If you're reading my blog for a while now, you know that I'm a fan of all things French - French wine, French cuisine, French movies & music, French language. Just recently I came across something called "pain d'epice".
You could probably say it is a kind of a gingerbread, but I found it is not as spicy as a gingerbread and slightly dryer (that's a result of using different kind of flour, not a plain one, which would normally go into a gingerbread cake). The taste definitely improved within time and the cake/bread(?) kept well for over a week! I hope you'll give it a go yourself.
"Pain d'épices or pain d'épice (French for: "spice bread", sometimes loosely translated as "gingerbread") is a French cake or quick bread whose ingredients, according to Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie françoise (1694), are "rye flour, honey and spices", today including aniseed but not traditionally ginger. In Alsace, a considerable tradition incorporates a pinch of cinnamon." - by wikipedia.org
- 455 g flour
How to make it...
- 60 g dark rye flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds (whole)
- 55 g unsalted vegan butter, at room temperature
- 1 flax or chia egg (1 tablespoon ground flax/chia seeds with 3 tablespoon water, whisk until thick and foamy)
- 340 g maple or golden syrup
- 1 tablespoon finely-grated orange zest
- 240 ml water
- Preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Butter a 23 cm loaf pan, dust it with flour, then tap out any excess.
- Sift together the flour, rye flour, baking soda, the ground spices and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle in the anise seeds.
- In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, or by hand, mix together the butter, flax/chia egg, golden/maple syrup, and orange zest.
- Add the water, then add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure everything gets mixed in evenly.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- The top will bake to a somewhat dark colour, which is normal.
- Cool 10 minutes, then tip the cake out of the loaf pan. Let cool completely before slicing.
✅ Pain d’épices can be wrapped in beeswax wrap and stored for at least a week, during which time the flavors will meld and it’ll get denser. It can also be frozen for a few months.
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