The first telltale chill of the onset of autumn is swirling around in the air, and it’s time to think ahead to the joys of fall baking. Just in time for the cooler weather is Samantha Seneviratne’s The New Sugar and Spice. This book takes you on a tour of your spice cabinet like you’ve never experienced before, teasing out bold new flavors in the classic baked goods you already know and love, like the cinnamon-infused Maple Sticky Buns pictured above (recipe after the jump for you to try at home).
We asked Seneviratne to detail for us her top do’s and don’t’s for weaving new and exciting spices into baking recipes:
- Do taste everything! Even if you don’t think you like a certain spice, give it a new look every now and then. You never know how a new preparation may change your perspective.
- Don’t let your spices languish in the pantry for too long. Make sure they’re fresh before you use them.
- Do grate nutmeg fresh. It’s much tastier than the preground spice. I like freshly ground cardamom best, too.
- Don’t use imitation vanilla. Your cakes will thank you.
- Do use a spice grinder with a removable basin. Washing the basin in between uses keeps flavors fresh and clean.
- Don’t forget the salt! It’s one of the most-important spices in baking.