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December 4, 2011 / mintcustard

Home made Lebkuchen

One of the lovely things about Christmas, apart from an endless supply of Chocolate and relaxing beverages, is the chance to share in Christmas traditions from all around the world. I first had lebkuchen at a friends house, they were part of her family tradition and I fell in love with them. since then, of course, they have appeared in every major supermarket. I have to say that Lidl and Aldi do the best ones as they are the most authentic.
However as I can go through a whole pack on my own before you can say the phrase “Christmas special” I thought I ought to try and make my own.
the key to lebkuchen is their soft squid by interior coupled with that slightly crisp outer coating. Very much like macarons. In fact so much so that after I have had my fix of these spicy beauties I may well try macaron again.

Ingredients (dry)

225g plain flour

1 tsp bicarb of soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp

ground ginger

2 heaped tbsp ground almonds

1 heaped tbsp cocoa

(wet)

175g honey or golden syrup

50 g dark soft muscovado sugar

50g butter

30 ml milk or cream

Icing

2 tbsp icing sugar

water

How to …

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 c
  2. Sieve all the dry ingredients into a roomy bowl.
  3. Place the wet ingredients (sugar is “wet” in this recipe) into a pan and bring to a simmer.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the smooth and beat well to a smooth paste.
  5. Line three baking trays with baking parchment.
  6. Tip the paste into a piping bag and either snip off the end leaving a 1 cm diameter hole or use a plain nozzle. Pipe  ‘buttons’ about 4 cm across.
  7. Do this whilst the paste is warm as it will harden as it cools.
  8. Bake for about 10 minutes. The lebkuchen should be firm to the touch but still squidgy in the middle.
  9. Cool a little on rack and then glaze with a very thin mixture of icing and water. Leave to harden and then enjoy with tea, coffee or best of all mulled wine.

I now have a sudden hankering to start singing “Silent Night” in the original German. All together now, Stille nacht, heilige nacht…….

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