Archive for December, 2016

How to make traditional Elisen Lebkuchen

Traditional Lebkuchen come from a region in Bavaria, the town of Nuernberg. The tradition reaches back to the 12th century where Nuernberg was a major trading center at the crossing of several middle age high ways.

These Lebkuchen are very different to normal ginger bread. They contain ginger but no honey or flour. They are baked on a wafer. I used fresh group spices, as these give more flavor and so come closer to the original. The content of these Lebkuchen are eggs, sugar, a nut mixture and spices.

They need to be beaked at a hot temperature for a short time, just 10-15 minutes and they need to be still soft in the center.

I store them in a tin box and if they get to dry you can add some slices fresh apple to the box, separated from the Lebkuchen by a sheet of baking paper.

How to make traditional Elisen Lebkuchen

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Traditional Lebkuchen like these are a must at each German Christmas tea.
Ingredients
  • 470 g sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 480 g hazelnuts, half of it ground fine and half coarse
  • 50 g walnuts, ground coarse
  • 200 g citrus peel, glacé
  • 1 tbsp fine chopped fresh ginger
  • peel of one lemon and one orange
  • 2 -4 tbsp rum
Spices
  • cinnamon
  • coriander
  • all spice, pimento
  • mace
  • cloves
  • star anise
  • cardamon
you also need
  • wafers
  • chocolate or icing
Instructions
for the Spices.
  1. Use about the double amount of cinnamon than from each other spice.
  2. In total you need about 2½ to 3 tbslp of spice.
  3. Beat the eggs in a mixer and add all of the sugar and the seeds of one vanilla bean.
  4. beat until it is creamy and doubled in size.
  5. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  6. Let rest for 24 hours minimum.
  7. Place a bit of the dough on a wafer, lave a 1,5 border on the wafer to allow the Lebkuchen to expand.
  8. Bake at 200C / 395F for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the edges start to brown. They need to keep soft in the middle.
  9. glaze with chocolate or icing while they are hot and let cool down before putting them in a box. Allow one week to develop flavor before serving.

 

Grandma’s Christmas Stollen

Today I made a Christ Stollen or Christmas Stollen. 

This is a traditional Christmas cake in Germany. There are many recipes. What I like about this one is it’s buttery taste and the flavors.

Stollen needs to rest some time before being served. Some say several weeks, but I think some day’s is just fine. You also need to keep in mind that in Germany it is Winter time, cold and in a food storage probably fridge cold.  
Not everywhere you have these kind of cold conditions in the winter time.

I will cut my one in 2-3 day’s because longer I cannot withstand the fine perfume this cake gives off. 


Grandma's Christmas Stollen

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Serves: 24

This is a traditional Christ Stollen recipe from Grandma's recipe book.
Ingredients
  • 1 kg all purpose flour
  • 125 g sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 330 g almonds slivered
  • 170 g citrus peel
  • 400 g raisins
  • 500 g butter, unsalted
  • 330 g milk
  • ½ wine glass of rum
  • Peel of one fresh lemon
  • 10 g salt
  • 100 g fresh yeast or 37 g instant yeast
  • butter and icing sugar for topping
Instructions
  1. On the evening before making the dough, soak the raisins with the rum.
  2. Make a pre-dough with the yeast, some sugar and some lukewarm milk.
  3. In a big bowl mix all ingredients to a dough and let rest for 12-24 hours.
  4. Half the dough and form a bread out of each half. Flat the dough to a 3cm thik oval.
  5. Fold ⅓ of the oval over the other and shape it nicely.
  6. Bake at 160 C / 320 F (top / bottom heat only !) for about 60 minutes. If it gets too dark cover it a bit.
  7. Once out of the oven brush the Stollen generously with melted butter and sprinkle with icing sugar.
  8. Let the Stollen rest at a cool and dry place for some days before serving it.

 

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