HomeCake How to make traditional Elisen Lebkuchen

How to make traditional Elisen Lebkuchen

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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.

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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.
  • 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
  • cinnamon
  • coriander
  • all spice, pimento
  • mace
  • cloves
  • star anise
  • cardamon
you also need
  • wafers
  • chocolate or icing
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.


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