One of my favourite Christmas treats have to be Honey cakes! Now if I was in Denmark I’d probably just go to the local bakery and pick some up, but that wasn’t really an option. So what do you do when you’re just craving Honey cakes! Well you bake them yourself!
Now the traditional Honey cake, also known as Lebkuchen if your German, is a lengthy process – you have to make part of the dough 8 weeks before you need it! Now with a baby that kind of foresight and planning is just unrealistic. One day I’d love to try and make them the traditional way though, as it does make for an extra yummy Honey cake! The very best of them, in my opinion, are made in the southern parts of Denmark in a little town called Christiansfeld, famous for its Honey cakes like Grasmere is famous for its Ginger Bread. If you ever find yourself in that part of the world do yourself a favour and take a detour, I promise they are worth it!
But seeing as I’m neither 2 months in advance nor situated in the southern parts of Denmark, I’ve Thankfully got a recipe that can be made in one day, it’s not as good, but it’s still pretty darn good! (I’ve had it tried and tested by J and he vouches for it 100%)
Honey Cakes (Danish Lebkuchen)
- 450g of Honey
- 450g Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Ground Cloves
- 1 tsp Ground Cardamom
- 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 2 Egg yolks
- 10g of fresh yeast
- 2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda
- 200g of dark chocolate
- 150g white chocolate (alternatively use white icing pens)
Melt the honey in a spacious pot. Mix the flour with spices and baking soda. Stir in the honey. Stir the yeast into the egg yolk. Add the yolk/yeast mix to the dough and allow it to rest 1-2 hours at room temperature.
Roll out the dough, roughly 1 cm thick. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter (or any other shape for that matter) continue till all the dough is used up.
Bake them at 180 degrees C. for about 10 min. Leave them to cool. Once cooled, Brush the cakes with melted chocolate and decorate with melted white chocolate or white icing, I used white chocolate. The Honey Cakes can be split and merged with apricot or orange marmalade to add a little extra to it. Store in a well sealed box.
I wrapped some of the Honey Cakes in cellophane to give as little Christmas hostess gifts. I always find that homemade pressies (especially the edible kind) are well received! Now if you’re in the mood for more Christmassy bakes you should check out my recipe for Danish Rice Porridge and Christmas Pancakes!