Pain d’epices au chocolat

Words are the voice of the heart.
~ Confucius

I am now reading my 8th book since September. It amazes me, the world of books. You think you know how to speak and write reasonably well, and then you chance upon all these books that use the same words and punctuation marks as you know… and yet… paint a picture you never could have created, show a world entirely foreign to your own, hint at possibilities you never would have considered.

Lately, I’ve been reading poetry and prose that have left me gobsmacked, retreating rapidly along a sentence and reading it again. Or laughing at jokes which have somehow spanned four chapters, building on and rolling off each other, funny as hell!

I guess I’ve answered my own question as to why, in a world already swarming with books, there remain books to be written (so many worlds to discover, minds to read). Everyone who wants to write a book should probably write one.

Meanwhile, I’ve been reading a marvellous book that’s had me giggling on the bus and smiling inside my stomach – David Lebovitz’s “The Sweet Life in Paris”. I can’t hope to write a decent review about it, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be rushing to your kitchen midway (perhaps multiple times, as I have)… and if you live in New Zealand, you’ll be pretty grateful for our more generous kitchen areas too. I think you’ll be struggling not to fall into an entirely different world while reading it, looking up in time to feel amazed that you are not in fact right next to David, drinking amazing hot chocolate or struggling to set up a bank account in France. David also has a fantastic website, which I have mentioned before in previous posts.

So, in short: read the book! Visit the website!

Two days ago, I decided to make pain d’epices au chocolat – chocolate spice bread – from his book (page 119). I did use a mixture of muscovado sugar and caster sugar, as well as substitute the anise seeds with unsifted chinese five spice powder, using what I had on hand. I can still label it as neither cake nor bread, but in this instance, it doesn’t matter – all you need to do is (1) cut it into wedges and share it with your friends, and (2) cut yourself a neat slice, open your mouth and eat! Sweet and dense, the chocolatey taste and soft texture of this is all-encompassing; the proportion of spices is just right to give it a warming twist – like a firm whisper, if I may put it that way.

(It is also very fun and simple to make – what a bonus!)

Oh, and this picture? I was proud of how pretty my sink looked then – what do you think? Heheh!


3 responses to “Pain d’epices au chocolat

  1. My one true addiction. Chocolate. Yum.

  2. You caught me with the title !
    And yes I want a slice or two… but I guess there’s no more already ;)

  3. Thy – it’s a hard one to quit, luckily I see no reason to… it’s too good for health! ;-)

    Vanille – merci beaucoup! We should probably try to have a baking get-together sometime….! I’ll make sure there’s plenty of everything to share.

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