A recipe that totally converted me... for I never liked gingerbread until I tasted this one...
About this recipe
I never liked gingerbreads, until this recipe...
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, by Jacquy Pfeiffer
A recipe I enjoy every winter!
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 recipe
Jacquy Pfeiffer is a native of Alsace in France, and is now working for the famous "French Pastry School" in Chicago.
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
The recipe is on page 335
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
1. In a bowl, mix the powders: 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)
2. Add in the spices: the (powdered) Cinnamon (¾ teaspoon), the Nutmeg (1 ½ teaspoons), the Powdered Ginger (¾ teaspoon) and the Powdered Anise (1 ½ teaspoons)
3. Sift the powders over a large bowl
4. In a separate bowl, add in the Eggs (⅓ Cup or 150 g) and the Milk (⅔ Cup or 150 g)
5. Pour in the mixture over the powders while mixing
6. You may mix manually with a wooden spatula or with a stand mixer (like a Kitchen Aid appliance), with the 'paddle'
7. 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
8. Meanwhile, you must check the temperature of the syrup on the stove
9. The liquid is very hot and can burn !
10. The liquid foams and grows in the saucepan ! Make sure to use a very large saucepan !
11. and remove from heat as soon as the temperature reaches 320 °F / 158 °C
12. Streaming in will prevent lumps...
13. The batter becomes thicker...
15. And continue mixing until the mixture is fully incorporated
16. The result is a dough that is a bit thick
17. You can make the Candied Orange Peels, or buy them in specialty stores
19. Dice those Candied Orange Peels (1 ½ Cup or 111 g) into squares
20. Fold those into the mixture
21. I like to spray oil into the mold and then coat it with parchment paper
22. Pour the mixture into the mold
23. The molds should be 3/4 full, and not more !
24. Place in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes at 360 °F / 180 °C, you will need to adjust this time depending on your oven and your mold
25. After 15 minutes, I like to slice the bread lengthwise
26. I had to bake for longer... for about 1 hour
27. If you insert a knife into the center of the cake, it should come out clean, with no streaks of batter, otherwise continue baking...
28. Carefully unmold the bread whilst it is still hot
29. While the cake is baking, you may prepare the glazing : Mix the Water (3 Tablespoons or 40 g), the Lemon Juice (1 Tablespoon or 15 g) and the Icing Sugar (¾ Cup or 150 g)
30. Just mix all ingredients with a wire whip
31. After the cake is fully baked, glaze it
32. Wait 5 minutes, and glaze another time
33. You may decorate using candied oranges