#8 Lebkuchen

Thanks to Anne for sharing with us her special recipe for lebkuchen, an essential part of Christmas in Germany. This recipe originally comes from Nürnberg – the home of all good lebkuchen.

5 eggs
600g sugar
5g lebkuchengewürz
cardamom (“one scrape of the knife tip”)
ground cloves (as above)
nutmeg (as above)
cinnamon (as above)
50g candied orange peel
50g mixed candied peel
500g ground hazelnuts (or 400g plus 100g almond meal)
4 or 5 stale croissants
250g plain flour
200g bitter dark chocolate
7g hirschhornsaltz

Preheat the oven to 150-170 c without using the fan. Grate the croissants into a bowl and add 500ml of “hand warm” water. Finely chop the candied peel. Combine all dry ingredients minus the hirschhornsaltz. Add the eggs and croissant crumbs, mix thoroughly to form a thick batter. Add the hirsch-hornsatlz at the last minute. Place spoonfuls onto 7-10cm round back-oblaten, on a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20mins. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or saucepan over simmering water. When the lebkuchen have cooled slightly, smooth the chocolate over to coat.

* Readers should be warned that “hirschhornsaltz” could be translated as “ground up deers’ horns”. No need to worry, it’s merely ammonium carbonate, a very fast acting raising agent. Substitute with baking powder if necessary, though I’m told the effect is not quite the same.

* Back-oblaten might best be described as thin sheets of edible paper. I’m confident success is possible without them, placing the mixture directly onto baking paper. Readers are welcome to contradict this.

* If lebkuchengewürz is hard to come by in your part of the world, you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s made up of household spices any Masterfoods shelf might hold. Here’s a link with a recipe.






1 Response to “#8 Lebkuchen”

  1. 1 keren December 21, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I’m so making these tomorrow – they sound amazing! I’ll let you know how it goes sans edible baking paper and deer’s horns!

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