Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas Fun Project: Ginger Bread Ravioli (Lebkuchen-Ravioli)

Christmas Bakery Fun Project (7/7) - the final shot
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

I found the recipe for Ginger Bread Ravioli (Lebkuchenravioli) a few years ago and thought that this would be the perfect recipe for some christmas fun. Actually it is a recipe for jam filled gingerbread cookies, but with a bit of fantasty you could turn it into an Italien look alike Pasta Dish. The gingerbread cookies are based on a dough for typical German Lebkuchen. You will need some special ingredients, which might be difficult to get where you live, but these are making these cookies so special. Before we start the fun, here the recipe and all you need for the fun.

Lebkuchen-Ravioli (Ginger Bread Ravioli)
(for about 20 raviolis)

...for the ravioli dough

350g honey
100g sugar
100g butter
1 egg (medium-size)
1 tablespoon dutch cocao powder (unsweetend)
2 teaspoons ginger bread seasoning (see note)
600g all purpose flour
5g salts of harthorn
2g potash
3 tablespoons milk

...for the dried fruit filling

dried fruit (e.g. prunes, cranberries, apricots, figs, dates)
Chop dried fruit and walnuts into small pieces and mix them together

...for the dried fruit filling

marzipan (marchpane, almond paste
Soak raisins in rum. Take two or three soaked raisins and wrap them in a little piece of marchpane

...for the jam filling

strawberry jam or any other jam you like
Use about 1/2 teaspoon for filling

...for the nougat filling

solid nougat, cut into small cubes
Form the cubes into little balls for the filling

...for the Italian Pasta Dish Idea

green food coloring
red food coloring
raspberry jam
coconut flakes
white chocolate


Ginger bread seasoning: In Germany you can get this seasoning during advent. I always use a commercial product. The one I use contains cinnamon, coriander, aniseed, allspice, cloves, star-anise, cardamon, ginger, and vanilla. The ginger bread seasoning might be difficult to get, but it is worthwhile to try it, because to get the right mixture of spices is difficult.
Potash and salts of hartshorn are the typical baking agent in christmas bakery. They work a little like baking powder or soda, but are very different though. They add a typical taste, create a different texture and they don't loos there baking characteristics during th elong resiting time. When you dissolve potash in milk a strong smell will occur, which is typical.
For the filling there are no amounts given. Use as much or less as you like.


Mix honey, butter and sugar in a pot and heat over low heat until sugar is dissolved completely. Remove from heat and let cool down slightly. In a bowl mix flour, cocoa, ginger bread spice mixture. Add honey mixture to flour and mix using the dough hook. Add egg and mix again. Dissolve salts of hartshorn in 2 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl. In a second small bowl dissolve potash in 1 tablespoon milk. Add first salts of hartshorn mixture to dough and mix well. Than add potash mixture and mix well. Wrap dough into cling film and set aside for at least 24 hours at room temperature.

On the next day: preheat oven 180°C. Line out baking tray with parchment paper. Dust the work space with some flour and knead the dough a few times. If the dough is too sticky add a little more of flour. Divide dough into smaller parts you can handle easily. Roll out the dough very thinly (about 2mm). Dust the dough with flour from time to time as you would do it with pasta dough to prevent it from stick to workspace. The dough should be elastic, but dry. Halve dough. On one part mark squares of about 5cm. On each square place some filling. Now cover it with the second half of the dough and press slightly with your fingers in between the fillings to mark the ravioli. Cut out the ravioli with a knife.

For each ravioli cookie: press the edges slightly together with your fingers. Seal the edges by pressing a fork into the edges. Place ravioli on baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes until ravioli a slightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool completely on cooling rack. Keep them in an airtight container. They will get better with time, but I guess they will not stay that long.

Why don't you try to present ginger bread ravioli like a pasta dish? Here is the idea (and take a look at the photos below). Colour small coconut flakes with some drops of green food coloring to represent chopped herbs. Color marzipan with red food coloring. Roll small pieces of red colored marzipan into little balls to represent cherry tomatoes (for the stems I have used real stems from cherry tomartoes). Scrap pieces from white chocolate to make "parmesan cheese". Put some raspberry jam as tomato sauce on a pasta plate. Sprinkle some green coconut flakes over sauce. Place some gingerbread raviolie on the plate. Sprinkle with some white chocolate. At last place the marzipan tomatoes around the ravioli. Ready to serve ginger bread ravioli.

...and now to the xmas fun project with photos

Christmas Bakery Fun Project (1/7) - start
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

On this photo you can see the dough rolled out, squares are marked and fillings placed on the dough. In front a nougat cube, behind marzipan ball, left to it strawberry jam and behind you can also see the dried fruit filling. If you click on the photo you will be re-directed to the photo on flickr, where the single fillings are marked.

Christmas Bakery Fun Project (2/7)
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

Close up shot of ginger bread ravioli. You can see the the mark of the fork to seal the ravioli. Close the ravioli carefully and avoid air pockets.

Christmas Bakery Fun Project (4/7) - Classic Italian Pasta
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

Serving idea: you can see the marchepan (marzipan) tomato, the white chocolate to represent cheese and the colored coconut flakes.

Christmas Bakery Fun Project (5/7) - with a sauce made of jam
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

Close up shot of serving gingerbread ravioli as an Italian Pasta Dish.

Christmas Bakery Fun Project (6/7) - another fork
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009

Close up shot of a gingerbread ravioli with marzipan filling, topped with some jam, white chocolate and some green coconut flakes. The photo at the beginning of this post is a close up shot of gingerbread ravioli with strawberry jam filling.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Here another fun shot. There is always the big question: will we have snow on christmas eve? With these Lebkuchen-Ravioli you can have snow any time you like.

Christmas Bakery Fun Project (3/7) - Let it snow!
© All rights reserved, Thorsten Kraska, 2009


Unknown said...

CUte! Didn't your mommy ever tell you stop playing with your food.LOL

Thorsten said...

Hi Wizzy! LOL, but these are so much fun. Who could resist?

La Cuisine d'Helene said...

I would enjoy your Ginger Bread Ravioli. The ones with the marzipan filling looks so inviting.

Thorsten said...

Helen, they are great, although the making takes some time. I like the marzipan filling best too.

ruthdeb said...

Thorsten, have you ever made springerle cookies? They are absolutely lovely (and tasty) and highly photographable. You put so much time into making this tricky "pasta" dish, I bet you'd enjoy making an photographing Springerle. The recipe is a bit tricky, but worth the effort.

Here's an example of how beautiful they can be --- requires that you buy some fancy medieval-reproduction cookie molds though.

Here's a recipe.

Thorsten said...

Hi ruthdeb. I know Springerle and have already made some myself. I also took some photos, but they are not available online (they are rather old).