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mace and nutmeg

brucet9's picture

I have a wonderful family recipe for a sort of spicy chocolate pound cake that calls for clove, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and mace.

I know that nutmeg and mace are made from different parts of the same seed. To me they smell pretty much the same, so what makes one preferable to another in a given recipe and why would they both be used in my spicy cake recipe?

BruceT
BruceT
Ozark's picture

(post #37570, reply #1 of 31)

Very little difference in flavor, mace a little stronger. JMHO

 


Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

 

Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

thecooktoo's picture

(post #37570, reply #2 of 31)

If you have both, I would use both for the integrity of the recipe the first time you make it.   Not sure I would go out and buy either one if I had the other.


Jim

Aberwacky's picture

(post #37570, reply #3 of 31)

I agree.  If I don't have mace and a recipe calls for it, I just grind up some nutmeg.


Love my fine Microplane for this.


Leigh


 


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them." 
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thecooktoo's picture

(post #37570, reply #6 of 31)

You should get the Microplane Nutmeg Grater Box...great gadget for the kitchen.


Jim

Gretchen's picture

(post #37570, reply #7 of 31)

One more gadget!  I can do it faster than I could find it!  ;o)

Gretchen

Gretchen
Marcia's picture

(post #37570, reply #8 of 31)

I'm getting more into shoes now. Of course, I was always a shoe person, but I've been finding the best sales and coupons online, and I'm a fiend for shoes! Perhaps I'll dress instead of cook. LOL

thecooktoo's picture

(post #37570, reply #9 of 31)

>Perhaps I'll dress instead of cook. LOL<


Which is a lot less dangerous than cooking while not dressed (watch out for splattering grease!).   ;-)


Jim

Marcia's picture

(post #37570, reply #10 of 31)

Very true, very true. :-)

dorcast's picture

(post #37570, reply #11 of 31)

Oh you can do both!
My shoe collection is closely rivaled by my cookbook collection (followed closely by handbags and kitchen gadgets)

Marcia's picture

(post #37570, reply #12 of 31)

Oh you can do both!

Of that fact, I am all too aware. ;-)

Edited because I just saw this is a discussion of mace and nutmeg. Yeah, right. That's one thing I love about CT, but it can make a search devilishly difficult.


Edited 6/19/2009 10:40 pm ET by Marcia

brucet9's picture

(post #37570, reply #14 of 31)

Oh, I've baked this cake a hundred times or more and always used both; just thought someone here would know why two such seemingly similar spices are called for.

BruceT
BruceT
unbaked's picture

(post #37570, reply #25 of 31)

What's even more interesting is that I bet most of us grind our own nutmeg, so we're actually getting 'mace' in everything anyway.

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

schnitzel's picture

(post #37570, reply #26 of 31)

Not me. I can only buy nutmeg and mace separately, and do.

To BruceT:
I think the two spices have a different aroma.

Gretchen's picture

(post #37570, reply #27 of 31)

Oh, really?  There isn't a bigger "hull" to the nutmeg "nut" where the mace is?  ;o)  Interesting.

Gretchen

Gretchen
unbaked's picture

(post #37570, reply #31 of 31)

You're correct, I completely forgot about that. Touché!

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

'The desire to make an effort to improve the lives of those around you does not yet live in everyone, but it does live in everyone who cooks.' -Bill Penzey, one magazine

Marcia's picture

(post #37570, reply #28 of 31)

I do grate my own nutmeg, but the mace covering has been removed.

Gretchen's picture

(post #37570, reply #29 of 31)

Yes, I'm sure I do also. No covering like this.


http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/mace.html


Gretchen
Gretchen
Marcia's picture

(post #37570, reply #30 of 31)

Exactly!

Amy's picture

(post #37570, reply #4 of 31)

Is it a SECRET family recipe?? If not, I'd love to try it. Yum!

brucet9's picture

(post #37570, reply #13 of 31)

At the risk of being drummed out of the family for divulging it, here is the secret Thompson Mashed Potato Cake recipe.

Cream together:
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar

Add:
1 cup cold mashed potatoes
1/2 cup milk
4 beaten egg yokes (save egg whites and place in fridge until last step)

Sift together dry ingredients, then add to above:
2 cups flour
1 cup Ghirardelli's ground chocolate (do not use ordinary cocoa powders like Hershey's, as they have little or no chocolate liquor content that makes for a rich chocolate flavor)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp clove
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp mace

Stir in:
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.

Fold in until just smooth:
4 stiffly beaten egg whites. Do not overwork.

Bake in a greased spring form; 1 hour in a "slow oven" (Grandma Thompson's oven temp instructions were all like this.) about 300°F to 325°F seems to work well.
Test with a broom straw, as baking time may go well beyond 1 hour in some ovens.

Let cool for a while (if you can make yourself wait) before removing the outer ring of the spring pan.

This recipe looks like a pound cake variant, with dense crumb but, because of the mashed potatoes, a moister character. If you don't have a spring form, I'd guess that it would do well in a loaf pan, but might not bake through in the middle if baked in a round pan without a center hole. I inherited grandma's circa-1900 German-made Springform along with the recipe, so I don't know how it would bake in anything else.

Picture of spring form in CT post 43349.1

The crust will be somewhat crisp and splits like pound cake as it rises. Like pound cake, it needs no icing. It will keep for many days and has survived the rigors of mailing from California to Cambridge, MA and New Haven, CT as birthday treats when our daughters were college students.

Bon appetit

BruceT
BruceT
Jean's picture

(post #37570, reply #16 of 31)

Sounds interesting-- how deep is your springform and what is the diameter?  Could one be rigged by using a can in the center of a regular one?


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Gretchen's picture

(post #37570, reply #19 of 31)

I think he is describing a regular tube pan.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Jean's picture

(post #37570, reply #20 of 31)

But his is flat not rounded. Maybe a bundt pan would work though.


Sometimes I wonder--why is that Frisbee getting bigger?--and then it hits me.



http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Gretchen's picture

(post #37570, reply #21 of 31)

Oh, I see now--missed the "link".  I think you could bake it in a bundt pan. Or in a 9X13 pan.  Looked on google, and some are baked in that.

Gretchen


Edited 6/21/2009 9:23 am ET by Gretchen

Gretchen
brucet9's picture

(post #37570, reply #22 of 31)

"I think you could bake it in a bundt pan. Or in a 9X13 pan. Looked on google, and some are baked in that."

A bundt pan would be strange, since the cake would be rounded on both top and bottom. Then again, the baker has an absolute constitutional right to immediately eat up all the trimmings after slicing the bottom flat. :)

Good news, I just bought an almost identical springform for my daughter on Ebay for $2 plus freight. IT's called an "Ekcoloy Silver Beauty T343-9"

BruceT
BruceT
Amy's picture

(post #37570, reply #17 of 31)

Thanks! I promise not to tell your family :)

Carole4's picture

(post #37570, reply #5 of 31)

Mace is the outside covering of the nutmeg. Very different in flavor, IMO. If it calls for mace, use it.

brucet9's picture

(post #37570, reply #15 of 31)

So you can taste the difference?

Maybe next time I prepare tomato soup I'll sprinkle a little mace into it instead of nutmeg and see if I can taste the difference.

BruceT
BruceT
Carole4's picture

(post #37570, reply #18 of 31)

Yes, subtle, but I can.

brucet9's picture

(post #37570, reply #23 of 31)

Would you say, then, that each has something the other lacks as well as overlapping flavors, so that together they make something more complete?

BruceT

BruceT