Wattleseed is a flavor that is easy to love, with its toasty rich coffee, chocolate, hazelnut, vanilla aroma and flavor..
Although used as a vital food source by the aboriginal people for centuries, the modern ‘version’ that has now become the standard was discovered by Vic Cherikoff by accident in 1984 while Vic was trying to heat parch some Acacia seeds by pan roasting them on his stove. A phone call caused him to roast the seeds longer than planned, but in the process produced a product that was both intense in flavor and easier to grind than the raw seeds that are very hard.
Wattleseed is available in two basic variants - a water based extract and a roasted powder. The latter is best soaked in a little boiling water before use in order to soften the grinds. It adds an exquisite flavor to ice cream, bread, whipped cream and chocolate, adds a rich, cleansing nuttiness to a quality beer or ale, and also makes a great rub for steak.
Nutritional: Wattleseed is a complete food source, averaging some 32% fiber, 26% complex carbohydrates, 23% protein and 9% fat. Significantly, wattleseed has a low glycaemic index, meaning that it is a slow release carbohydrate that allows the starch to be released slowly giving a gradual and sustained rise in blood sugars - ie., the carbs that are there are good carbs.
Botanical: Although there are hundreds of varieties of acacia that produce edible wattleseed, only a few species are very palatable. The good thing is that Acacia from which the seeds are gathered is fast growing and high yielding, but are drought resistant and, being a legume, increase soil fertility The two varieties that are mainly used are Acacia victoriae (also known as bramble wattle, gundabluey or elegant wattle) and Acacia murrayane. The variety of acacia used for wattleseed is also known as mulga.
Uses: One of the most popular uses of wattleseed is in making ice cream - Emeril LaGasse has a recipe for wattleseed ice cream on the Food Network. When blended into whipped cream, it will help prevent the cream from weeping. To make wattleseed ice cream, simply add wattleseed extract to your favorite ice cream custard base, essentially as you would vanilla. Unfortunately my mother gave me this quick ice cream recipe that makes a great quick ice cream that skips the use of an ice cream churn - I say unfortunately, because it is just so easy to make that there is no longer an excuse for making it. Simple take a can of condensed milk, a carton of heavy cream whip them until they double in size and create firm peaks, stir in a table spoon of wattleseed and then simply whack it into the freezer.