Last year I tried Chinese Five-Spice for the first time and fell in love with the flavour. It has the sweetness of Cinnamon, the heat of Peppercorns, the aromatics of Anise and Cloves and the stomach soothing of Fennel. Somewhere I have read that it is supposed to appeal to five different tastes. You can make your own mixture, but it is much easier to purchase unless you have a spice grinder.
Five Spice Mixture:
2 tbsp anise seed
2 tbsp fennel seed
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp cloves
2 tbsp whole peppercorns
Grind to a fine powder, keeps for six months in a closed container.
I had been yearning for a cake that used this spice. The most promising recipe I found is from The Food Network.
Five-Spice Tea Cake
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup cooled, very strong jasmine tea, use 1 bag
1 cup applesauce
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 6 cup loaf pan and line it with waxed or parchment paper.
Sift together the baking powder, baking soda, salt, flour, five-spice powder, and ginger.
In a medium bowl, mix the tea and applesauce.
In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the eggs and sugar until very light and fluffy. With the mixer running at medium speed, drizzle in the oil and mix.
Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and 1/3 of the tea/applesauce mixture and mix. Repeat twice more, using up all the ingredients The batter will be somewhat thin. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until firm to the touch and split on the top, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 70 to 90 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack and let cool 30 minute, then turn the cake out onto the rack, peel off the paper, and let cool.
Weekend Cooking post.