What are the Five Spices in Five Spice Powder?
- Star Anise
- White Pepper
However, much to my shock and awe, I learned that five spice powder actually has nothing to do with the number of spices!
If Five Spice Powder Isn’t About Five Spices, What is it About?
According to the fabulous food blogger Chez Pim:
The “five” in Five Spice actually refers to the balance of five basic elements: earth, fire, water, air, and metal. The Five Spice powder was originally used in Chinese medicine to restore the balance of the five elements in the Chi or the life energy in our bodies. So, besides the five basic spices, Five Spice powder may contain other spices such as coriander seeds, cumin or anise seeds (instead of fennel seeds), black or green cardamom, and even nutmeg.
Also on Chez Pim, there is a recipe to make your own five spice powder and I must admit that I am now feeling like a bit of a slacker for not making my own.
Why Five Spice Frosting?
The five spice frosting was inspired by pork. Pork inspires all kinds of people to do all kinds of things. I’ve already been inspired by pork once before – remember the bacon cheddar frosting? This time, I didn’t put any pork in the frosting. I just used the five spice powder, a prominent element of the rhubarb pulled pork that I made for Taste & Create.
How Did Five Spice Frosting Taste?
The five spice frosting was mellow and tasted like Fall. I suppose it wasn’t the best choice for a summer cupcake, but sometimes it’s nice to have Fall flavors in the Summer, too. It would go really well on most Fall cupcakes and especially well on rhubarb cupcakes.
Five Spice Frosting Recipe
Five Spice Powder Frosting Recipe
- 1/4 C 1/2 stick butter, room temperature
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 3 C powdered sugar sifted
- 2 t five spice powder
- 1 t vanilla extract
- Beat the butter and cream cheese until combined.
- Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat until creamy.
- Add the five spice powder and vanilla extract.
A Question for You
I like doing posts specifically about frosting. It’s especially useful if I use the same frosting on more than one cupcake. However, frosting doesn’t look that great when it isn’t frosting something. There are only so many “frosting on the spatula” or “frosting in the beaters” photos I can see before getting bored with them. Anyone have any ideas?