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About Spices

Dark Wanderer Dec 22, 2008 09:40 AM

Is there a difference between all spice and five spice? Coz im looking for all spice at the store but all I could find is five spice powder. Is there a difference between the two or there just the same?

  1. m
    maestra Dec 22, 2008 01:14 PM

    What are you making? If you're baking, that a substitution like Caralien's recommendation will be fine. If you're making a stew or something (Jamaican flavors come to mind), then you'd have very different results.

    3 Replies
    1. re: maestra
      Dark Wanderer Dec 22, 2008 02:23 PM

      Im actually trying to bake muffins, the recipe requires three types of spices: cinnamon, nutmeg and all spice. All spice is the only thing I need to make this one but I could'nt find it.

      1. re: Dark Wanderer
        maestra Dec 22, 2008 04:05 PM

        In that case, you can just leave it out and add a bit more cinnamon and nutmeg (more cin.; less nutmeg). Ground cloves, about 1/4 t, would be good if you have them. There would certainly be more depth to the spices if you had allspice, clove, or even ginger in there. You could also use a t of pumpkin pie spice instead, if you have that lurking in the cabinet.
        Just play until the batter tastes/smells as spicy as you'd like it to.

        1. re: maestra
          Dark Wanderer Dec 22, 2008 04:56 PM

          Ah ok, i'll try that one. One question though, in baking muffins, should I turn the bottom heater as well or just the top of it? Coz my oven has option to turn the heat on the bottom as well as the top.

    2. Ruth Lafler Dec 22, 2008 09:45 AM

      No, they're not the same. Allspice is a specific spice -- it's a round seed that looks sort of like a smooth peppercorn. Five spice is a mixture of five spices: star anise being the predominent one.


      4 Replies
      1. re: Ruth Lafler
        Caralien Dec 22, 2008 10:18 AM

        Allspice has a mild clove-cinnamon flavour. If you can't find allspice, you can use ground cloves & cinnamon as a substitute.

        1. re: Caralien
          Dark Wanderer Dec 22, 2008 11:42 AM

          What cloves? Should I combine both of them? By what ratio?

          1. re: Dark Wanderer
            todao Dec 22, 2008 12:00 PM

            Just mix equal parts of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. You can add a pinch of black pepper but do it a little at a time and taste it each time to be sure you've got it where you like it.

            1. re: Dark Wanderer
              Caralien Dec 22, 2008 12:10 PM

              allspice by itself--even freshly ground--is a mild spice compared to cinnamon and cloves. My personal recommendation: cut by half and use 1 part cloves to 3 parts cinnamon, ie
              recipe: 2t ground allspice
              conversion: 3/4t cinnamon + 1/4t ground cloves

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