Monday, 1 December 2014

Pre-Festivity Baking: Gingerbread.

Due to my sort-of-newly discovered food intolerances, the baking this year is both a little different and, in a way, a little more important than usual. Having the typical cookies for the season was always important for me, and baking them became one of my personal traditions years ago - I think it is more than a decade by now. (Wow. Time really flies.)

Traditionally, though, I only made cookies. A few things were not home-made, but bought - such as Lebkuchen (gingerbread). You might have heard of the Nuremberg Gingerbread, which is a speciality, and apart from the few very big producers of said food, there are small bakeries that have even better gingerbread. Which, however, always includes a few things that I cannot or do not want to eat these days, such as wheat flour (in the wafer at the bottom and usually also a little in the dough), soy lecithin (in the chocolate covering) or glucose-fructose syrup (in the candied orange and lemon peel, as well as in the apricot jam sometimes added).

That is a pity. And a bad thing, because this season without gingerbread? It's unthinkable for me. Which is why I had to trawl the 'net for different recipes until I found one that comes close to the recipe of our previous favourite gingerbread maker. I reduced the sugar content, though, and upped the amount of nuts and almonds.

Just in case you want to make some, too - here you go:

8 egg whites
200 g brown sugar
10 g salts of hartshorn
200 g marzipan (I use marzipan paste which has less sugar and more almonds)
200 g hazelnuts
600 g almonds
100 g lemon marmalade with peel (substitute for the candied peel)
100 g orange marmalade with peel
120 g honey (use an aromatic one)
50 g apricot jam
30 g gingerbread spices
pinch of salt
flour as necessary

Beat egg whites and sugar for several minutes, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Grind nuts and almonds (I use half of them finely ground, half more coarsely). Mix all the ingredients into the beaten egg-sugar mixture; tear the marzipan into small pieces first so it will dissolve better.

The dough should be viscous and sticky. If it's too liquid, you can add in some flour of your choice, or more finely ground nuts. Let it stand in a cool place overnight (or at least for a few hours) before baking.

For baking, place portions onto a silicone baking sheet, baking paper, or place portions of the dough on the traditional wafer thingies. Bake for c. 10 mins at about 200°C. The gingerbread should be slightly toasted brown on the outside, but still moist on the inside.


Isis said...

i can totally relate to your story! i have been having difficulties with gluten over the past few years as well (not only gluten, I seem to have a general problem with grains, but the types which have gluten cause more pronounced reactions). it's not always easy, but over the years you do find alternatives. :)

Harma said...

Have you tried the cauliflower pizza yet?

a stitch in time said...

Isis, yes, one does find alternatives... though sometimes it takes a while.

Harma, no, I haven't managed yet - but it is on my stack of promising recipes to try out!