Kitchn Love Letters

The Splurge-Worthy Ingredient That Makes Me Feel Like a “Great British Bake Off” Contestant

updated Feb 16, 2021
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Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

If you’ve watched The Great British Bake Off (and, let’s be honest, after nearly 12 months of a pandemic, who hasn’t?), you’re likely acquainted with rosewater. It’s one of the ingredients on the show that just keeps popping up (no matter how many times contestants get sent home for using it wrong).

You see, rosewater can be a little finicky. Just a drop too much can take your genoise from slight essence of rose to “drenched in perfume.” Because the flavor is so prominent, it pays to use the best-quality rosewater you can find. Enter: my new obsession, this fancy rosewater from The Spice House.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

Buy: The Spice House Rose Water, $9.95 for 4 ounces

Where do you find high-quality rosewater? “Because the flavoring is revered across South Asia and the Middle East, you’ll always find it in grocery stores that cater to these cuisines,” says Kitchn Contributor Fareeha Molvi. You can increasingly find it in grocery stores like Whole Foods, too. If you want to shop for it online, The Spice House sells a 4-ounce bottle for just under $10.

While some bottles of rosewater can be overpowering if used with abandon, this version is markedly subtle, with just the right amount of floral notes. And the packaging? Swoon. It’s almost as elegant and pretty as the product, although I’ll admit I’m a sucker for an amber jar.

Credit: Rochelle Bilow

Among rosewater’s many uses, the ingredient is often used in baking, where it shines in sponge cakes and delicate puddings. I’ve even developed a habit of drizzling a few droplets in my morning yogurt bowl. In fact, I’ve been using it so much I’m almost ready for a new bottle … and am on a quest for what to make with it next.

Perhaps these Cream Puffs with Rose-Cardamom by Hetal Vasavada that just made an appearance on Kitchn’s Weekend Baking Adventure series?

Have you ever cooked with rosewater?