Jacquy Pfeiffer’s French Gingerbread2016-12-26
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A recipe that totally converted me... for I never liked gingerbread until I tasted this one...
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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
I fell in love with this recipe, from Jacquy Pfeiffer
This recipe reminds me of the fantastic years that I spent in Strasbourg, in French Alsace, (North East France), a place known for its culture and its cuisine
22 Rue des Veaux
Source of the recipeJacquy Pfeiffer is a native of Alsace in France, and is now working for the famous "French Pastry School" in Chicago.
Jacquy Pfeiffer published this book "The Art of French Pastry" in 2014, and won the "James Beard Award" for the best cook book.
To purchase online, see HERE
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 Stéphane Glacier, Sebastien Canonne, Philippe Rigollot and Stéphane Tréand who also has a pastry school in Costa Mesa, CA
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 recipeI modified only a few things:
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The syrupLet'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
The spicesSpices 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:
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
and remove from heat as soon as the temperature reaches 320 °F / 158 °C
After a while, Jacky recommends to run a rubber spatula around the edge, to scrape up any thick residue sticking to the bottom and edges of the bowl
The candied orangeYou 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....
The moldI 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)
Place in the oven and bake for about
40 minutesat 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
Just mix together:
To check the cake is finished baking, take a knife or toothpick to the centre of the cake:
Immediately brush the top of the cake with the glazing, so that the heat almost instantly dries the glazing out
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...
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