Sunday, 4 December 2011

Chocolate Lebkuchen ice cream

Now the Christmas season has officially started for me. The fairy lights are dusted off and draped around the mantle piece and a freshly baked batch of cookies welcome the festive season in my house. And my first Christmas party. The first of many a drinks and feasts, crackers and toasts and get togethers with friend and family.
In shops Christmas started in October already with the arrival of Christmas pudding, mince pies, gingerbread, mulled wine and Lebkuchen. If you are not familiar with Lebkuchen I should explain that they are one of the classic German Christmas cookies. They can take on different shapes (round or rectangular are classic but there are now stars, pretzels or heart shaped ones too) but they are made with honey and lots of spices, candied fruit, almonds and nuts and are sometimes covered with chocolate. They were invented by Medieval monks in Franconia, Germany in the 13th century.
I have never been tempted to make them myself as they are so easily available and usually nice and rather focused on cookie recipes that are maybe more rare as they are a regional speciality or just not as commonly known.
So my twist with Lebkuchen this year is to make it into an ice cream. Not dissimilar to a chocolate chip cookie ice cream just with the Christmassy flavours of Lebkuchen instead. You get the idea. The base is a rich chocolate ice cream with a hint of cinnamon.


300ml double cream
200ml milk
4-5 tbsp cocoa powder
3-5 tbsp sugar
pinch of cinnamon
2-4 Lebkuchen

In a pot heat the double cream, milk, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder. If you use unsweetened cocoa powder add more sugar according to taste. Take it off the heat when it starts to boil and leave to cool. Crumble the Lebkuchen in to the mixture but discard the oblate on the bottom (unleavened communion wafer) if yours have any and the amount of crumbs depends on how big or small your Lebkuchen are. If they are small use one or two more. Chill the mixture in the fridge. Place in the ice cream maker for about 10-15 minutes or according to instructions for your machine. Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

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