I'm not shy about my adoration for Germany's Christmas treats; I believe that their use of spice is cleverly balanced, brave and quite frankly unsurpassable. Last year I reviewed ASDA's lebkuchen iced stars, Weisse's Pfeffernüsse, Bahlsen's Zimtsterne, Lidl's marzipan stollen as well as Bahlsen's Poppy Seed Stollen, and this year I'm on a quest to discover the best on the market.
Today's review is of Lambertz's apricot filled Lebkuchen hearts: the hearts were a favourite Christmas treat as a child, my grandmother was always dependable for a healthy supply of them too and I looked forward to gorging on them after school. I say gorge because it felt impossible to stop at one or two (I reckon they're even more moreish than Jaffa cakes) so I really hoped that Lambertz' version would live up to my high expectations. I bought the 150g bag from Waitrose for £1.
Gingerbread hearts with apricot fruit filling (28%), coated with milk chocolate (23%) and dark chocolate decoration (3%).
Now to some, the combination of gingerbread, chocolate and apricot might sound like an utterly absurd idea. Even to me it sounds like it shouldn't work, but it really does (hence why I thought to spread M&S' new gingerbread teacakes with apricot jam).
The hearts weren't exactly perfectly formed, but I preferred the almost homemade look. The milk and dark chocolate coating was ample too, with none of the gingerbread peaking through (as often happens with the iced stars). I could smell a subtle gingery warmth, but only when I brought the hearts to my mouth pre-munch.
For anyone who's not had Lebkuchen before (seriously you're missing out), the texture between varieties and brands can vary quite dramatically. Even in a single bag of ASDA's stars I've found that some have been very firm, whilst others have been soft and cake-like. The Lambertz hearts leaned towards the latter texture, with a lovely fluffiness that provided very little resistance when biting into. The spice was very mild though, too much so for my liking. The ginger was almost completely lost against the delectable chocolate and apricot jam. Yes, you heard correctly, the chocolate was super! The quality was much better than one might expect for a biscuit/cake covering and I'm sure I'd have been quite happy to enjoy a bar of the chocolate that Lambertz have used here. As for the jam, it was gooey, sweet and in abundance -exactly what I hoped for.
What do you think are the best German (or continental) Christmas treats? I'd love to know, so please do leave me a comment!