"Recipe for soft German Gingerbread (Lebkuchen)" Top 5 Page for this destination Food and Drink Tip by JessH
Food and Drink, Heidelberg: 13 reviews and 44 photos
There are two types of gingerbread in Germany: the type that is cut into shapes, i.e. the famous Gingerbread Men, and the softer type that is cut into squares and eaten in copious amounts until your stomach hurts (no? You haven't done that? OK, it's just me then...)
If I need fast satisfaction for a Christmas-induced gingerbread craving but do not have the time or patience to make gingerbread men, then this is my go-to recipe. It's extremely easy to make and very delicious - enjoy!
This gingerbread is baked in a square cake pan or Pyrex dish. The dough is relatively quick to make, and the result is an amazingly soft, moist bread bursting with the aromas of all our favourite seasonal spices. Nothing makes your house smell like Christmas quite like a hot oven full of gingerbread.
I'm not going to lie to you: this is a sticky affair. But there are a few tips and tricks to limit the amount of sticky dough you'll have to try and clean off your walls, floors and the family pets...
"Lebkuchen" / German Gingerbread:
> 180g unsalted butter
> 150g caster sugar
> 100g brown sugar
> 2 tbsp honey
> 1 packet / 2 tsp baking powder
> 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
> 1 tsp ginger powder
> 2 tsp cinnamon
> 1 tsp ground cloves
> 350g regular flour
> 100ml cold, strong coffee
> approx. 100ml milk (if needed)
Preheat your oven to 180C degrees.
Sift your flower, spices, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
Melt the butter, sugars and honey in a pot over gentle heat, stirring regularly.
Once the sugars have dissolved, add this to your dry mix. At this point, it's all not looking very appetizing... but bear with me! It's going to be good!
Now add the coffee and mix everything together quickly. The dough should be thick but pourable (similar to brownie batter). If it's too thick, add some milk.
Pour the dough into a cake pan or casserole dish lined with baking paper. Do NOT forget the baking paper! You'll regret it (the latest when you're doing the dishes later and scrubbing and scrubbing those baking pan with sticky, crusted dough in them!)
Bake in the oven for approx. 25-30min, until the sides are pulling away and a tooth pick inserted in the centre comes out clean. The inside should be fluffy and moist... a bit like a dense sponge cake.
Let the gingerbread cool completely before you add frosting or melted chocolate. (TIP: I let it cool in the baking paper, and then add the topping. The paper helps to "contain" the rivers of sticky goodness)
My grandmother always made a frosting of icing sugar, water and some lemon juice, topped with colourful sprinkles... so that's the way I like to do it, too. You can also decorate it with melted chocolate and almonds: this is very traditional and you'll find this type for sale in many stores and bakeries.
Cut into squares, store in a tin box, and enjoy!
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