Gingerbread spice and raising agents

Blend for Gingerbread Spice:

Grind following spices in a coffee grinder, food processor or by hand with mortar and pestle and use the blend as indicated in the recipe: 

2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp anise (may be replaced by fennel)
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp coriander 

Optional:
1/2 tsp nutmeg (ground) 
2 tsp ginger (ground) (may be replaced with turmeric)
1 tsp mace
1 tsp star anise

for experimenting, try 1/4 or less of cayenne pepper

Raising agents:

Traditionally you will find Gingerbread made with Potash and Hirschhornsalz. Both are raising agents with different taste and requirements.

Pottasche (potash, pearlash, potassium carbonate), can be replaced by baking soda (“Natron” or sodium bicarbonate). Use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda for every teaspoon of pearlash or potash. It will react with acids in the ingredient list, for example honey.

Hirschhornsalz (hartshorn, ammonium carbonate or baker’s ammonia) is derived from animal keratin, it adds crispness and large pores to gingerbread. For a vegan version, you can replace ammonium carbonate with baking powder in a 1:11:2 or 1:3 ratio. That is: 1 teaspoon baking powder for every 1/2 teaspoon of baker’s ammonia.

Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate or Weinstein) is another raising agent, used in baking powder to activate it with acidity. It is also used for cleaning and to stabilize whipped cream or egg dishes. Replacement is by using baking powder.

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