Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Der Hatton Weihnachtsmarkt

It's with much sadness that we're not going to Germany this year to the Christmas markets. So today I decided it should be 'der Hatton Weihnachtsmarkt' (the Hatton Christmas market)

For tea we had bratwurst (sausages) with bread cakes, mustard and sauerkraut. Yesterday I'd made a start on my Lebkuchen so we've just had a few now with a mug of steaming glühwein.

I came across this recipe for Lebkuchen on my Facebook feed. I'm a huge Lebkuchen fan. They just taste of Christmas. So it was only fair I finally made my own. 

Making these in Germany, you'd buy a packet of Lebkuchengewürz but you can't lay your hands on it easy over here. But this recipe just uses easy ingredients (all of mine except one I didn't have, were in fact store cupboard).

It is perhaps one of the oddest recipes I've ever made but the results are brilliant and I will use this recipe again and again and again.

The recipe gives a nice spiced chewy not soft, not hard biscuit that's not too heavy on the spice. Just right!

Makes around 24 depending what cutter you use. I used a star cutter I have that's about an inch and a half wide.


85ml honey

115g dark brown sugar

30g butter/stork/Vitalite

225g plain flour, sifted

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

*1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 egg, beaten

50g ground almonds

* I had no nutmeg so I left that bit out bit added 1/2 tsp allspice (which contains nutmeg). I also only had 27g almonds but it made no difference.

In a large pan place the honey, sugar and butter. Heat over a gentle heat until the butter and sugar have melted then remove from the heat.

Beat the egg then add half with half of the flour, spices and bicarb. Add the rest of the egg and dry ingredients followed by the ground almonds.

At this stage it's very very very sticky. 

Spoon it into a bag and pop in the fridge overnight. You'll be wondering how this floppy runny mess will make biscuits but trust me it will. You can leave the dough for three days.

It hardens up in the fridge to one big sticky mass. No laughing at this photo ;)

Take out of the fridge and roll out to about 7-10cm thickness. It's an absolute bu***r to roll out. You need to place it between two sheets of greaseproof and roll out, but it's very hard, very stiff and difficult to do but please persevere.

Then cut out with the cutter of your choice. Again they're not the easiest thing to cut out as they stick easy so the shape can get distorted (why in my eyes a star cutter is best as you can do a little tweaking to the shape). I used bake o glide so can't comment on the use of paper or just the tin but whatever you use (unless it's bake o glide) then grease well!

Bake in a preheated oven at 170c fan for 8-9 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for five minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Make a loose icing mixture of icing sugar and water (quite runny) then use a brush to dab over the cooled Lebkuchen.

Apparently they will keep for three weeks in an airtight container

Yeah right!

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