Tag Archives: Christmas

Christmas mood in BXL

  • The bonheur to step into a pub and have a warm tea after a long walk over the Christmas market
  • People dancing on Grande Place at 10pm by -10°C
  • The quietness and beauty of snow…

Recipe for Lebkuchen*

To make original German Lebkuchen, you need:

  • A very motivated sister
  • Approximately 5 hours
  • A clean kitchen (at least one out of the five hours)
  • A good stomach to try the dough, the sugar decoration, the first hot Lebkuchen and the cold decorated ones

Furthermore, it is advised to take the following ingredients:

  • 1200 gr white flour
  • 550 gr honey
  • 250 gr butter
  • 250 gr sugar (the result is not as sweet as it may seem now)
  • 30 gr dark cacao powder
  • 1 package of Lebkuchen spices (approx. 20 gr)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 package of backing powder
  • Some salt

It’s really easy: Just heat the butter slowly with the honey, the sugar, the spices and the dark cacao powder until you have a nice, creamy, liquid sauce. Meanwhile, you mix the flour (all of it) with the baking powder and the salt. Add the eggs and slowly the warm (not hot!) spices-butter-honey-sugar-cacao mix and knead all of this until you get a nice, smooth and greasy dough. Give it a rest (half an hour or half a day) while you clean the kitchen.

The optimised approach to get the biscuits is to roll out the dough directly 5 mm thick on the greased backing tray and to cut out stars, moons, hearts and whatsoever else. Once this is done, the dough remaining between the cutout forms is just taken out. Baking time: 10-12 minutes in a well heated 200°C environment (= oven). To be done over and over and over again until all the dough is used. Let it cool down.

After one hour (you may enjoy something salted after all the sweet stuff) you need:

  • 2 egg-whites
  • 250 gr icing sugar

You beat up the egg-white with a kitchen machine until it gets a bit more solid, then you sieve the icing sugar into it while continuing stiring the kitchen machine. I should have taken a video for better illustration but I needed both my hands for this. Once you get a nice, smooth and brilliant white paste, you can start decorating the Lebkuchen with this and other evt. coloured sugar stuff.

Give it another rest (12 hours), clean the kitchen (again) and enjoy (if you still can) the nice smell of Lebkuchen which will be everywhere in your place.

* Gingerbread, pain d’épices

** I upload my photos of what we got out of this procedure as soon as I have an opportunity.

*** Warning: The quantities given here are enough to make Lebkuchen for a very, very big family and all of your friends. Taking 600 gr flour, 270 gr honey and so on, will still give you plenty of it.

Winter Christmas Feelings

After spending Christmas in South Africa last year where I theoretically knew it was Christmas without really noticing; how can you having 30°C and bright sunshine; I really enjoy being back in the dark and cold Northern hemisphere. Christmas is definitely one of my preferred periods of the year with the contrast of cold and dark outside and warm and light inside. Even Brussels, usually not the beauty queen among European cities is pretty nice with it’s decorated buildings, the Christmas market, the lightnings and much more. Or as a friend of mine said: “The best is to sleep all day while it is grey. Once it’s dark you go outside and admire the beautifully lighted city.”

Christmas Market

Christmas Market II

Snowflake

Place Fernand Coq

L’église Trinité aka Châtelain