Valentine’s Day Gingerbread Heart

Messages from the Gingerbread Heart

This Valentine’s Day, make something from the heart.
Gingerbread hearts are always a sweet opportunity to show those dearest to you how much you love them. This even more so if you make it yourself, with love. You can decide on your own personal message or choose from many popular messages common on gingerbread hearts.

We would love to help you make your own this Valentine’s Day.
Read on for our favourite recipe…

Ingredients

Ingredients for the dough:
1200g Flour
550g Honey
250g Sugar
200g Butter
2 Eggs
30g Cocoa powder
1 Pinch baking powder
1 Pinch salt
1 Pinch gingerbread spice (pimento, cinnamon, ginger, aniseed, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, cloves and fennel)

Ingredients for the decoration:
150g powdered sugar
1 egg white (very fresh)
Food colours (depending on your mood)

 

Making the Gingerbread heart

  1. Mix and heat in a bowl, the butter, honey, sugar Cacao powder and Gingerbread heart spice. Stir until you end up with a smooth paste and set aside to cool.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl. Create a hole in the middle of the mixture and add in the cooled honey paste, then add the eggs and salt. Gently knead the dough.
  3. Cover the dough and set aside for 12 hours.
  4. Cover your work area with a good amount of flour and roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Use your heart template (see our downloadable template below), to carefully cut out the perfect gingerbread heart.
  5. Cover a baking tray with baking paper and gently place your gingerbread heart on it and bake in a 200C pre-heated oven for about 15min. Make sure not to let the dough get to dark!
  6. Once baked to perfection take your gingerbread heart out of the oven and let it cool before starting with the decoration.

Gingerbread heart decoration

  1. Separate the egg white and whisk until stiff. Mix in powdered sugar until it is a smooth white paste.
  2. Mix food colouring of your choice into portions of your icing.
  3. Add icing sugar mix to a piping bag and get creative!

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Note: The recipe described here is designed for a very large gingerbread heart.
The paper stencil should therefore measure at least 30 x 30 cm. (see stencil download below).

Best baked with fresh ingredients and love
It is in fact much easier to make a gingerbread heart from scratch than most of you would think. The basis for it is a honey cake, a treat whose main ingredient – as the name implies – is honey, to which butter, flour and sugar are added.

Spice up your heart
Cocoa powder and the very important gingerbread spice then give the spicy aroma for which these treats are famous. Gingerbread spice is a traditional spice mix consisting of a combination of cinnamon, clove, pimento, coriander, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and aniseed. The respective composition of the spice mixture is, on the one hand region-specific, but also the secret of the respective gingerbread baker. For example, in Germany, very often cinnamon is used in large quantities, whereas this spice is almost never used in Northern and East European gingerbread.
As an alternative to the pre-mixed gingerbread spice, you can use the more commonly available nine-spice mix consisting of pimento, cinnamon, ginger, aniseed, nutmeg, cardamom, coriander, cloves and fennel to provide a well-rounded taste.

A hearty dough
From all the ingredients, a beautiful dough is kneaded, which is then rolled out with a rolling pin. Now you can use our paper template for the perfect heart shape: simply print and cut it out. Gently place it on the dough and cut the dough around it. You can either design a large gingerbread heart or several small ones. Of course, the size of the heart is entirely up to you. Put the gingerbread heart(s) into a preheated oven (200C) for about 15 minutes or until it’s nicely baked.

Decorate with love and imagination
Once cooled, the fun part begins – you can start decorating! You can use ready-made cake decorations for your creation, or make your own by whipping up some icing from powdered sugar and egg whites. To brighten your heart, mix food colouring of your choice into portions of your icing.
Let your imagination run free with letters and ornaments in the so-called Herzlmalerei {Heartpainting} style. In addition to the classic declaration of love, you can use the gingerbread heart as an invitation, a voucher for a romantic night out or any size announcements. There are no taboos in Herzlmalerei.

The sweetest messenger
There simply is no sweeter way to declare your love than on a lovingly homemade gingerbread heart. The only dilemma left to resolve is whether your creation is too good to eat! Make sure you pack your gingerbread heart in an air tight container or packaging, so that the recipient can enjoy it for a long time to come.

 

gingerbread-heart-template

DOWNLOAD Gingerbread Heart template HERE