I've made a few versions of pain d'épices, a classic French spice cake and this week it was time to try Dorie Greenspan's. Her recipe from Baking Chez Moi replaced traditional rye flour with all-purpose, and included dried cherries, orange zest and a rather intriguing infusion of fresh ginger, lavender and Sichuan peppercorns.
The flavour was described as "fascinating" and "haunting" in the
headnotes. Unfortunately, that didn't translate to "good tasting" to my family who thought the ginger and lavender, both of which were quite noticeable, were overpowering. I didn't mind the cake from the start, and it continued to grow on me the more I had, and I really liked the orange notes with the spices. But there are still 2 mini loaves in the freezer that are just for me so I doubt I'll be making this again.
I wonder what the other Tuesdays with Dorie bakers thought of it. Maybe they made the chocolate truffles, our other December pick, instead - those I can tell you were fabulous.