Monday, 21 February 2011
Pain d’épices is my favourite afternoon snack when I feel the need for a slightly sweet treat.
Makes one 9-inch (23cm) loaf
2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered almonds
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
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 large egg, at room temperature
100 mls milk
1 cup (340g) honey
1 tablespoon finely-grated orange zest
1. Preheat the oven to 350º (180ºC). Butter a 9-inch (23cm) loaf pan, dust it with flour, then tap out any excess.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, the ground spices and salt in a bowl.
3. Warm the milk and honey in a small saucepan.
4. Add the egg to the milk and honey mixture, then add the dry ingredients in three additions, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure everything gets mixed in evenly.
5. Transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The top will bake to a somewhat dark color, which is normal.
6. Cool 10 minutes, then tip the cake out of the loaf pan. Let cool completely before slicing.
Storage: Pain d’épices can be wrapped in plastic 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.