I bet all you Americans and English out there have no clue what a “domino” is. At least in the sense that I mean it. No, I am not talking about the game that coined the collocation “domino effect”. I am talking about a delicious German Christmas Cube of Goodness, and I think it can be best explained by a picture:
The toothpick isn’t standard, but I needed some help dipping the cube into the chocolate for the coating. What’s inside, you ask? Layers! Four, to be exact. It starts out with a dense, vanilla-cinnamon “cake” layer, followed by rum-marzipan, an amaretto-peach layer, and, finally, another “cake” layer, topped off with a rich, dark-chocolate coating. Have I caught your attention?
If not, let’s look at more pictures!
I made these out of sheer desparation. My boyfriend was at a work thing in Nuremberg on Wednesday and came home bearing the world-famous Nuremberger Lebkuchen (Gingerbread), as well as humongous Dominoes. I got so jealous and frustrated, I needed to make a wheat-free, lactose-free version. I now have enough to last me until February, but it was worth the work.
Vegan And Wheat-Free Dominoes
for the dough:
- 1 flax egg (you need this dough to be dense, so don’t use a normal egg, even if you’re not vegan)
- 1/2 tsp. powder
- 1 1/2 cups whole-spelt flour
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg & piment
- 1 Tbs. vegan margarine
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (or maple syrup, but then use 1/4 cup only)
- 1/2 cup (125ml) soymilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla
for the marzipan:
- 1 cup almond flour (use almond meal for a greater color contrast in the cubes)
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 Tbs. rum (or rum aroma, for non-alcoholic version)
Note: you can make the marzipan without the Dominoes. I actually had some left-overs and will roll them into small serving-size balls, perhaps cover them with chocolate.
for the amaretto-peach-jelly layer:
This is the simplest layer, and doesn’t have to amaretto-peach. I just happened to have some homemade amaretto-peach-jelly, so I used that. Feel free to use any jelly or jam you have at home (citrus would go great with this!), just make sure you reduce it by heating it up, bringing it to a boil, and then allowing it to simmer on low heat for as long as it takes to make the other layers. If you’re not vegan, feel free to add some gelatine to make it even thicker.
for the chocolate coating:
- 120g dark chocolate (vegan/lactose-free: I used 85% dark chocolate)
Don’t get scared by the long list of steps, it will be totally worth it in the end!
1.Pour your jelly into a pot and bring to a boil, as described above. Allow to simmer for as long as you prepare the other layers.
2. For the “cake” layer, whisk together all the ingredients for the dough. It helps to melt the margarine, as it will be easier to mix.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Spread the dough into a casserole lined with baking parchment. Either spread the dough so thinly that you half about 5mm (about 1/4 inch) height, or, like me, spread it up to 1/2 inch high, and then cut after baking.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, then allow to cool. If you didn’t spread it out thinly, you now need to cut it in half (you need a top and bottom layer for your dominoes, remember?). It’s easiest to do this by placing a cutting board on top and bottom of the dough, pressing down, and, using a very sharp knife, cutting in between the two.
5. Cut out a nice rectangle with smooth edges, unless you already have perfect edges after baking.
6. Now make the marzipan layer: Knead together all the ingredients, until you have a smooth “dough”. Roll into a ball, and refrigerate until the dough layer has cooled down.
7. After refrigerating, roll out into a smooth layer, also about 5mm thick (or less, if possible). Roll out onto a layer of clingfilm to prevent it from sticking to the surface below.
8. Onto this marzipan layer, place one of the two cake layers, cutting around the edges to remove “excess” marzipan. Don’t throw it away, keep it and eat it!
9. Now, flip the two layers around so that the cake layer is on the bottom. The cling film helps!
10. On top of the marzipan, spread out the reduced jelly.
11. On top of the jelly layer, place the other half of the cake layer. Don’t press down too firmly – your jelly hasn’t firmed up yet! Place this construction into the freezer for at least 30 minutes, longer if possible. The longer you freeze it, the easier your next step will be!
12. After your “freezer time” is up, start heating your chocolate, using a water bath. I usually heat up water in my water boiler, pour the hot water into a bowl, and then place a smaller bowl on top, immersing the lower part of the smaller bowl in “heat”. Place your chocolate in the upper, smaller bowl, and stir occasionally.
13. Now, take out the 4-layer rectangle, and cut into cubes. Fixate the cubes with toothpicks – that way you can easily dip them into the molten chocolate.
14. Dip the cubes, one at a time, into the chocolate, or pour some chocolate over each cube (whichever method works for you, just get chocolate on the cubes!).
15. Set on another baking parchment, and allow to cool.
16. Once the chocolate coating has hardened/dried, you can remove the toothpicks.
As I said in the ingredient list, if you use almond meal instead of almond flour, this layer will be much whiter, contrasting the different layers much better.
You now have three layers! Congratulations!
Wait for it…
Hey there, beautiful domino!
There you go! After 16 long steps, you have finally reached your goal! Good job, Merry Christmas, let’s pack on the pounds with these delicious (and at least healthier than the original) Christmas cubes!