Gift review: Carré Pain D'Epices Honey Bread

November 10, 2015

I don't know what I've done to deserve this, but sometimes I get really random surprises in my mail (virtual or otherwise) that make me feel really blessed and lucky to be a blogger in Singapore. One example would be this Carré Pain D'Epices that was sent to me for review (and let me disclaim that I am not paid for this!). I was intrigued when I heard about this honey bread because it is apparently being used by Raffles Hotel, Hilton, Marina Bay Sands and Fairmont Hotels, but is also available to the public via their web store


The reason why I have decided to put this blog post up is because, ooh la la, those honey cakes are DELICIOUS! I received the gift set of 4, containing mango, ginger, chocolate and the seasonal 'orange' flavour. 

I'm sorry there are no actual photos of the cakes, because I lost it in my phone, and I already ate ALL of them before I realized it. Still, the cakes looked exactly like this photo below. Which shows my favorite flavour among the 4 - the dark chocolate.

What exactly is this Spice or Honey bread, you ask? It looks like gingerbread at first glance, and is indeed quite dense with a fruitcake-like texture. A little research found this bit of history, which I though interesting:
Pain d’Epices is a French delicacy (especially in Eastern France) with its origins traced back to the 10th century in China, found in the diet of the knights of Genghis Khan, who passed it on to the Arabs before they reached Europe. There, it enjoyed popularity, so much so that bakers and makers of these honey bread were kept as separate professions in France. In Singapore, Carré Pain D’Epices combines a traditional French family recipe with its Asian origins (egg-less and dairy free).

What it reminded me of was our "fa gao", the dark brown Chinese leavened cake that is typically consumed during Chinese New Year. However, they are more or cousins, than being the same. That's because the bread's main ingredient is honey, which means there's no addition of sugar at all. While 'fa gao' is steamed and fluffy, this honey bread is denser and can be consumed cold or warm, and paired with sweet or savoury. There's also definitely cinnamon in the spices that's added to it.

I ate one each morning for breakfast, with a cup of milk. Even though you can keep them for up to 3 months in the fridge (I suspect because there's no eggs in there, and honey is a natural preservative), I simply couldn't keep my hands off them!

Anyway, I really liked it, and think they will make for good Christmas gifts (food is always the best), as well as for events (wedding favours or parties, anyone?). If you'll like to order some, head to http://carrepaindepices.com/ (free delivery for orders above $75) for either the Discovery Set of 4 flavours for S$25 or Individual Mini Loaf for S$6.50.

Thanks to Carré Pain D'Epices for the lovely honey bread!

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