Prep 5 mins
Cook 40 mins
A French classic and one that I will me making myself from now on, having just paid a small fortune for a tiny, if delicious loaf from my local boulangerie! This is a cross between sticky ginger parkin and a gingerbread cake or a tea loaf. It is not as moist as parkin or gingerbread, but it is extremely good when spread with butter or even better, when toasted.......divine! It is also surprisingly good when served with cheese. Another idea that I discovered in a local café, is to serve it warm with a dollop of crème fraiche and a little bunch of fresh berries on top, a perfect dessert for an elegant dinner party! This improves with keeping and makes a wonderful gift for a foodie friend or hostess – wrap in cellophane and attach a ribbon with serving suggestions. If you cannot source Quatre Épices, I have a recipe on zaar to make it at home! Quatre Épices - French Four Spice Mix from the Auberge
- 100 g honey
- 140 g wholemeal flour
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 100 ml milk
- 1 egg
- 40 g butter
- 65 g soft brown sugar
- 40 g crystallized ginger, chopped in to small pieces
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon quatre-epices (4-spice powder, usually made of pepper, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/360°F.
- Warm the milk and then add the honey, sugar and butter stirring well.
- Put the flour, baking powder, ground ginger and quatre -épices in a mixing bowl, make a well in the middle, break the egg into it, and add the milk mixture. Mix well (or just throw the whole lot into a food processor). Add the crystallised ginger and mix well once again.
- Pour into a well buttered 23-cm loaf tin and bake for 25 minutes. Lower the heat to 150C/300F and cook for a further 15 minutes. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
- Store wrapped in clingfilm to keep it moist.
I love, love, lovve this recipe. The tiny crystallized ginger in the loaf is what elevates this recipe from a 4 to a 5-star. I used whole wheat flour and a bit more honey than called for, and it was just excellent. I served it as dessert with Kerrygold Irish butter and french raspberry preserves. It was a perfect dessert choice to follow a boeuf bourguignon, as it wasn't too sweet or too rich. What I really loved was how easy this was to make for such spectacular results. Thank you again, FT, I do adore your french recipes!
I followed the recipe except for 2 changes: I used 1 tbsp more butter (just because I needed to use it up) and used part molasses, part honey (about 30% molasses and the rest was honey). The loaf is DIVINE. The crust was chewy-crisp and underneath it was moist and dense. Tried it warm, slathered with salted butter, oooh! Thanks!