The Difference Between Cassia and Cinnamon
Cassia, also know as Cinnamomum Cassia in Latin, originates from the botanical family: Lauraceae. It is closely related to cinnamon, but cassia has a slightly sweeter aroma with higher levels of coumarin and trans-cinnamaldehyde. It comes from the bark of the cassia evergreen tree which typically grows to the height of 30-50 feet. It is also a little more reddish in colour than cinnamon and its bark is rough and uneven. The flavor can be stronger and more intense than cinnamon.
Native to China, cassia has documented historical use back as far as Biblical times. In the Bible’s Old Testament, cassia was mentioned in the Holy anointing oil and was a key ingredient in temple incense.
Medicinally, cassia has been used for colds, colic, flatulent dyspepsia, diarrhea, nausea, rheumatism, kidney and reproductive complaints. It is also antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral.
Cassia can be used in foods such as stewed fruits (especially apples), teas, wines, candies, spicy meat dishes, for pickling, butter/oils and curries. Below you’ll find one of my favorite cassia recipes.
Cedarwood and Cassia-Bark Truffles
CEDARWOOD AND CASSIA-BARK GANACHE
5 drops of Cassia essential oil
150g of light muscovado sugar
300ml of double cream
100ml of water
250g of 72% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
5 drops of cedarwood essential oil
FOR THE COATING
400g of 72% dark chocolate, tempered
25g of ground cinnamon
100g of icing sugar
200g of cocoa powder
Add the 150g of muscovado sugar, 300 ml of double cream and cassia oil to a pan, bring to the boil and simmer the mixture for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
Add the water to the mixture and bring to the boil. Place the chocolate in a large, heat-proof bowl and strain the liquid into the bowl, whisking continuously to melt the chocolate.
Add the cedarwood oil to the mixture and stir well to incorporate. Leave the ganache to cool, then allow to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours
Remove the ganache from the fridge and roll into small, evenly sized balls
Pass the cinnamon, icing sugar and cocoa powder through a sieve and mix to combine with some cocoa nibs in a large, shallow bowl. Carefully dip the truffles in the tempered chocolate before rolling in the spice mix to coat. Leave the truffles in the spice mix to set before removing