The Speculaas Spice Company

My love for speculaas biscuits began at a young age when growing up in Amsterdam. In those days kids were given home baked speculaas biscuits 'sandwiched' in butter creamed sandwiches to eat at school, at break-time.

 

Many years later, having moved to London, the inspiration to set up The Speculaas Spice Company came with the realisation that I really missed the smell of speculaas and eating fresh speculaas biscuits regularly.

 

While taking regular trips to The Netherlands, each time returning with more and more speculaas biscuits as gifts for friends and family, I wondered if I could make speculaas biscuits, based on my grandmother's speculaas spice mix recipe, and in some way improve on it.

HOW DID I BECOME A SPECULAAS MASTER CHEF

After several months and numerous tasting sessions, I finally succeeded in creating deliciously evocative tasting biscuits infused with our speculaas spice mix in such a way, so that the spices are released at different intervals as you eat them.

 

Of course you can buy various spice flavoured biscuits in some supermarkets and bakeries, but nothing comes closer to reminding me of the seductive speculaas biscuit smells, and the taste and flavours of the home-baked speculaas biscuits cakes and bakes from my childhood in Amsterdam.

 

Recent developments: diagnosed with Vasculitis

 

In March 2016, I was diagnosed with Vasculitis - a relatively rare desease

literally meaning 'inflamation of the blood vessels and arteries'. I for one

had never heard of this disease, nor its potential to kill if not diagnosed

and treated 'in time'.

 

Specifically, I was diagnosed with Cutaneous PolyArteritis Nodosa (CPAN):

which is apparently an even rarer form of Vasculitis. it involves the small

and medium sized arteries, in my case, in the skin of my legs.

 

After diagnosis, patients are treated with high doses of corticosteroids.            

Other immunosuppressive drugs are often also added. As is in my case,          

in order for the steroids to have a greater effect to treat the disease.

 

In August I had my sixth and final Chemo session and the various side

effects have now mostly subsided. I feel also much better. I have now

arrived in the 'control & maintenance' phase. Back being my happy

self again.

                                                                                                                                         Being prepared to get my first Chemo immuno

I have been lucky, because I was diagnosed early enough for the                       suppessant session, early in March, 2016 treatment to start in time. However, unfortunately there is still no cure.

 

In order to increase awareness of Vasculitis I have decided to support Vasculitis UK, a Registered UK Charity since 1992.

I hope you will join me in supporting this charity. Many thanks!  Steven                                                                                                                              

 

Interviews

 

Tastes of Christmas Past: Two men keep family memories alive with recreations of their grandmas’ recipes by Gillian Harvey

 

Woman’s Weekly - Christmas edition 2016

 

Scintillating Spices

 

As I bite into the small biscuit the zest of spices sparks my

senses and something deep within me stirs: the ghost of

a memory, the taste of something just out of reach, and a

feeling of warmth and love. “Thank you, Grandma”

I whisper softly.

 

Many families have precious recipes handed down through

generations, but the spice mix I infuse these tasty biscuits

with has a little more of a story – it was unearthed in some

old papers by my father two years ago, and comes from

a grandmother I never met.

 

My father often talks of my Dutch grandmother - Esther -

painting a vivid picture of a loving woman, whose baking

and cooking skills enabled her to satisfy a family of 10, even

during The Great Depression in the early 1930’s.

 

Continue reading the article, Here

 

 

 

Meet The Members: Steven Dotsch by Sal Godfrey

 

Great Little Baking Company 19 May 2016

 

If you’ve ever been to one of the fabulous Christmas markets you can find in The Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia, then you’ve probably tried speculaas biscuits – deep golden-brown, crisp and perfumed with a heady mix of spices, including cinnamon.

 

For Steven Dotsch, it’s a taste of home and family, so when he uncovered his Dutch grandmother’s own recipe for the spice mix, he knew he had to have a go at preserving and recreating it.

 

The Speculaas Spice Company  is now selling their own unique mix via the Great Little Baking Company, as well as the beautiful wooden moulds that are traditionally used to make speculaas biscuits.

 

Continue reading the article, Here 

 

 

 

Great British Bake-Off: You are never too young or too old by Eleanor Doughty

 

The Telegraph 15 August 2015

 

57 year old Steven Dotsch is another of the new age of cooking

enthusiasts. After 25 years working in international finance, both

in the City and abroad, he stepped away from the corporate

world, and entered the edible one.

 

Dotsch’s grandmother was Dutch and had her own special

sweet-tasting spice mix. When Steven’s father discovered this

two years ago, he was inspired to take up a new career.

 

First, Steven launched a recipe website dedicated to those based on

the vandotsch speculaas spice mix, which contains nine different

spices . . .

 

Continue reading the article, Here

 

 

On the Speculaas Spice trail by Jenny Linford - 5 May 2014

 

It is often said that, when it comes to food, you can find anything

in London. This, of course, simply isn’t true. While some cuisines

are very well-represented here, both by restaurants and food shops,

others are far more elusive.

 

Despite our long trading history with The Netherlands, for example,

there is very little Dutch food to be found in London. So, when I

came across Steven Dotsch and his brand-new London-based

speculaas spice business, I was intrigued to learn more and went

to visit him in Highgate . . .

 

Continue reading the interview Here.

 

 

Who’s For Dinner with Steven Dotsch, The Speculaas Spice Master Chef?

 

15 July 2015

 

Steven Dotsch is the Founder of Speculaas Spice Company which is based in Highgate, North London.  The spice mix is based on his Dutch grandmother’s sweet tasting spice mix. He also introduced speculaas biscuit dedicated wooden moulds that help home bakers around the world make authentic looking Dutch biscuits. He recently launched a dedicated website for vandotsch speculaas spice recipes, including contributions from food bloggers, bakers, chefs and two Great British Bake Off finalists.

 

Read his great interview and be inspired!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the progress we are making, please follow us @vandotschspices at Twitter.

Read-my-interview-on-Gourmandize-Uk The Speculaas Spice Master Chef at a Show Steven-Dotsch speculaas-biscuit Being prepared for first treatment Oma Dotsch