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Jacquy Pfeiffer’s French Gingerbread

2016-12-26
  • This Post
  • Chef : François
  • Category: Recipe
  • Posted on: Monday December 26, 2016
  • Comments : No Comment
  • Languages :  English  |   Français
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   La version Française se trouve ICI
A recipe that totally converted me... for I never liked gingerbread until I tasted this one... 



Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

About this recipe

I never liked gingerbreads, until this recipe…
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
This is an Alsatian gingerbread “pain d’épices”, a recipe from Jacquy Pfeiffer who is a lead pastry chef at the renowned French Pastry School of Chicago.

Alsace is a small region in France, in the easter side, close to Germany, which explains why French Alsatians like this meal so much

A recipe that an American Colleague, a student at the Stéphane Tréand Pastry School (in Costa Mesa, California), that we both attended, brought one day at school and I fell in love with this recipe

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer


About this recipe

This recipe reminds me of the fantastic years that I spent in French Alsace, (eastern France), a place known for its culture and its cuisine

Au Brasseur
22 Rue des Veaux
67000 Strasbourg
03 88 36 12 13

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Nostalgia... I lived near the cathedral, and had fantastic years in Strasbourg
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

Source of the recipe

Jacquy Pfeiffer is a native of Alsace in France, and is now working for the famous "French Pastry School" in Chicago.
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Jacquy Pfeiffer published this book in 2014, and won the "James Beard Award" for the best cook book.
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
You can see Jacquy prepare the top pastry competition in France the "Meilleur Ouvrier de France" contest, in the documentary "Kings Of Pastry" (you may see it on Netflix). In the movie you will see other celebrities such as Stephane Glacier, Sebastien Canonne, Philippe Rigollot and Stéphane Tréand who also has a pastry school in Costa Mesa, CA
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
The recipe can be found Page 335
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Jacquy mentions in his book that you can bake this gingerbread as muffins in paper cups, or in a bread mold, which is what I did

Modifications to the original recipe

I modified only a few things:
  • I multiplied the quantities by 3
  • I added more

    Powdered Anise

    than mentioned in the recipe

Ingredients

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
 

 The syrup

1 ½ Cup Honey (525 grams)

⅓ Cup Brown Sugar (60 grams)

 The powders

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (186 grams)

1 Cup Rye Flour (186 grams)

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder (15 grams)

 The spices

¾ teaspoon of (powdered) Cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons of Nutmeg

¾ teaspoon of Powdered Ginger

1 ½ teaspoons of Powdered Anise

 The liquid

⅓ Cup Eggs (150 grams)

⅔ Cup Milk (150 grams)

 The candied fruit

1 ½ Cup Candied Orange Peels (111 grams)

 The glazing

3 Tablespoons Water (40 grams)

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice (15 grams)

¾ Cup Icing Sugar (150 grams)

Steps

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

The syrup

Let’s start by cooking the

Honey

(1 ½ Cup or 525 g) and the

Brown Sugar

(⅓ Cup or 60 g) over low/medium heat
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

The spices

Spices are of course very important but what’s more important is the delicate mix of them… carefully measure them : spoons must be leveled !

You will need:
  • (powdered) Cinnamon

    (¾ teaspoon)
  • Nutmeg

    (1 ½ teaspoons)
  • Powdered Ginger

    (¾ teaspoon)
  • Powdered Anise

    (1 ½ teaspoons)

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
I had a hard time finding the

Powdered Anise

(1 ½ teaspoons), if you can’t find it, you may as well grind in a mortar some star anise, or anis seeds
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

The powders

Sift into a mixing bowl:
  • The

    (powdered) Cinnamon

    (¾ teaspoon)
  • The

    Nutmeg

    (1 ½ teaspoons)
  • The

    Powdered Ginger

    (¾ teaspoon)
  • The

    Powdered Anise

    (1 ½ teaspoons)
  • The

    Whole Wheat Flour

    (1 Cup or 186 g)
  • The

    Rye Flour

    (1 Cup or 186 g)
  • The

    Baking Powder

    (1 Tablespoon or 15 g)
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
If you are using a stand mixer, you must use the paddle (called sometimes the ‘leaf’ )
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Mix with the stand mixer, or manually with a spatula
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Beat the

Eggs

(⅓ Cup or 150 g) and the

Milk

(⅔ Cup or 150 g)
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Stream this batter into the powder while mixing
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Streaming in will prevent lumps…
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
The batter becomes thicker…

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

The hot syrup

Meanwhile, you must check the temperature of the syrup on the stove

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
and remove from heat as soon as the temperature reaches 320 °F / 158 °C
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
You then stream the syrup over the mixture, while beating
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
After a while, Jacquy recommends to run a silicon spatula around the edge, to scrape up any thick residue sticking to the bottom and edges of the bowl
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
and continue mixing until the mixture is fully incorporated

The result is a dough that is a bit thick

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

The candied orange

You may make your own candied oranges, and boy am I sure this is a grueling exercise, but I just bought those beauties in a local store and I didn’t even feel guilty….
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Dice those

Candied Orange Peels

(1 ½ Cup or 111 g) into squares
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Fold those into the mixture
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

The mold

I am using a silicon bread loaf mold, which does not require coating with butter.

My mold is about 4″ x 10″ (or 10cm x 25cm)
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Pour the mixture into the mold

The molds should be 3/4 full, and not more !

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

Place in the oven and bake for about

40 minutes

at 360 °F / 180 °C, you will need to adjust this time depending on your oven adn mold

I had to bake for longer… for about

1 hour



Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

Glazing

While the cake is baking, you may prepare the glazing
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Just mix together:
  • The

    Water

    (3 Tablespoons or 40 g)
  • The

    Lemon Juice

    (1 Tablespoon or 15 g)
  • The

    Icing Sugar

    (¾ Cup or 150 g)
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Just mix all ingredients with a wire whip

To check the cake is finished baking, take a knife or toothpick to the centre of the cake:
  • If your toothpick or knife comes out wet , it’s not finished baking
  • If it comes out clean, or with a tiny pit of filling on it, it is finished!

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer
Immediately brush the top of the cake with the glazing, so that the heat almost instantly dries the glazing out

The glazing makes the cake shiny and more appetizing !

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

For the toppings, I added star anise, candied oranges cut into strips and vanilla beans.

The toughest part is not to convert people who do not usually like gingerbread, rather it is to stop them eating it all…

Gingerbread of Jacquy Pfeiffer

The result and the pix




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Cooking with the same Chef ?

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1 ½ Cup Honey (525 g)

⅓ Cup Brown Sugar (60 g)

1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (186 g)

1 Cup Rye Flour (186 g)

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder (15 g)

¾ teaspoon of (powdered) Cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons of Nutmeg

¾ teaspoon of Powdered Ginger

1 ½ teaspoons of Powdered Anise

⅓ Cup Eggs (150 g)

⅔ Cup Milk (150 g)

1 ½ Cup Candied Orange Peels (111 g)

3 Tablespoons Water (40 g)

1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice (15 g)

¾ Cup Icing Sugar (150 g)