Pain d’√©pices fait-maison
Pain d'épices is a wonderful Winter cake my brother and I used to eat on Sunday afternoons by the warmth of our crackling fireplace. I revisited my childhood last weekend by baking one and I don't know whether it was the magical Christmas scent bathing the house while it baked, its richly spiced flavour or the sweetness of the honey or but all five children in the house kept coming back for more, making me the happiest baker in the world.

Pain d’√©pices fait-maison

Posted on November 11, 2010
Categories: Cake, fondants and crumbles, Top rated by my kids
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Recipe by: Lilo at fabulous French blog Cuisine Campagne
Busy:15 min, Total prep time: 1 hour
Serves: 6-8 
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Cut the butter into small chunks and melt it in the honey and milk in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir regularly.

Meanwhile, mix the flour with the baking powder in a bowl.

Take the saucepan off the heat and add one by one the sugar, flour, egg, ground almonds and spices, mixing well after each ingredient has been added.

Butter and dust with flour the inside of a loaf tin and pour the mixture into it.

Bake for 45 minutes. 30 minutes or so into the cooking, cover the tin with aluminum foil to prevent the top of the loaf from burning (honey is very reactive to heat). The timing of this may vary depending on your oven, so keep a regular eye on the loaf as it bakes and as soon as a nicely browned crust has formed, cover it.

Serve warm or cold dusted with icing sugar and eat on its own or with apricot jam or marmalade.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Cut the butter into small chunks and melt it in the honey and milk in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir regularly.

Meanwhile, mix the flour with the baking powder in a bowl.

Take the saucepan off the heat and add one by one the sugar, flour, egg, ground almonds and spices, mixing well after each ingredient has been added.

Butter and dust with flour the inside of a loaf tin and pour the mixture into it.

Bake for 45 minutes. 30 minutes or so into the cooking, cover the tin with aluminum foil to prevent the top of the loaf from burning (honey is very reactive to heat). The timing of this may vary depending on your oven, so keep a regular eye on the loaf as it bakes and as soon as a nicely browned crust has formed, cover it.

Serve warm or cold dusted with icing sugar and eat on its own or with apricot jam or marmalade.

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Rating: 4.1/5 (7 votes cast)
Pain d'épices fait-maison, 4.1 out of 5 based on 7 ratings
Pain d'epices was a delicacy from the Holly Lands brought back to Europe by Crusaders in the Middle Ages. It became a strong tradition in France, up to a point that "Pain d'epiciers" were given their own legal status - separate from that of bakers - by Henry IV in 1596.

If you cannot find ground cloves or anis seeds, just grind them yourself. Measure quntities with the ground spices.

Don't be alarmed at the spice quantity, the honey does a great job at mellowing them and turning the mix into a gorgeously delicate flavour.
Ingredients

250 g good quality honey
50 g brown sugar
10 cL milk
100 g butter
200 g flour
1 egg
2 tablespoons ground almonds
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground anis seeds
Icing sugar for dusting

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