.
  • Begin whisking together and add the milk slowly.
  • Whisk until you have a smooth thick batter.
  • Allow this to rest whilst you heat a large frying pan, and prepare the berries.
  • Combine the berries, 2 tbsp sugar, a splash of water and 1 tsp ground mixed spice (not allspice, a common misconception is that they are the same thing).
  • Simmer until the liquid has reduced to a syrup, not too thick, that coats the back of a spoon - about 10-15 minutes.
  • Add a splash of oil to the frying pan and add a good dollop of batter, you should fit about 4 in at once and it doesn't matter if they're not perfectly round.
  • Wait until you see air bubbles popping up then flip the hotcakes, they'll need only a minute on the second side. The first batch of any pancakes is rarely perfect, any good cook will testify to this!
  • Whilst they're cooking on the second side, spread the hotcakes with a little butter.
  • Whilst you're cooking the rest, cover them with a tea towel to keep them soft.
  • Serve a stack of hotcakes with a spoonful of berries; a good blob of yoghurt and maple syrup drizzled all over.

Happy munching.