RawSpiceBar Subscription Box Review + Coupon – March 2016
RawSpiceBar is a monthly subscription that sends freshly ground, small batch spice blends and recipes that utilize them.
Typically, RawSpiceBar ships at the end of the month, and it’s usually one of the last boxes I receive. This month, however, I didn’t receive my March spices until about a week and a half into April.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
The Subscription Box: RawSpiceBar
The Cost: $6 per month
COUPON: Use coupon code SPICEFLAVOR to save 50% off your first box!
The Products: 3 freshly ground spice blends from one country or region, enough to create 3 dishes serving 6-10 people.
Ships to: US (with free shipping) and Canada (for an additional fee).
Keep Track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Each month, RawSpiceBar sends spices from one region or geographical area. This shipment spotlights Afghan spices.
This month’s featured spices are: Afghan Lamb Rub, Afghan Pulao Spices, and Saffron Threads.
Afghan Lamb Rub- .3 oz.
This spice blend is a mix of cumin, coriander, turmeric, black peppercorns, and green cardamom.
Afghan Pulao Spices- .3 oz.
From the label: “This blend of sweet and warming spices is created for cooking Kabuli pulao, the national dish of Afghanistan.” It’s a mix of green cardamom, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, and ground bay leaves.
Saffron Threads- .1 oz.
Saffron is known for it’s golden color and is often used in rice dishes. It’s the most expensive spice in the world, and a little goes a long way!
This month, RawSpiceBar included the following recipes: Afghan Marinated Lamb, Afghan Kabuli Pulao, and Ginger Saffron Tea.
I typically like to make the recipes that RawSpiceBar includes with each shipment, but that didn’t quite work out this month. For some reason, I have a hard time finding quality cuts of lamb at any of my local grocery stores, and no one seemed to have it in stock when I was shopping for this meal. Additionally, I wasn’t all that inspired by the recipe for Ginger Saffron Tea. It sounds interesting, but I wanted to make something a bit more special. So, I checked the RawSpiceBar Blog and found a recipe for Pomegranate Saffron Cake, which I decided to make for this review. I’d still like to make the lamb & pulao recipes, though. If anyone made them and wants to share their experience, I’d love to hear how they turned out!!
Pomegranate Saffron Cake
I simply can not resist a cake with an interesting combination of flavors, and I loved the sound of saffron, sesame, and pomegranate together!
To begin, I processed RawSpiceBar’s saffron threads with some granulated sugar in a spice grinder and then added a splash of warm water.
While the saffron soaked, I creamed butter and sugar in my mixer and then slowly added eggs (whipping after each egg until the mixture was fluffy and emulsified).
Next, I combined the saffron mixture with milk and olive oil. I set the mixer to medium speed and slowly drizzled it into the creamed base.
To finish the batter, I removed the bowl from the mixer and folded in the dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder) by hand.
I then transferred the batter to a buttered and floured 9” cake pan.
The cake baked at 350 degrees. About halfway through cooking, I pulled the cake out of the oven and topped it with sesame seeds before returning it to the oven.
Now, the recipe called for finishing the cake with whipped cream and pomegranates, but (again!) my local grocery stores were all out of pomegranates. This bummed me out a bit, so, to compensate, I decided to substitute fresh raspberries but to also add a pomegranate syrup (made from 50% pomegranate juice and 50% sugar).
After the cake cooled, I sliced it into squares and served it with whipped cream, fresh strawberries, and pomegranate syrup.
I was really happy with how the cake turned out! It was soft and fluffy, and the flavors of sesame and saffron were delicious. It’s important to point out, though, that the saffron flavor was VERY subtle. I could definitely taste it, but I’m not sure I’d be able to pick it out if I didn’t know it was there.
Verdict: I have mixed feeling about this month’s RawSpiceBar shipment. First of all, I’m disappointed that the spices arrived so late. I understand that shipping delays happen, but it is frustrating. I was also disappointed that I had trouble sourcing the lamb I needed for this month’s main dish; however, that’s certainly not RawSpiceBar’s fault. On the plus side, I had a lot of fun making the Pomegranate Saffron Cake, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out. I’ve never put saffron in cake before, but I’m now excited to try it again- perhaps with more saffron. I also want to point out that while I didn’t make the recipes for pulao and lamb, I did notice that the recipe for pulao called for 7 cups of basmati rice. Since I haven’t made the recipe myself yet, I can’t say whether this is a typo or just a very large recipe, but it is something to be aware of.
What do you think about RawSpiceBar’s Afghan Spice Box? Did you make the recipes for Afghan Marinated Lamb, Afghan Kabuli Pulao, and Ginger Saffron Tea? If so, I’d love to hear how they all turned out!