My Latest Obsession

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Ever since I had the five-spice chocolate soup (read: hot chocolate in a bowl) at Café Fleuri, I’ve been obsessed with making and experimenting with five-spice at home. While the recipe below uses whole spices, you can certainly just buy the ground spices and mix it together in equal parts. Or better yet, just buy five-spice at your local Asian grocery store. So what do I use five-spice for? Ummm…what don’t I use it for? The beauty of this mix is that it complements both sweet and savory dishes, so I’ve been using it on just about everything: pancakes, oatmeal, fruit salad, stir-fry, sandwiches, noodles, sweet potato fries…you name it! Hey, don’t judge – I told you it was an obsession…

2 tbsp. Szechuan or black peppercorns
2 tbsp. whole cloves
2 tbsp. fennel seeds
4 small cinnamon sticks
6 star anise

1. Break up the cinnamon sticks into smaller pieces either by using a mortar and pestle or by placing them in a zip-top plastic bag and using something heavy (a can, a rolling pin, that meat tenderizer you’ve always wondered what to do with) to crush them.

2. Dry roast all of the ingredients in a pan over medium-low heat for a few minutes, until the spices become fragrant (about 5 minutes).

3. Grind the spices together in a coffee or spice grinder. You may want to do this in two batches to ensure you get a very fine powder.

4. Store in an airtight container.

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