Wattleseed is an Australian ingredient that is growing in popularity all over the world. It offers a complex coffee-like flavor profile with nutty and sweet notes that work in a variety of preparations. Wattleseed is not sold in most grocery stores so if you need some immediately, you may have to settle for a replacement. Here is a look at some of the best wattleseed substitutes.
Your best bet: Wattleseed extract
The best way to replicate the flavor from any spice is to use an extract from that spice and wattleseed is no exception. As with most other spices, liquid wattleseed extracts are available and may be used in any dish that would benefit from the wattleseed flavor profile.
Similar to vanilla extract, wattleseed extract is ethanol based. It offers the same notes of coffee, hazelnut and chocolate along with sweet spices that you want from the spice. The main benefit of using any extract over the actual spice is shelf stability. Wattleseed extract will continue to provide the same strong flavor month after month as long as it is stored correctly. Fresh spices will eventually lose their volatile essential oils and thus their flavor.
Another reason that you may want to use wattleseed extract is its versatility. The liquid form of the spice allows it to blend easily into most applications. One major downside of wattleseed extract is that it is not necessarily easier to find or more affordable than the wattleseed itself.
A decent second choice: Coffee
One of the predominant flavor notes in wattleseed is very similar to that of coffee, which makes coffee one of the best wattleseed substitutes around. You can use any form of coffee to provide the flavor. Instant coffee, brewed coffee, and finely ground espresso powder can all work. Which form you use depends on what you are making and how much of the coffee flavor you want.
To substitute for wattleseed, you can infuse some milk with instant coffee or espresso and use that milk in recipes for baked goods or you can replace water or other liquids with brewed coffee. Some recipes even allow you to add espresso grounds as one of the dry ingredients. The range of possibilities is immense.
Coffee won’t provide the full complexity of the wattleseed flavor profile but it will provide much of it.
In a pinch: Hazelnut extract
Extracts are not limited to spice flavors. You have nut-flavored extracts as well. The flavor of hazelnuts is one of the prominent notes attributed to wattleseed and you can add that flavor to your desserts and other baked goods by using hazelnut extract.
Hazelnut extract is a popular flavoring used in baked goods, desserts and beverages where the hazelnut flavor is desirable. It is used in coffee, ice cream, as well as in a range of other desserts including pastries. Hazelnut extract is commonly paired with chocolate. Like vanilla and wattleseed extracts, hazelnut extract is typically ethyl alcohol-based.
Like coffee, you won’t get the full complexity of the wattleseed flavor profile from hazelnut extract, but it should still work in any recipe that requires wattleseed.
Vanilla bean does provide some of the same sweetness that you would get from wattleseed even though its flavor is quite different. It is also used in many of the same kinds of desserts. You can scrape the seeds out of the vanilla beans and use them that way or you can make your own vanilla extract by infusing vodka with the whole beans.