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whole cloves or whole allspice substitute ground?

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  • Spencer Nov 17, 2003 03:09 PM
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Hey Gang, if a recipe calls for 1 tsp. Of whole cloves or whole allspice how much ground would I substitute?
Thanks a ton,
Spencer

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  1. I can't answer, but I'd advise caution.

    I've never known whole cloves to soften -- they are removed in every recipe I've ever used. So they flavour the dish, but not nearly as much as the equivalent of powder.

    I'm certainly not a cooking pro, so I'd be interested in what kind of recipe calls for the whole spices and doesn't instruct removal.

    4 Replies
    1. re: SteveT

      Man, good point- I didn't think of that. It's a wassail recipe that DOES call for removal of the whole cloves and all spice. I have ground and was thinking I could save some money. Advise- should I get the whole and remove, or try the ground in very limited quantities?
      Thanks for responding,
      Spencer

      1. re: Spencer

        Coupla additional thoughts, since I'm on a roll.

        Wassail recipes are, I think, somewhat about the theme rather than the precision. The wine used is so variable that the rest is already questionable. So a smallish pinch of powder. You might try to set up a teabag effect by using cheesecloth or straining in coffeefilter when done. Oily spices really don't combine so well, so if you use powder I think they'd float. Hence the teabag idea. Otherwise, they will flavor the wine, but float in the end product. Probably not what you want to serve.

        (BTW, my comments and experiece are mostly about clove; I've never cooked with whole alspice. But I think they do the same thing).

        You can usually find a premixed "mulling spice" mix with citrus peel, as well as cinnamon stick, clove, alspice if you are trying not to buy individual jars of spices you won't use frequently.

        1. re: SteveT

          I think the whole spices are preferable because they are less likely to create a sludge in your finished mulled wine or cider (tho I have had even the whole spices disintegrate if the cooking goes on too long) - using a teaball or a muslin bag to hold the spices would probably prevent this and is a good idea.

        2. re: Spencer

          If you go to a store with bulk spices, you'll only be out pennies. Even my QFC (Kroger) has bulk spices (but not Safeway). Saves a ton of $$ on stuff you're only using a bit of.

      2. Like the other poster, I'd advise caution.

        I do grind my own from whole spices, but I've never really stopped to measure the difference in volume.

        I would guess somewhere between 1/4 tsp. and 1/2 tsp. would be plenty--no more.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Colleen

          This question is for Colleen. When grinding the whole spice, do you actually grind the whole clove or just the bulbs or stem? I can't find any ground cloves and was wondering if I could just grind the cloves myself, then I saw your post. Thank you!

          1. re: honletsnum

            You grind the whole thing. I can't imagine sitting trying to separate the stems from the buds!

            I often buy whole spices on purpose since I know I can use them either whole or ground or even "cracked" in my mortar and pestle, depending on what I'm making.

            1. re: k_d

              To say nothing about the fact that whole spices keep much longer than ground. Whole nutmeg is forever.