Prep time: 45 minutes, plus cooling and setting
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Lebkuchen is a German gingerbread that has become synonymous with Christmas baking. A cross between a biscuit and cake with a delicious mixture of honey, almond, ginger and cocoa, it is a frontrunner for edible gifts
160g clear runny honey
110g unsalted butter
50g ground almonds
260g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 tsp cocoa powder
¼ tsp salt
150g icing sugar
1 medium egg white
2-3 tbsp cold water
100g dark chocolate, melted
You will need:
A 4cm heart cutter
- Melt the honey and butter in a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir occasionally until combined. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 160°/fan-assisted 140°C/gas mark 3. Line 2 large baking trays with silicone baking sheets or greaseproof paper.
- Place the ground almonds in a large bowl and sieve over the remaining ingredients. Pour over the cooled honey mixture and stir until it comes together to make a dough.
- Divide the dough and set one half aside. Roll the other half into small equal balls, place on a lined baking sheet and press each one down slightly with the palm of your hand to approx. 2cm thick.
- Roll out the remaining dough to 2cm thick, and, using a 4cm heart cutter, cut into biscuits. Soften the edges of the hearts with your fingers. Place on the other lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until just golden brown at the edges. Leave to cool for 5 minutes on the trays then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, mix the icing sugar, egg white ad water together to make a thick runny icing. Place a baking sheet under the wire rack and thinly brush the lebkuchen with the icing using a pastry brush. Leave for 15 minutes to set, then repeat with the remaining icing. Leave to set.
- Dip half of the lebkuchen into the melted chocolate to coat the base and a few millimetres up the side. Then drizzle the remaining half with a zig-zag of chocolate.
Tip: These biscuits really do improve with age, that’s if you can bear to wait and you must!
Taken from Gingerbread Wonderland by Mima Sinclair. Published by Kyle Books, priced £8.99. Photography by Tara Fisher