Gretchen from Canela & Comino is hosting this month's Think Spice event with a Cloves theme, which requires participants to create and share a dish containing cloves as the star spice.
I have to confess that I don't use cloves often, so it was great to have the chance to research a recipe featuring cloves and what I had around the house (given that today is the deadline and it is a public holiday, so shopping is out of the question).
Not only do I not use cloves very often, I also don't have much information to share about them. However, one thing that I do remember from primary school is that in times past, before the blessed era of modern dentistry, people used to chew on cloves to help relieve toothache. This does not exactly sound pleasant because cloves are rather bitter, but I guess if it helped to ease the pain, it was worth it. As for me, I think I will continue to visit my excellent dentist, Boris, for pain prevention.
I have made Cranberry, Clove and Nut Muffins for this event. My dish contains ground cloves, and is more likely to promote tooth decay than anything else (hence necessitating more cloves?!?). The recipe is from All Recipes.com, and can be found here. However, I changed the recipe by substituting the cardamom for more cloves (making roughly a teaspoon of ground cloves), and by substituting the walnuts for flaked almonds (because this is all that I had :) ).
The resulting muffins are a rather pretty, deep golden brown, studded with ruby red cranberries. They taste sharper than the usual muffins that I favour because of the cranberries and the cloves, but these are two wintery foods that complement each other well.
To check out the many great ways to use cloves in your cooking, check out Gretchen's site once the roundup is posted.