Monday, 25 July 2011

Do you Speculoos?

Why is it when you go abroad all the food just looks so much more interesting? Speculoos pasta is one of my favourite 'foreign' supermarket finds - it is a Dutch spread based on the lovely Lotus biscuits you can buy in UK supermarkets. I know it sounds weird but it is ADDICTIVE. I hearby start the campaign to get it sold here. You can email them via their, rather boring, UK site.

Just before I left my old crappy office job in March a colleague mentioned he was going to Amsterdam for a day and he kindly brought me back a jar of paste and two packets of Speculoos sprinkles aka Hagel. Yesterday I finally got round to using them and damn, why did I wait so long?

I made two kinds of cupcakes - one stuffed with Speculoos and one with it baked in.

I used my basic vanilla cupcake recipe (except I used slightly less vanilla than usual), and scooped some into the cases with my trusty ice cream scoop, then mixed two dollops (approx 2 tablespoons - give or take some spoon licking) into the leftover mixture for the baked Speculoos cupcakes.

For the plain cupcakes - once cooled I scooped the middle out of them and added a heaped teaspoon into the centre of the cakes. Again spoon licking may have been involved.

The frosting is trusty vanilla frosting base (125g unsalted butter, 250g icing sugar - milk if necessary), without vanilla, with about 2 -3 tablespoons of Speculoos mixed in to taste. And boy did it taste pipe straight into your mouth good.

The plain ones got topped with a swirl of frosting and a good sprinkle of Speculoos Hagel - little sprinkles of biscuit. The baked Speculoos ones I did a circle of frosting and filled the middle with spread before topping with sprinkles. This was my favourite one I think, but it was difficult to choose - they were both delicious. 

As I was baking these I realised the mixes go out of date next month so I am giving away an unopened box of Speculoos Hagel Mix, the biscuit sprinkles mixed with chocolate. The Dutch put these on buttered toast, but they are great cupcakes toppers, could be mixed into cake or just eaten from the box.

To win, just leave a comment below stating what item you have found on holiday that you wish you could buy in the UK.

You can get an additional chance to win by following @annecupcake on Twitter and tweet the following message: I've just entered to win #speculoossprinkles from @annecupcake and you can too. Enter here:

Open to Mainland UK residents only. Contest closes at midnight Friday 29th July. PLEASE ensure you leave an email address or @twitter name so I can contact you - if you do not I will award it to someone else as I work all weekend and can't chase people up! Winner will receive the prize early August and the use by date is August 18th so only enter if you are going to use it please!

Finally you can buy Speculoos paste in the UK online but compare the prices to Hollands - 1 Euro - I must get to Holland soon. They also have crunchy spread. The lucky sods.


meemalee said...

I really wish I could get frozen custard in this country - highlight of my trip to the US.

Maggie Bob said...

Most of the products I want to bring back are from Scotland, funnily enough. Red Kola being a permanent favourite ;)

For non food stuffs, we found a great roll on muscle rub in New York - we were gutted when that ran out!


Cupcake Kelly said...

packets of Rösti from Switzerland. The ones with bacon are the best. Waitrose sell some but they aren't nearly as good.

My dad used to buy us hagelslag from the Netherlands for us to have on our toast. I love it.

Sarah @Scrumptious Sally said...

I would be a lot happier and a lot fatter, if the full Kinder range was stocked in the UK. Schoko Bons are a particular favourite.
I really like Lotus biscuits but it had never occurred to try them on top of a cupcake.

the dutch purple rabbit said...

hmm i can always send some over by mail.
but when i ever visit england i will think of you.

Manny said...

I wish I could get that 17% Avery Mephistopheles Stout over here! If I win will you make more Speculoos cupcakes for us? They were absolutely superb, in fact they were as good as any of the chocolate ones you've made and that's something I never thought I'd hear myself say. Actually I wonder what a Speculoos cupcake with chocolate frosting and Hagels on top would be like?

Well done sweetheart, once again you have triumphed xxx

Tash said...

these look amazing! Would love to try them... I wish we had the Max Brenner chocolate restaurant ehre in the UK - its amazing!

Anonymous said...

Cornbread from the US - (it was a restaurant that I had it in but they do sell it / mixes to make it in supermarkets there) - I still have dreams about it. It was so soft, so fluffy, so delicious. I've tried to recreate it numerous times but I'm not sure anything will ever come close!

The speculoos spread looks amazing!

Archies Mum said...

They look absolutely gorgeous mmm I'm sure they tasted gorgeous as well. I remember when we went to San Francisco one year and found what I thought was a packet of crisps but they were actually apple crisps. They were really really nice, don't know how healthy they were tho' (1 of my 5 a day possibly lol!)

Anonymous said...

Why have more people not entered this? I LOVE speculoos. I am having to ration the jar I brought back from belgium. So, aside from that, I wish I could get almond paste in a tube. I have no idea if it tastes nice, but if it did I'd be making almond croissants all the time. So it's probably a good thing I can't get it.

Bernice said...

I emailed the Lotis web site as you suggested, and they VERY KINDLY have sent me a complimentary jar of Speculoos and some vouchers for their biccies too. Your suggestion to contact them has at least given me the opportunity to try your delicious receipe, but it doesn't look like they have any plans for stocking the product over here just yet. Thanks for the recipe. I will be trying it out this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

Great blog thanks for introducing us to new taste delights...never heard of this product before but have now found out I can get it here in Aus even the crunchy pasta!!! wooohooo
thanks again

I heart cupcakes said...

Thanks for all the comments - sorry haven't had access to my blog for a few days!

@MiMi - it might come here - we're getting Pinkberry this week at Selfridges!

@MaggieBob - I hear you! I bring back so many macaroni pies when I go to Scotland it's unreal. Will be having red kola when I go to Glasgow!

Kelly - I do like Rosti as well. I've never had this stuff on toast - do you put sprinkles on your toast too (they do in Holland!)

Sarah - I used to have to bring back a lot of Kinder for a German colleague - I like Schoko Bons too - you used to get them in Sainsburys!

@the dutch purple rabbit - thank you :) you're so lucky - I do love Holland it's a fab country

Manny - you were quite taken with that beer weren't you. I have a little speculoos left so shall make you some chocolate ones soon!

Tash - thank you! We visited Max Brenner when we went to NY - I got a lovely hug mug for hot chocolate.

Kerry - are you in London? Outsider tart sometimes make cornbread to sell in their shop.

Archies Mum - thank you. I tried apple crips at Christmas Market in Germany and I wasn't keen - probably better for you than normal ones though!

@Pb - was my fault I forgot to approve comments! You can make croissants - I'm inviting myself over ;)

@Bernice - hurrah glad my advice paid off!

@Anon - you're lucky - I want to try the crunchy one!

I heart cupcakes said...

Meant to say CONGRATULATIONS to Cupcake_Kelly who won the mix :)

AmericanSand said...

I bought a jar of this when we went to Holland in April. It was delish.Didn't last very long at all.

Anonymous said...

Actually it's Belgian not Dutch! =)

Working london mummy said...

lovely! my husband is from Belgium so we often come back with Speculoos biscuits but not tried the spread. Sounds a great cupcake topping

Bitsy said...

OHHHHH you should see the inside of my cupboard. All I have is speculoos. (and some tuna?) My friend lived in Belgium and shipped it over by the suitcasefull! There is a crunchy variety too which is the same as the original spread but has like crumbled biscuit in it. SO good!

I heart cupcakes said...

Bitsy I am JEALOUS!

Anonymous said...


May I ask where I can get the cupcake cases featured in this post?


I heart cupcakes said...

Hi Anon - they're from a store called Clas Ohlson - they have a branch in Croydon and a few more in the UK

Hodgebot said...

Mmmmm I live in France and Speculoos spread is one of my favourite things about doing so! I just made these cupcakes and they were DELICIOUS! Thanks for the recipe, it's given me an excuse to always have some Speculoos lying around :)

Anonymous said...

Just discovered Speculoos. Thought you might be interested to know, you can buy the paste from a cafe/restaurant called Le Pain Quotidien; there are loads of branches in London :)