You may think this is quite a sad-looking plain loaf cake but you may think again. I am known for getting over-excited about cake but this, ladies and gentlemen, this is my new favourite cake in the uuuuniverse (afterStereo’s upside-down orange cake maybe, but I’m going back for more of that later on). I used to have pain d’épices all the time back in Italy and then found some when I popped down to Paris last summer, and was getting slightly upset about the lack of it here in good (?) old Blightey. Well last week I thought I’d assemble all my troops and go get some nice spices to make it myself. You should too. It’s like a moist sticky spice party in cake-form and actually healthy (no fats or anything) and it has the best unusual spongy texture ever because of the flour combination. Plus if you too have a lonely pack of rye flour lying in your kitchen cupboard and you’re moving to God knows where in six months, then there you go, vegan pain d’épices saves the day.
150g (1 ¼ cup) plain flour
100g (1 cup) rye flour
65g (1/2 cup) dark brown soft sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground anise
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
200ml (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) soya milk or
other non-dairy milk
150ml (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) agave syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and
lightly grease a loaf tin. In a large bowl, mix together flours, sugar,
spices, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda until combined. In a separate
bowl, mix milk, agave syrup and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into
the dry and quickly mix everything together with a spoon until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and place in the oven for 30 minutes or
until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Leave
in the tin until completely cool, then slice and bon appétit.