Pain d’épices in France is a firm, sweet treat somewhere between bread and a cake. It is the perfect snack for picnicking or popping into your pocket when walking the dog. More cake than bread perhaps, but the flavours are wonderful and I adore it. This is my version, which is a bit sweeter, a little softer, but better still after a few days in your cake tin, so bake it well ahead of time.
- 75g butter
- 150g clear honey
- 75g caster sugar
- 75g water
- 1 egg
- 175g plain flour
- 5g bicarbonate of soda
- 15g ground ginger
- 10g ground cinnamon
- pinch ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a standard loaf tin with baking paper.
Put the butter, honey, sugar and water in a bowl, and microwave for two minutes on full power, then stir well.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix with a hand whisk.
Turn into the lined loaf tin and bake for one to one-and-a-half hours, until risen and springy to the touch, or until a cocktail stick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Leave to cool in the tin but cover the top with a clean tea towel as this will help its texture when cool. Wrap well in cling film and store in an airtight container.
Recipe taken from Lucy’s Bakes by Lucy Cufflin
Lucy’s Bakes is Lucy Cufflin’s baking bible, full of secrets on how to make delicious cakes and bakes, whatever your baking know-how. With over 200 fool-proof recipes, you’ll be spoilt for choice – learn how to master sourdough, make honeycomb and wow your guests with a rose and poppy seed cake. Featuring preparation and cooking times, testers notes from home cooks, step-by-step guides as well as inventive flavour variations, this really is the most straightforward baking book you will ever own. So what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves, don your apron and get ready to start baking.
You can buy Lucy’s Bakes at cooked.com.
Published by Hardie Grant Books.