Marzipan has been used for centuries by pastry chefs all over the world. It can be used in baking and for covering and filling cakes. Marzipan looks fabulous for colorful cake decorations and figurines. Marzipan has to have at least 25 % almonds otherwise it is considered almond paste. A thin layer of Marzipan can be used to cover a cake. Colored it can replace the need for frosting. It is also used under Fondant, much like apricot glaze to protect the Fondant from moisture.
There are many stories about the origin of marzipan. According to Werner, a Master Baker from Germany, marzipan was created several hundred years ago. There was a great drought in Italy and almonds were the only substantial crop to survive. Consequently, people learned many new ways to use and eat almonds. They made almond bread, almond pie, almond soup and almond pastries. Somewhere during those times someone created marzipan. People liked it so much that it flourished even after the famine past. Travelers carried the recipe from one city to another, eventually it reached Lubeck and Hamburg, Germany. Marzipan is still made there today. The marzipan made in Lubeck is based on an old traditional recipe and is considered the finest marzipan in the world. When you buy marzipan marked "Made in Lubeck" or "Lubecker Marzipan", you can be sure you are getting the finest product money can buy!
Almond paste can be made by blanching the almonds yourself. Since many fine grocery stores carry blanched almonds it is no longer necessary for you to do this step yourself. To create the marzipan, take an amount of almond paste (according to your needs) and use half that amount of powdered sugar for the mix. Spread the almond paste on a marble slab, then sprinkle the sugar over the almond paste and cut it in with a large knife. Continue to cut until it is completely mixed, never touching it with your hands. When it is well mixed, you can shape it or use in other recipes. Both almond paste and marzipan keep well if stored properly. If not needed, seal well, and freeze. To keep the almond paste from oiling while combining it with the sugar, handle the mix as little as possible.
The best marzipan recipes use a two to one ratio of almonds and sugar. The old masters don't consider a mix that contains more than half sugar as true marzipan. A trick used to make really great marzipan is to use 1 bitter almond to every 100 good almonds in the almond mix. If you've ever tasted a bitter almond, you understand how only one can have a serious effect. The smallest taste is an extremely gross experience you won't soon forget. A bitter almond uniquely alters the recipe and is always used in the best almond paste used in marzipan. One note about bitter almonds: do not be eat them in large amounts because they contain to trace amounts of cyanide.
Next time you make stollen, try putting a log of marzipan inside each roll instead of the sugar/cinnamon mix in our recipe. You will be wonderfully pleased
Both recipes call for extra fine ground blanched almonds. In commercial bakeries the almonds are finely grounded by passing them through granite rollers. The finer the almonds the better your results will be.
The uncooked Marzipan is kneaded together until smooth and is then stored in an airtight container or plastic bag over night.
For cooked Marzipan add the sugar to the water in a saucepan and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Add the almonds and cook it until the batter stops sticking to the pan. Remove from heat and place onto a marble slap, wooden board or a sheet pan. While still warm knead first with a wooden spatula and then by hand until smooth. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.
Marzipan can be softened by adding small amounts of syrup to it, if too soft add additional powdered sugar to it.
Make your own marzipan instead of buying it. Marzipan is used to frost Christmas cakes and for candies, and all sorts of other goodies. Please note: this recipe contains raw eggs. We recommend that pregnant women, young children, the elderly and the infirm do not consume raw eggs. Important: be sure to use only fresh eggs for this recipe.Marzipan uncooked
1/4 pound ground blanched almonds
1/4 pound powdered sugar
1 egg white
1/4 tsp. salt
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
4 cups ground blanched almonds
Prep Time: approx. 30 Minutes. Ready in: approx. 24 Hours .
Makes 2 cups (16 servings).
Printed from Allrecipes
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 pound finely ground
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 Blend the confectioner's sugar, finely ground almonds, egg whites, salt ,and almond extract in a blender until perfectly blended. Chill covered 24 hours to harden.