Advent celebrates the magical run-up to Christmas with over 100 classic German baking recipes.
The Advent season is one of the most special times of the year, when candles twinkle, the Christmas tree is decorated, and the smells of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove fill the kitchen.
In her new cookbook Advent, Anja Dunk shares her recipes for the very best of traditional German festive bakes. From lightly spiced Lebkuchen, frosted cinnamon stars, jam-filled ginger hearts, snow-capped coconut macaroons, to marzipan-filled Stollen, edible tree decorations, lucky meringue mushrooms and a gingerbread house dripping with candies and sugar icicles, you will find delectable spiced treats to fill your Bunter Teller and share with friends and family.
Featuring Anja’s own linocut illustrations and evocative photography, this is a stunning, comforting clothbound volume that will be a family favorite for many years to come. The weeks of Advent hold all the sweet, almost unbearable anticipation of Christmas for days on end and this gorgeous book embraces that fairy-tale feeling within its pages.
Chocolate-coated walnut marzipan
MAKES ABOUT 20 SQUARES
These little sweets came about one autumn when we found the ground on our usual path to school scattered with walnuts. After dropping the boys off I rushed home, scooping up as many nuts along the way as I could carry.
Back in the kitchen all sorts of walnut creations took place; this one I wrote down in my notebook for Christmas. The flavours come from a German-Polish border biscuit that Helga, our late German neighbour in Wales, used to put on her Bunter Teller. I asked her one year for the recipe, but she was reluctant to pass it on. The biscuit base was spread with apricot jam, a layer of marzipan next, followed by half a walnut crown all wrapped up in a glaze of vodka icing.
In one bite-sized biscuit, they swept me directly to cold snowy cobbled streets with people’s breath hanging in clouds under the glow of street lamps. There was just something about them that seemed so old-fashioned that was hard to put my finger on—the vodka somehow brought a mysterious feeling of cold into your mouth.
200g (7oz) walnuts (or walnut pieces)
75g (½ cup plus ½ tbsp) icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
1–2 tbsp vodka
180g (6oz) dark chocolate
½ tsp coconut oil Flaky sea salt, to sprinkle on top
Place the walnuts in a food processor and blitz for about two minutes until finely ground, then scrape down the sides of the processor and blitz again for a couple of minutes until the oils are released from the nuts and the mixture begins to clump together.
Add the icing sugar along with 1 tablespoon of vodka and blitz again until a smooth paste forms. You may need to add a bit more vodka depending on how fresh the nuts are.
Form the marzipan into a rectangle 1cm/3/8in deep and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Put the chocolate and coconut oil into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a small saucepan with a 1cm/3/8in depth of water in the bottom. Turn the heat on low and wait for the chocolate to melt. Once it starts melting, stir so that the coconut oil is evenly dispersed. Take off the heat once the chocolate is glossy and fluid.
Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment.
Cut the marzipan into 1cm/3/8in squares and, using a fork held horizontally with the tines pointing upwards to balance the marzipan on, dip each square carefully into the chocolate,
so that it is completely covered. Lift gently onto the baking paper and continue until all squares are covered. Sprinkle each square with a little flaky sea salt and allow to set before boxing up.
Stored in an airtight container, these keep well for up to a week.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Hardie Grant Books.