Lebkuchen (luzern)

Yield: 1 Cake

Measure Ingredient
2 decilitres Fresh cream
80 grams Pear molasses; (1) (*)
60 grams Pear molasses; (2) (*)
150 grams Sugar
20 grams Candied lemon peel; diced
20 grams Candied orange peel; diced
1 pinch Ground aniseed
1 pinch Ground cinnamon
1 pinch Ground nutmeg
1 pinch Ground clove
\N \N Salt
20 grams Baking powder
500 grams Wholemeal (or white) flour
2 decilitres Warm milk

(*) Pear molasses AKAs treacle

(Units: 100 g = 3½ oz; 1 dl = 3 ½ fl oz = ⅖ cup; 180 oC = 350 oF; 200 oC = 400 oF; 230 oC = 450 oF; 250 oC = 475 oF; 2½ cm = 1 inch)

The story:

This speciality is the "gourmand cake" of the St. Nicholas Festival celebrated annually on 6th December. Presided over by the Bishop of Myra, the feast day assumes an air of solemnity in Lucerne itself, culminating in a procession through the town. "St. Nicholas" is preceded by two heralds and is escorted by frightening "Schmutzli" (large puppets) who, according to tradition, are thought to punish children who have misbehaved during the year. Only well behaved children receive presents from St. Nicholas on this special day.

The recipe:

Whip the cream and mix with molasses (1), spices and salt. Add the baking powder, flour, warm milk and diced peel, mixing throughly until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a greased and lined sponge ring and bake for 45-50 minutes at 180 oC.

When baked, brush the top with the pear molasses (2) to glaze.

Recommended drink: tea or coffee.

Culinary Art and Traditions of Switzerland, Pro Gastronomia, 1992 Typed for you by Rene Gagnaux @ 2:301/212.19

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