Chocolate covered lebkuchen
Updated: Mon, 5 October, 2020
Lebkuchen or gingerbreads are the staple Christmas biscuits. But fill them with jam, coat them with chocolate - and you're in a completely different Christmas cookie league.
Lebkuchen are gingerbreads
Lebkuchen are rather indulgent spiced honey cookies and I’ve taken the indulgence to the next level here – by filling them with jam and dipping them in chocolate.
My chocolate coating backstory
I’ve always wanted to dip SOMETHING in chocolate. I’ve had mediocre success with truffles – I’d normally shape them out of dark, milk or white chocolate ganache and roll them in cocoa, icing sugar or desiccated coconut.
Chocolate coated seemed a challenge and proved one – truffle half-melting in the chocolate, skewered on a cocktail stick which I then brandished, frowning at it to set, thinking how to stick my arm in the fridge to chill the truffle, finally stabbing the cocktail stick into an orange to put in the fridge where it inevitably collapsed, ruining the truffle.
Dip the lebkuchen in chocolate!
Dipping these gingerbread cookies turned out to be a doddle. The tricky bit is when you lose one in the chocolate or they fall off the fork (see instructions below) and on some the excess of chocolate formed quite large ‘feet’, desirable in macarons but not in biscuits.
Buy couverture chocolate; already tempered for malting and coating which will save you the bother of tempering it yourself.
What is tempering chocolate about?
Tempering is not strictly necessary for dipping and coating but it ensures gloss on the finished product. There's nothing sadder when, after all the effort, your biscuits, truffles or bars are - literally so - lacklustre. Dim, dull, like chocolate that has been sitting in a Granny's cupboard for years. That's not a desirable result.
How to temper chocolate?
The easiest way is to melt about two thirds of your chocolate amount in the microwave or over a double boiler (bain-marie). When it's almost, almost all melted, add the cold remaining chips or pieces and stir continuously until it all melts.
Tempering is reaching the required temperature: 31C for dark, 27C for white chocolate, and it is a bit of a chore but I think it's worth it. The recipe below describes in detail how to do it in an easy way.
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