Everybody put a lot of effort into it:
- I wrote a book for my brother and sisters (yes, I had already a lot to say at that time),
- My brother made me an amazing wooden mobile inspired by my favourite painter,
- My sister printed pictures of our childhood....
Since then, we like teasing each other saying that if a gift doesn't make its recipient cry, that means that the gift wasn't great enough (Crazy family? Noooo).
One thing is for sure, the attention put into a gift is definitely more valuable to me than its actual cost!
Spiced breadSpiced bread (or pain d'épice in French) is baked a lot in France, particularly around Christmas time. It's usually a very dark and dense sweet cake, served as a starter with foie gras, or as a dessert, snack or even breakfast.
I like it on its own or spread with homemade orange marmelade or Nutella!
This spiced bread can be beautifully wrapped in plastic paper, or sliced and stored in a jar to be offered as a Christmas gift, maybe alongside homemade jam?
100g single cream
30g demerara sugar
11g baking powder
mixed peels : a small handful
Spices: pepper and cinnamon (I put 2 tbsp but could have put twice as much if I wanted to make a more spiced and darker bread)
Make the spiced bread:
Preheat the oven at 160deg C
1/ In a bowl, mix the honey, the cream and sugar, and melt all together in the microwave for 2mins
2/ In another bowl, mix the flour, the spices, the baking powder and mixed peels
3/ Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until well combined
4/ Pour the cake mix into a buttered cake tin or a silicone cake mould and cook for approx 30-35 min
Option : I added pieces of amaretto biscuits in the bread mix just before cooking it, to add another texture to the bread. Completely optional and random (you can have fun and add pretty much whatever you like, may it be candied fruits, nuts, etc)
What on the drinks menu Alex?
- On its own, our spiced bread will go well with champagne or sparkling wine
- Matched with chicken in a spiced bread sauce, you might want to try an off-dry Gewurztraminer from Alsace or a Vouvray (French Loire valley)
- If you're going to enjoy this spiced bread with foie gras, you can go for a sweeter wine like a Gewurztraminer or Pinot Grigio, Jurançon or Sauternes (from South West France)