When Duerr’s asked me to try their new Chunky Ginger Preserve, my first thought was lebkuchen. I’ve never made them before but I thought it might be nice to try. If you like ginger, you’ll like the Duerr’s Chunky Ginger Preserve, it is sweet and spicy, full of chunks of fiery ginger, and great for cooking with, especially for my Lebkuchen cake.
One of my favourite things to eat around Christmastime is lebkuchen. Lebkuchen are a German cakey-biscuit, usually a soft spiced gingerbread covered in icing or chocolate, sometimes filled with jam, sometimes not. I find them irresistibly moreish and any bags which find their way into our house have to be kept from me and a small ration allocated daily.
You can find the recipe for my Lebkuchen Cake below, don’t be put off by the large-ish list of ingredients, it is literally stick them in a bowl and give them a good stir. It is probably the best cake I’ve ever made and a great alternative to the traditional Christmas cake if you don’t like all that fruit!
Recipe: Lebkuchen Cake
A delicious cake version of the traditional German Christmas treat – easier than it looks to make and truly scrumptious!
125g of butter, softened
1 egg yolk
200g of runny honey
3 heaped tablespoons of sour cream
300g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
5 teaspoons of ground ginger
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of Duerr’s Chunky Ginger Preserve
For the chocolate glaze
150 g dark chocolate
180 ml double cream
In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until well combined. One at a time add the following ingredients and mix – one egg yolk, honey and sour cream.
In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients – self-raising flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, pinch of salt and ginger together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently mix.
Mix the eggs and add to the cake mixture and stir.
Pour the cake mix into a lined cake tin. I used a large loaf tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 180ºc. for about 50 minutes until it is cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, preferably overnight.
When cool cut the cake in two lengthways and spread the Duerr’s Chunky Ginger Preserve on the bottom layer, then sandwich back together.
To make the chocolate glaze, put the double cream in a saucepan and bring it to the boil and remove from the heat. Add the crushed chocolate and stir until dissolved, keep stirring until it has cooled a little, but is still liquid.
Pour the hot chocolate glaze on the top and sides of the Lebkuchen cake and leave it for a few hours to cool and set.
Five teaspoons of ground ginger does sound like a lot, but once it is cooked the fiery ginger tones down a little.
This does make a large cake, so you could split it into two cake tins and make two smaller cakes if you’d like.
If you don’t like dark chocolate you could use milk chocolate instead.
To taste test the lebkuchen cake properly we bought some proper lebkuchen from the Christmas Markets and I’m pleased that the two were comparable. Despite the long list of ingredients it was so easy to make and I will be making it again, probably several times before Christmas for various occasions.
With my Christmas recipe repertoire now including Finnish Joulutorttu and German Lebkuchen cake, we are in for a truly continental Christmas – and it’s all the better for it!