Recipe | Belgian style speculoos biscuits

Prep time: 1hr to 12 hrs (depending how long you leave the dough to rest)

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Makes: approx 32 biscuits (approx 5cm across)

Sorry for the delay; I went on holiday last week so couldn’t post a recipe. This week, I am making Belgian inspired speculoos.

Belgium is also known for its sweet treats. The most well known is probably Belgian chocolate; did you know that the origin was a pharmacist who covered cough sweets in chocolate to make them tasty! After his grandson put crème fraiche in them instead, praline chocolates were invented (fact courtesy of yummy-planet.com). Other sweet treats from Belgium include Belgian waffles, cuberdon and speculoos.

This week I have chosen to make speculoos because I love a good biscuit to go with my coffee.

Speculoos are delicious spiced biscuits which are served in café’s with tea or coffee. You may have had one in the form of lotus biscuits. Now you can make your own. Authentic Belgian ones have patterns printed in them, but I could not find speculoos printers anywhere! So mine are plain.

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour
  • 120g brown demerara sugar
  • 85g margarine – I used vitalite
  • 1.5 eggs worth of egg replacer
  • 0.5 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground ginger 0.25 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • apinch of ground white pepper
  • 0.25tsp ground cloves
  • 0.25tsp of ground cardamom (I couldn’t find any so I ground up the inner seeds of some pods in a pestle and mortar)

You will need
Speculoos molds / cookie cutters

Recipe

1.Make the dough:

  • Add spices and sugar to bowl (or food mixer bowl)
  • Add the butter and mix with a spatula (or beater if a food mixer) until combined

  • Add the egg replacer and mix again until thoroughly mixed
  • Gradually add the flour and baking powder until a dough is formed
  • Flour and wrap the dough with clingfilm or in a container; refrigerate for at least an hour but for best results overnight.

2. Cooking the biscuits:

  • Preheat oven to 200C
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about half a centimetre thick
  • Use a cookie cutter to cut out biscuits, (and make prints on them if you have a speculoos printer)

  • Place the speculoos on a greased or lined baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes
  • Let the biscuits rest on the tray for a few minutes before moving to a cooling rack

  • Enjoy with a lovely cup of coffee or tea

Indulgent breakfast pancakes

Because who doesn’t deserve to treat themselves every now and then? These pancakes are made with chickpea flour, so they are full of protein; so you still can feel virtuous when you pour maple syrup all over them 😉 Plus they are dead easy to make! And tasty too of course! Ingredients: 1 cup chickpea flour 1 1/4 cups plant milk 1tbsp stevia (truvia) 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp nutmeg 3/4 tsp baking powder Method: Whisk flour,milk, cinammon, nutmeg and stevia for 5 mins Next add the baking powder and whisk for 2 or 3 more mins The batter will be more thick and have a few bubbles Now its ready to make pancakes with… (you can keep the batter overnight if you want to prepare it in advance) Add thick portions of the batter to a non stick pan, preheated with a tbsp oil fry thick pancakes for about 3 mins on the first side, at high heat or until golden Bubbles will rise up and pop Flip, and fry on the other side for 2 mins Put in the oven for 5 mins to cook the insides and also keep warm while you cook the rest After you cook the last one put in the oven for 2 minutes just to make sure the inside is cooked. Now it’s time to serve those badboys Top them off with your favourite topping; I love toasted pecans and maple syrup, but you could do: Toasted nuts, cacao nibs and maple Banana and chocolate sauce Warm blueberry jam and berries Raspberries, dark chocolate and golden syrup Let me know any toppings you’ve tried at @hungryvegan_norwich