Frohe Weihnachtsyeit! (that’s foreign for something)

For edible gifts this year, I had been planning to make some more Chocolate Baileys fudge, but for the sake of my readers, who have already heard about it, I thought I’d make something new – Lebkuchen.

I’ve often wanted to make Lebkuchen, but the recipes I’d found online always started “buy some lebkuchen dough from your supermarket …” I know Lorraine says there is no shame in shop-bought pastry, but even she would draw the line at lebkuchen dough I feel. But last year a friend pointed me towards the Pink Whisk website. This is the site of Ruth, a finalist on The Great British Bake Off. I love her “cheats and tricks” especially – Lorraine would approve I am sure.

I followed the recipe without deviation (except to swap butter for dairy-free margarine). But once I put in the flour and egg, I got carried away in my excitement and forgot the ground almonds until I’d already put the mixture in a bag. It had to be de-bagged which was pretty difficult. Then I had to add some water to make the mixture pliable enough to add the almonds. This may have been my fatal error (see later).

When morning came, I rolled out the mixture between two sheets of greaseproof paper, but it got completely stuck (did the water make it too sticky?). I ended up adding lots of flour to it, wasting a lot of greaseproof paper and eating a lot of raw mixture off my fingers (very environmentally sound because it saves on detergent). Eventually I got it non-sticky and about 5mm thick, as measured by my kitchen ruler.

I baked the biscuits on my silicon sheets (see my Graffiti Cake) and then iced. I loved her clingfilm tip which made cleaning up easy (though obviously not as environmentally sound as licking the worktop).

Her recipe said it made 24, so I doubled it expecting to get 48. But I actually got 80 (I have a degree in Maths so I quite quickly spotted that 24 x 2 is not 80). Hurrah, more for me! These are definitely a winner, and I’ll be making more next Christmas, if I can wait that long.

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