Okay so it is no secret I am a Marzipan fiend! I know it’s not for everyone but I just love it. It brings me back to being a kid and eating those tiny marzipan shaped fruits, I just love those! So when Ari and I started this blog adventure, one of my top things to learn how to make was Marzipan.
In Italy, marzipan (marzapane) is often shaped and painted with food colorings to resemble fruit—especially during the Christmas season and on Il Giorno dei Morti (All Souls’ Day). And In Germany, it is common to give marzipan in the shape of a pig as new year presents, known as a “Glücksschwein” (lucky pig). (For more history and uses of Marzipan click here.)
In doing research I came across so many different types of recipes all very much different than the next. So being more confused after my research than before, I turned to my “go to” cookbook Ari got me for Christmas this past year, Rose Levy Bernbaum’s The Cake Bible. Her recipe may have more steps in it than most that you may find out there, but her Quintessential Marzipan taught me more then just making Marzipan. This is because in order to make this recipe you first need to make a batch of poured fondant – Which of course I have never done, but was also on my list, farther down on my list, but on my list none-the-less.
We debated on making our own Almond Paste as well, but after much deliberating we both decided it wasn’t worth doing at the moment. The work of blanching and peeling almonds to then blend them to a fine-as-fine consistency was way too time consuming for this go around. But homemade Almond Paste will be visited later, maybe when we make Almond Macaroons or Italian Almond Cookies (om nom nom nom)!
If you have the time this is quite fun to make. The poured fondant can be stored for weeks at a time, and so can the marzipan. And, if you’re in the kitchen as much as Ari and me it’s nice to have options ready and waiting at your finger tips when it comes to baking and decorating. The recipe below is a basic marzipan recipe which can be used for covering cakes or adding to the layers of a cake. It can be used for modeling flowers and other objects, but we suggest seeing our Modeling Marzipan post. It has the ideal texture for sculpting and modeling, it will hold texture and details better then the basic marzipan.
- scant ¾ cup (7 ounces/200 grams) almond paste
- scant ⅓ cup (3.5 ounces/100 grams) food processor poured fondant w/ almond extract
- ½ cup-1tbs (1.75 ounces/50 grams) powdered sugar
- In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine all the ingredients and process for a few seconds until blended. The marzipan should still be in pieces. Dump onto a counter (preferably wood to absorb excess oil) and knead until smooth.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container. Allow to rest for at least 1 hour before using.
- Keep the marzipan well covered to avoid drying out while working with it. If the marzipan does become slightly dry and cracky, rub your fingers lightly with shortening and knead lightly.