I made lembas in celebration of Tolkien week! I hope that next time I’ll be able to achieve a texture a little closer to what I imagine, but as a first attempt this is pretty good, and tasty in its own right.
I didn’t base this recipe off of any one in particular - I just looked at a few other lembas recipes and some recipes for using almond meal to create it. So here is the basic recipe:
1 cup almond meal
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup butter (bonus tastiness if you can get pasture-raised cream and butter)
2 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp maple syrup
I think most people would consider the number of different flavorings I used for this kind of absurd, but I couldn’t decide what to use so I used everything that I’d considered. It doesn’t really matter what you add to it - it just depends on how you imagine lembas tasting. The recipe is probably very simple but tastes complex and special just because of its innate divinity, but since I don’t have the baking abilities of a demigoddess or an elf, I’ve tried to translate the flavor I imagine by using oodles of good flavors in small amounts:
1 tsp rosewater
3 drops lavender oil
1/2 tsp natural lemon flavor (I may not use as much in the future)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp anise extract
1/2 tsp of finely crushed (powder consistency) thyme, sage and rosemary blend
This will make a thick, stretchy, sticky batter. I’m not quite sure if I’d call it dough. I transferred it into a buttered 23x33cm dish but only spread it across 2/3 of the dish because I wasn’t sure how much it would rise. Then baked it at 350 degrees farenheit for about 40 minutes. If you want the lembas to look more like slices of bread than pieces of cake, you’ll want to cut the pieces after several minutes of baking, before the top crust really solidifies. (I waited too long to cut mine apart, so they look more like pieces of cake than I’d like them to.) I think that it ended up a little too thick, so next time I will spread the batter/dough across the entire dish. I put a little glaze of honey over the top when I finished.
Now for the finished product! I think the flavor is great - it tastes mildly herbal and floral and fresh and comforting without there being recognizable flavors, aside from maybe the lemon. Just the right amount of sweetness, too. It looks kind of dense but it’s extremely light. The almond meal is kind of a plus and minus because it makes the stuff really filling, as it’s meant to be, but it lumpifies the texture more than I’d like and it kind of keeps the bread from developing crispness as it dries, which is what I’ll be going for the next time I try this. I made my almond meal with nothing more than a knife, so a more desirable texture may be achieved with a food processor or store-bought almond meal. You should be able to replace the almond meal with an equal amount of flour, you may need more moisture though.