In January, I was in the Netherlands visiting one of my friends as we aim to visit each other once a year. Whenever I travel somewhere, one of the main things I am interested in is the food of the country! Food for me is a passion and I love trying new things. The Netherlands, although not famed for its food, has got some fantastic good quality produce such as Old Amsterdam, Gouda, pindakaas, stroopwaffels and saté sauce. However, I was introduced recently to the lovely speculoos paste!!!!
Just think the little biscuits you get in coffee shops in the red wrappers, well that’s what it tastes of. The speculoos paste has the same texture of peanut butter but has a completely different taste. It’s creamy, smooth and has the taste of the speculoos caramelised biscuits. In the UK you can now get the Speculoos paste in Waitrose so make sure you get down there and try this recipe out. It is fantastic!!!
140g Lotus speculoos spread (This can now be bought at Waitrose)
190g brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120g plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
For the frosting
500g icing sugar
80g speculoos paste
Dash of milk
Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcakes cases. Using a hand mixer or free standing electric mixer, mix the butter, speculoos spread and sugar until it is creamy and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Once all the eggs are mixed, add the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, weigh the flour. Add the baking powder and salt. Then sift half the flour into the mixture and beat well. Then add half of the milk and mix. Repeat this step.
Using an ice-cream scoop, place the mixture in the cupcake cases until they are 2/3 full.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Once cooked, place on a wire rack to cool.
To make the frosting, you will need a hand mixer or free standing electric mixer as before. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl and add the butter. Mix until the butter and icing sugar looks like crumbs. Then add the speculoos spread and mix well. Then add a little milk to make sure you achieve a nice creamy consistency. Mix for around 5-10 minutes.
Using a piping bag, pipe swirls on the cupcakes. I decorated my cupcakes with speculoos sprinkles I bought in Holland but your could use some crushed up speculoos biscuits or chocolate sprinkles.