Tag: Gingerbread Tradition

Legendary Dishes | Shokoladnyye Pryaniki Шоколадные Пряники (chocolate gingerbreads)


Russia has the most diverse gingerbread tradition in Europe. From allspice, cardamom, cinnamon, clove and ginger as the standard spice mixture to none at all, from kefir, milk and sour cream as a liquid medium to none at all, and from cheese, chocolate, honey, jam and nuts as fillings and flavourings to none at all, the Russian gingerbread is an enigma until it is decorated in the Tula fashion and then it becomes a majestic creation.

The basic ingredients are baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, flour, butter, eggs, milk and sugar. After that it is show time! Russian bakers revel in their biscuit gingerbreads and in their cake gingerbreads and continue to find different ways to celebrate that creative spirit.

Among the elaborations are these chocolate gingerbreads, spiced with allspice, cinnamon and ginger.

  • 350 g white wheat flour, t450
  • 210 g sour cream
  • 90 g vanilla sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 60 g honey
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 10 g baking powder
  • 8 g ginger powder
  • 5 g allspice powder
  • 5 g cinnamon powder
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Nutmeg, 10 gratings
  • Tip of knife bicarbonate of soda
  • Cocoa powder, for dusting

Coating 1

  • 100 g icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp water / lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Coating 2

  • 100 g chocolate, 75%

In a saucepan melt the butter, honey and sugar over a low heat. Leave to cool a little.

Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder, salt and spices. Add the egg to the cream. Add the dry and wet mixtures to the warm honey mixture. Form into a loose dough.

Dust a clean surface with cocoa powder. Roll into a long thick sausage on the cocoa powder, cut at 3 centimetre intervals. Place on parchment on a tray. Bake at 190℃ for 25 minutes, leave to cool on a rack.

Coat in chocolate melted in a bain-marie or in a cocoa powder, icing sugar solution.

Legendary Dishes | Basler Läckerli (gingerbread biscuits)

Basler Läckerli SWITZERLAND gingerbread biscuits

The Basler Läckerli is a small, rectangular gingerbread biscuit (without the ginger), thin glazed and dusted with icing, a much harder bite than the Belgian and Dutch variety. It is one of several Swiss variations of gingerbread that began when oriental spices arrived in 11th century monasteries.

  • 700 g flour
  • 500 g liquid honey
  • 300 g sugar
  • 150 ml kirsch Glaze (100 ml water to 150 g sugar)
  • 100 g almonds and hazelnuts, chopped
  • 100 g lemon and orange candied peel, chopped
  • 30 g cinnamon, ground
  • 20 g baking powder or 10 g potash
  • 15 g clove, ground
  • 15 g nutmeg, grated
  • Cardamom, pinch
  • icing sugar

Bring honey and sugar slowly to a boil, simmer until sugar dissolves, cool. Mix nuts, peel and spices with the zest and kirsch. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl, gradually adding the honey syrup and the nut paste. Knead into a pliable dough.

If using potash, mix with cherry brandy.

Rest overnight.

Roll the dough out to a depth of roughly 6mm onto two greased parchment sheets, place on baking trays making sure the dough is evenly distributed all around.

Rest for an hour.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Make the glaze and apply evenly, dust with icing sugar.

Cut into 5 x 5 cm rectangles.

Making a large batch is worth the effort. Kept in air-tight containers they will stay fresh for several months, slices of apple will soften them.

Läckerli are broken into pieces and dissolved slowly in the mouth.

Replace wheat flour with rye flour to get the authentic 17th century version.

Older recipes use more almonds, usually the same amount as the sugar.

Many homes added milk to the mixture, at a ratio equal to the honey and flour, the milk mixed with the honey. Some homes added eggs, mixing them with the sugar.