Monday, 7 December 2015

Egg-Free Marzipan

One of my all-time favourite bakery and sugar craft staples, and something I have touched on surprisingly seldom in my blog, is marzipan! I forget about it all year, and then Christmas comes around and I'm marzipan mad.


Marzipan is one of my most favourite things: I could eat blocks of marzipan until I felt very ill, and still like it. When I was in school, I had a good German friend who one year got a solid marzipan Easter egg from her father back home in Germany. She gave me some, and it was some of the nicest marzipan I had tasted; she told me it was by a company called Niederegger, and that the factory shop was in Lübeck, which was a town close to her own home. I visited her home in 2008 (my first foreign holiday) and asked her to take me to the shop, where I bought a nice amount of the delicious marzipan to nibble on and bring home.


Despite my love of marzipan, I'd never tried to make it before this year. In May, I made a circular Battenberg layer cake, which was my first attempt at making it. I never realised it was so easy! It is a little fragile because it lacks those good egg white proteins, but it's easily moulded like clay and sets quickly.

FREE FROM
☑ Soya
☑ Yeast
☑ Dairy
☑ Gluten
☑ Eggs

CONTAINS
☒ Nuts
☒ Refined sugar products

INGREDIMENTS:
  • 7 ounces (200 grammes) ground nuts of your choice: almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, etc.
  • 7 ounces (200 grammes) icing sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon (2 millilitres) almond essence, or to taste
  • Cold water, to bind
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) lemon juice
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) lemon zest
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

HOW-TO:
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground nuts and icing sugar until well combined. Add in the almond essence (and lemon juice and zest if using), and stir with the tip of a knife.
  • Continuing to mix with the knife, add in water a teaspoon (5 millilitres) at a time until it comes together in a soft dough.
  • Dust the work surface with a little icing sugar, and turn out the marzipan. Knead and squash the dough together very gently until smooth; if you over knead it, it becomes oily and unworkable.
  • You can use the marzipan straightaway, or wrap it in cling film and keep in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Marzipan is used very often in Northern European bakery and sweet-making: Denmark, Holland, and Germany all produce a lot of almond based delights. I will be exploring all of these things in the New Year.

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