Putting jasmine into baked goods?
September 8, 2008 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Is there an easy solution to getting jasmine flavor into baked goods?

I love jasmine tea so the first idea that hit me was substituting brewed jasmine tea for the liquids in a baking recipe.
I tried adding a very strong brewed tea to cupcakes and could barely taste jasmine but got a decent green tea flavor.

Then I thought I could make a simple syrup with equal parts green tea and sugar and use that syrup as a sugar substitute... but then I realized I'd be adding a whole lot more liquid and I'm not sure how to figure out a compensation... and who knows if that would be effective in adding flavor.

I've been to the grocery stores in the area, a specialty spice store, a specialty baking/cooking store, and 2 florists and could not find a jasmine spice, extract, artificial flavor, or even the flower.

I'd prefer to completely eliminate the green tea and get straight up jasmine, but, I'm willing to experiment with easy-to-find ingredients.

Any ideas?
posted by simplethings to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Use the actual jasmine tea leaves, ground to powder as if it were a spice?
posted by holgate at 11:34 AM on September 8, 2008

Jasmine extract?

I suspect you could also make jasmine sugar in the same way you make vanilla sugar, by filling a jar with blossoms and sugar and sealing it up for a while to infuse. You'd want to find out which type of jasmine flower is suitable for culinary use and then find a source, of course.
posted by padraigin at 11:36 AM on September 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Dried jasmine flowers (as used in the tea) are quite widely available. Try an asian grocery store; they're also available online in various places; just make sure they're designated for human consumption.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 11:39 AM on September 8, 2008

What you want is extract of jasmine absolute (culinary)--here is one good source for it online.

You may be able to find jasmine absolute flowers and distill them with highproof alcohol, but that likely a fiddley and more expensive way to go.

Jasmine extract is really strong, btw, and a little goes a long way. It's good in asian-inspired desserts. I like to toss fresh tropical fruit with a tiny bit of the extract--it makes it seem more "together" and exotic without broadcasting exactly what "it" is.
posted by rumposinc at 11:51 AM on September 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've seen little bottles of jasmine extract in large, well-stocked Asian grocery stores here in San Francisco. I've never tried them so I don't know how good they are, but they're not too expensive.

Just be wary and test them first in something simple and cheap - I've tried the pandanus (screwpine) flavor in one of those brands and it was only vaguely like the real thing.
posted by Quietgal at 11:55 AM on September 8, 2008

Thanks for the quick responses!

I'll definitely be hunting down some jasmine extract.
posted by simplethings at 1:28 PM on September 8, 2008

You can simmer it in the liquid to be used in the recipe before baking, as instructed in this recipe for herb- or spice-infused ice creams.
posted by youarenothere at 1:46 PM on September 8, 2008

I have made Earl Grey-infused madeleines following a recipe from Dorie Greenspan, who says she learned the technique from the French tea purveyors Mariage Freres. You simply melt the butter you'll be using in your baked goods and infuse the loose tea leaves for, I believe, fifteen minutes, then strain. The Earl Grey flavor was definitely noticeable, so I imagine the jasmine flavor would be as well.
posted by HotToddy at 2:35 PM on September 8, 2008

You may be able to find jasmine absolute flowers and distill them with highproof alcohol, but that likely a fiddley and more expensive way to go.

Just for clarification: an absolute is a perfumery term for what is basically a concentrated natural perfume oil, not specific to jasmine. You can buy several types of Jasmine absolute: Jasminum grandiflorum, Jasminum officinale, and Jasminum sambac are most common. The specific Jasminum species used for scenting jasmine tea is Jasminum sambac.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:59 PM on September 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

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