Sonntag, 15. November 2015

Nuremberg-style Lebkuchen

With the Christmas season approaching, it's time to start baking. In Germany, especially around the city of Nuremberg, close to my hometown, we have to have Lebkuchen. Lebkuchen is a wonderfully moist mixture of different nuts and fruits, spiced with cinnamon, clove and other Christmassy spices. Traditional recipes use no flour, making Lebkuchen a great gluten-free treat.

I got this recipe from a very dear co-worker and she has been relying on this recipe for years. In Germany we have plenty of store-bought options, but trust me, none of these compare to home-made Lebkuchen! And still, it's a very simple recipe that requires hardly any skills.

You can enjoy your Lebkuchen covered in chocolate - either dark or milk - glazed or plain; just as you like it. Make sure you store them in an airtight container and they will keep for weeks.

For 25-30 Lebkuchen you will need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 250g (9 oz) caster sugar
  • 300g (10 oz) ground almonds
  • 300g (10 oz)ground hazelnuts
  • 100g (3,5 oz) candied lemon peel
  • 100g (3,5 oz) candied orange peel
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Lebkuchen spice (can be substituted by pumpkin spice or your favourite blend of Christmassy spices)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 4 tsp rum
you will also need:
  • about 30 wafer papers
  • 400g (14 oz)  couverture chocolate
1. Preheat your oven to 170°C / 338F.

2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and the sugar until very pale and fluffy.

3. Finely chop the candied orange and lemon peel and together with the rest of the ingredients, add to the egg-mixture. Carefully fold in with a spatula or wooden spoon until well incorporated.

4. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Evenly distribute the wafer papers on the sheet. 

5. Prepare a glass filled with warm water. Dip an ice-cream scoop into the warm water and use it to cut off a piece of the sticky batter. Place it onto one wafer base. Proceed with the rest of the batter. If you are going for a smooth and even look, use your wet hands to slightly flatten and smoothen the Lebkuchen. You should still see about 3mm of the wafer base as the batter will rise a bit.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Leave to cool completely.

7. Break cocolate and place into a flat bowl. Place over barely simmering water and allow to melt. Using a brush, cover the Lebkuchen in chocolate. Let dry completely.

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