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Wednesday 4 January 2012

Spiced Honey Gingerbread

'You're what the French call 'pain d'├ępices'...'

Well, that is officially it for 2011 people. We're all older, have more grey hair and have wasted another year of our lives. But there is great joy to be shared: we have in our hands another new year, and with it high hopes and dreams of a better life. Make them come true! We only live once.

I actually had a fantastic 2011 by the way, so please do not be misled. My bitter tone is entirely for effect.

I trust everybody had a wonderful holiday season. I was working for most of it ('My Carmex Nightmare'), but did squeeze in all the right celebrations. I missed out on seeing my brother and his family though, so am going to have to schedule another feast at some point soon.

Today's recipe is actually one that I made to give as gifts in mid-December. Yes, I have become one of those awful, 'Here's something I made for you' type of gift givers; it must be my age. But actually, this gingerbread is truly fabulous, and even though I never got chance to post the recipe in time for you to follow suit and give loaves of it to friends and family, I am taking inspiration from one of my Christmas presents (a copy of One Day by David Nicholls) and telling myself that it is never too late. Some things are worth waiting for. So you get it now.

Now. I didn't actually like the book all that much. It was an easy read, but quite flawed. I got bored of all the extended internal monologue and lack of action: is there anything worse than people who spend their lives wanting something but but being too scared to do it? Also, the characters' attitudes towards love, sex and relationships irked me. Let's just say you can tell it was written by a man. The male, Dexter, is attractive, popular and sleeps around; the female, Emma, is a good girl. She waits for him, puts herself second. All rather tired if you ask me.

Plus it doesn't seem well researched. Littered with annoying anachronisms. Or maybe I just love the Eighties too much?

Nonetheless, coming back to the point, this honey gingerbread is wonderful. It would be worth waiting twenty annoyingly long years for, even if they were twenty years filled with awkward exchanges and difficult conversations. Fortunately though, you don' have to wait that long. The recipe is right here.

You can't go on honeymoon without buying honey, can you? Well, no. You can't.

Spiced Honey Gingerbread

You will need:

150g butter
125g demerera sugar (that's turbinado for those in US)
200g honey (I used pine honey, from California)
200g treacle (or molasses, or just another 200g honey)
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground all spice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 eggs
250ml milk
300g flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C and have ready either 6 small foil loaf tins, each about 350ml capacity, or a deep-sided 20cm square cake tin, which should be greased. Don't worry about greasing the foil loaf tins.
  2. In a large pan, and over a medium heat, melt the butter, sugar, treacle, honey and spices. Stir well.
  3. Add the milk and eggs, and mix together thoroughly. Then add the flour and bicarb, whisking well to avoid lumps in the batter.
  4. Pour into the prepared tins and bake. The small loaves take 22 minutes, the large cake will take around 45-50. Cool completely in the tin.


  1. you really did made lots of them, they look pretty good!

  2. haha, is that first post a home alone reference? If so, high five.

  3. It looks amazing!!! I can´t wait to do it, thanks!!!

  4. I have to agree with you in your rant (!) about One Day - could have been so much better. Your gingerbread, on the other hand, looks amazing.

  5. I have to agree with you in your rant(!) about One Day - could have been so much better. Your gingerbread, on the other hand, looks amazing.

  6. I'm sure nobody complained about getting them as gifts, they look wonderful. I love the honey jar too - Amen bee company , how cool is that!

  7. I enjoy you posts so thank you for the blog. Did you double the recipe to get that many loaves? They look delicious. How would it go with a blob of cream plonked on it?

    I am reading the book "One Day" at the moment myself but am only up to page 40. It is not one of those 'cannot put down' books that I had hoped it would be but it may improve. Once finished I plan to get the DVD and watch it. I love comparing books to movies. Anyway thanks for the blog!

  8. Mr P, those loaves look absolutely perfect! Wish I had one right now with my tea!

  9. Varietal honeys are a big passion of mine, and I've never had pine. Now I must seek it out. Your gingerbread looks delicious!

  10. Looks like a delicious recipe!

    I completely agree with you on "One Day". Dex and Emma were both so shallow, and I found myself internally screaming at them more than once. I didn't care about them, but then Nicholls had to go and throw in a "dramatic" ending. Wasteful.

  11. After bookmarking this post when it was published, I finally got around to making it at the weekend. Absolutely delicious! It actually made two loaf tins full so I took one loaf to a friend, who described it as 'stunning'.

    On the other hand, I loved One Day.

    We can't have everything.


That's what he said.

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