DIY – Marzipan
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always loved those beautiful cakes decorated with rolled fondant. They can be really masterpieces, with pretty sugar flowers and cute figurines (in the right hands, of course, otherwise they can go straight to Cake Wrecks). The only matter is not everyone like it’s taste, and many times it ends up left in the plate.
An excellent alternative for sugar modelling is marzipan, but unfortunately, it’s impossible to find a quality one in here. As my new motto is “never surrender”, I started my quest for good marzipan recipes.
The winners came from Claudia’s blog, The Missing Flavor, and a basic recipe from an old Cordon Bleu book – a mix between this two made the perfect marzipan, delicious and flexible enough to modeling and cover cakes (the roses covering this cupcake in the vase and the princess cupcakes was made with it).
The hard part is peeling the almonds. Of course you can buy them already peeled, but here they can cost almost twice the original price, so I did it with my very hands. Super roots, man.
Marzipan (makes aprox. 600g)
- 250g. peeled raw almonds
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for kneading
- almond extract, almond liqueur or orange blossom water, to taste
On a double boiler, mix the egg whites and sugar. Bring to a bain-marie, whisking, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture gets to 71°C/ 160°F. Divide this syrup in two parts and set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the almonds until they turn int a very fine flour. The finer, the smoother your marzipan will be. Stop the machine and add the confectioner’s sugar. Pulse again to mix well.
Turn the machine on again, and add the almond extract and one part of the egg white mixture in a slow stream . Process until the dough comes together into a ball. Transfer the marzipan to a work surface dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Knead a little bit and check if is crumbling or releasing oil – if so, add more egg white syrup and knead until it resembles bread dough. It it’s too soft, sprinkle more confectioner’s sugar. You don’t have to use all the egg white syrup, only if necessary.
The finished marzipan shouldn’t be sticky, dry or hard to work – it feels like play dough. At this point, the more you knead, the more flexible it will be. You can tint it with gel paste food coloring or natural fruit juices in small amounts. Wrapped in plastic, the marzipan keeps for up to one month in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature and knead with confectioner’s sugar to use again.