Clove - The Aromatic Flower Buds
Clove - is that little spice that looks like a nail. I’ve always associated it with Christmas! My parents introduced me to clove buds when I was a little boy when I was tasked to “pin” cloves into orange peels and then left it to dehydrate on the radiator during Christmas to bring in the festive atmosphere. Yes, our home was aromatised with cloves and oranges which back then were exotic fruit that brought nostalgia and memories to all.
Clove was one of the rarest and most expensive spices in the Roman and Medieval worlds. Cloves are a spice made from the flower buds of a clove tree that are grown in India and Madagascar, however, they are mostly associated with the Maluku Islands of Indonesia. Cloves have been seen as a premium spice, of which, Brits and Dutch had a war over. The Dutch exchanged New Amsterdam (today’s Manhattan) with the Brits for the cloves plantations.
Clove oil is used in aromatherapy and traditional medicine as well as in toothpaste, soap and cosmetics production as well as cigarettes that are very popular across Indonesia.
Cloves are traditionally used as a whole or ground spice. Cloves have a warm pungent flavour and aroma and are very often mixed with cinnamon and nutmeg across sweet and savoury dish recipes. During autumn and winter seasons cloves play the role in a spice mix for mulled wine, cider and or in chai tea throughout the whole year.
Despite childhood memories, I love to drink dark chocolate with a hint of cloves, whipped cream and sprinkled with freshly toasted almonds. Here is a recipe I like:
100 ml of 70% drinking dark chocolate* 30 ml Seedlip Spice (add more based on your preference) Whipped Cream Toasted almonds**
Combine Seedlip and drinking chocolate together.
Finish off with whipped cream on top and sprinkle with toasted almonds.
* When making dark chocolate to drink do decide whether to use milk or water, both will add different properties for the drink and let the chocolate shine.
** Toasted almonds can be changed to any other nuts or fruits - based on your personal preference.