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jameswilliam

Substitution for Aniseed in Alfajores

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I'm looking to make the Alfajores that you find in Medina Sedonia in Spain. I've found recipes here in English and Spanish (it looks like the English one is a translation of the Spanish one with measures converted to volume)

http://spanishfood.about.com/od/dessertssweets/r/Alfajores-De-Medina-Sidonia-Recipe-Andalucian-Delicacy.htm

http://www.asopaipas.com/2010/12/alfajores-de-medina-sidonia.html

 

I'm having a little bit of trouble finding aniseeds and I'm wondering whether it would be okay to use star anise as a substitute somehow, maybe just the seeds from middle? Any advice would be much appreciated!

 

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I'm looking to make the Alfajores that you find in Medina Sedonia in Spain. I've found recipes here in English and Spanish (it looks like the English one is a translation of the Spanish one with measures converted to volume)

http://spanishfood.about.com/od/dessertssweets/r/Alfajores-De-Medina-Sidonia-Recipe-Andalucian-Delicacy.htm

http://www.asopaipas.com/2010/12/alfajores-de-medina-sidonia.html

 

I'm having a little bit of trouble finding aniseeds and I'm wondering whether it would be okay to use star anise as a substitute somehow, maybe just the seeds from middle? Any advice would be much appreciated!

I'd be much more likely to use fennel seed. Star anise doesn't seem an appropriate flavour for a Spanish dish. But, hey, I'm no expert so I hope someone else offers a better suggestion.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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I see star anise listed as in ingredient in pastis (i.e. a non-Asian application), and when I want an intense anise flavour, I often at least boost the regular anise with star anise, so even if it is not traditionally used, I don't think it would hurt the overall feel of the flavour profile.


Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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Thanks for your help - I've got a couple of other places I can try to get normal anise seeds, otherwise maybe I'll try a mixture of fennel / star anise. I think I'll probably use rather less than specified as well, I don't really recall the ones I've had in Spain having that much of a dominant aniseed flavour.

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I've always thought of alfajores as the sandwich cookies with dulce de leche filling. Thanks for this introduction to something new (for me). They look great.

 

I have thrown whole star anise into the coffee grinder I use for spices. It grinds up nicely and I use it sparingly in cookies/biscotti that call for cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, anise, etc. It adds a nice kick. I don't know that I'd use it to replace anise, but I think it could add a nice dimension to the recipe in your link.

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They're very nice actually and nicely presented as well, you get them in boxes individually wrapped like you can see on this page

http://cadizpedia.wikanda.es/wiki/Reposter%C3%ADa_%28Medina-Sidonia%29

 

I've been looking for a good recipe for a while. I found one in Frank Camorra's book 'Movida Rustica' which I thought was going to be along the right lines as he seemed to know about the area, etc but it turned out be rather different than what I've had, more of a biscuit

(it's reproduced here http://www.them-apples.co.uk/2010/07/alfajores-spanish-spiced-fruit-and-nut-biscuits/)

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