sábado, 20 de dezembro de 2008
Sense of place (4): honningkake, the Norwegian pain d'épices
Brazilians love pain d'épices, a bread which in English language countries is known as gingerbread. The French pain d'épices in Norwegian is called honningkake and in Danish honningkage. In Portuguese it is pão de mel meaning 'honey cake' exactly the same in Norwegian. The names may differ but the recipe remain very similar to the old Chinese recipe introduced in France, in the region of Dijon in the Middle Ages as is estimated. Basically a bread with a large amount of honey, brown sugar, flour, butter, zest of some citrus fruits, orange or lime, and spices such as cinnamon, ginger, gloves and muscat. The taste is fantastic and I love honningkake specially if they are covered in semisweet chocolate.
Honningkake can be made as a cake or as cookies. The dough is easy to make and fantastic to work with holding any form. I made them into stars but I like the little round shape as the one I made for myself and ate immediately after the chocolate was dry. After baked the honningkake must be kept in air tight containers to keep their softness.
(my favorite pain d'épices has a round layout)
'Honningkake': The Norwegian chocolate covered pain d'epices
150 grams honey
150 grams brown sugar
125 grams butter
500 grams wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon glove (opcional)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (opcional)
1/2 teaspoon gingerbread (opcional)
Zest of one lime (you can substitute for orange zest if you like)
For the chocolate frosting
100 grams semisweet chocolate (minimum 57% cocoa solids)
In a pan over medium heat melt honey, sugar and butter. Remove from heat and let cool. Beat the eggs and add to the cool mixture together with the lime zests. Mix flour, baking soda and spices and add the flour mixture to the honey mixture in batches. After adding the final batch mix the dough with hands. If the dough is too sticky you can add a couple of spoons of flour more. Roll the dough in a plastic film and put in the refrigerator for at least on hour. Heat the oven at 180C/350F. Over a clean surface drizzled with flour open the dough into 1 cm thick and cut the stars (or any other format you like). Transfer the cookies to a pan lined with parchment paper and bake them for 10 minutes. Makes 24 stars.