250 g honey
250 g cane sugar
150 g butter
100 g ground almonds
400 g flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp organic lemon zest
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp gingerbread spice, see Tips
1 tsp potash
2 cl rum
White writing sugar
Blue writing sugar
Yellow writing sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat the oven to 200°C (180°C in a fan oven), 400°F, gas 6.
Heat the honey with the sugar and the butter, stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool.
When cooled add the almonds, flour, cocoa powder, lemon zest, cinnamon, gingerbread spice and the egg. Knead well using an electric whisk with dough hooks.
Dissolve the potash in the rum and stir into the dough. Knead the dough until it shines and is no longer sticky. If it is too soft add some more almonds. The dough should be firm and malleable. Cover and allow to rest overnight in the fridge.
The next day roll out the dough on a floured surface approx. 1 cm thick and cut out heart shapes. Place the hearts on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper and bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on their size).
Remove carefully from the baking tray as they will still be very soft. Place them on a wire rack to cool.
Once they are completely cooled decorate them with writing sugar and allow to dry.
To make the gingerbread spice simply mix together
100 g ground cinnamon
75 g ground cloves
50 g ground nutmeg
75 g ground ginger
125 g ground fennel seeds
125 g ground coriander seeds
125 g ground anise