Baking with Saffron
Any sweets aficionado would know that certain spices could actually raise most desserts to a higher level. From elaborate pies to cookies and even fruity mixes, spices can add an aromatic kick and a tinge of flavor creating a delectable, Michelin-quality dessert.
One of the most precious spices that is a well-loved addition to many dishes (main course and dessert alike) is saffron.
A product the Eastern-Mediterranean, saffron is the dried orange-red stigmas of a kind of crocus flower. It's valuable because there are only 3 stigmas in each flower, and must be harvested carefully by hand just as the flower is opening. It usually takes almost 70,000 crocus flowers to produce just one pound of dried saffron. That’s basically the reason for saffron’s high price tag (biscuitpeople.com).
From the ancient times to the modern season, we could record saffron being widely used in food, drink and traditional herb medicines.
Now, saffron is, no doubt, a baking wonder.
A classic treat like the Swedish lussebulle is probably the mot famous saffron baked goodie. In Europe, people call it as saffron bun (from the name itself), Cornish tea treat bun or revel bun. Generally, this dessert is a rich, spiced yeast-leavened sweet bun that is flavored with saffron and cinnamon or nutmeg and contains currants like a teacake (biscuitpeople.com).
Saffron is also a wonderful addition to a tasty gâteau aux poires or pear cake. Pears normally would highlight the sweet, floral notes of saffron and pair beautifully to create a really good saffron pear cake (monpetitfour.com).
Saffron also mixes well with the truffle flavor. This pairing can be used to create truffle and saffron shortbread cookies.
For colder desserts, saffron ice cream will surely pass as a festive declicacy. You can also create a Kesar Pista Kulfi — a frozen dairy dessert made with pistachios and saffron strands (yummly.com).
A bit of trivia which sets the importance of saffron in the Scandinavian baking – yellow saffron cakes and buns symbolize the sunshine in the long winter months in Sweden (motherliving.com).
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