Making Homemade Lebkuchen Gingerbread for Christmas
My father’s side of the family is Polish, and so our Christmases’ have always been a glorious mix of British and Eastern European traditions. One of those traditions is that we always have lebkuchen in the house in December.
You don’t have to have an eastern European background to know about these delicious honey spice biscuits, since the budget supermarket Lidl rose in popularity. The Lidl own brand Favorina range of lebkuchen is enormously popular and for good reason. A soft, cakey gingerbread centre, with an apricot filling and a dark chocolate coating. What’s not to love…?
Well I don’t want to rain on anyone’s Christmas parade, but the truth of the matter is that the ingredients list for these treats isn’t quite so jolly. As well as an array of chemical preservatives and stabilisers, these commercial lebkuchen also contain a hefty dose of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
HFCS is made from corn powder that has been heavily processed in a factory. The resulting thick, sweet, clear syrup is very high in fructose, very unnatural, and has been linked to obesity and numerous other metabolic disorders such as diabetes. Read more about high fructose corn syrup and health.
To cut a long story short, HFCS does not promote good health, in any way. So what further reason do we need to make our own delicious and natural lebkuchen?!
Homemade clean eating Apricot Lebkuchen Hearts
Baking these cakes doesn’t take long, and they will make your house smell amazing. I used a mixture of ground almonds and wholewheat flour as the basis for the dough. I sifted the flour and discarded the larger bran flakes to keep the texture nice and light. Then I rolled the dough out between parchment paper as it was a little sticky.
I cut out heart shapes (using my daughters pink playdough cutter!!), and I added a little apricot jam. The jam I used is made by Meridian Foods as it contains only natural fruit sugars. Then I encased the jam with another heart shape.
After baking, I dunked the cakes into a dark chocolate glaze.
The result is homemade clean eating lebkuchen that are beautifully spiced, with a soft, sweet apricot filling and a dark chocolate coating. Making these cakes has made my week, so I hope you’ll make them too. Let me know if you do!