Almonds and sugar are the two main ingredients in marzipan, which is a sweet and sticky paste. It can be consumed on its own, typically in the form of small fruits or adorable animals, or it can be used as a filling or a covering for baked goods such as cakes and pastries. It has a deliciously sweet amaretto flavor, and it’s impossible to resist.
Marzipan is typically purchased in its ready-made form; however, it is not always easy to locate marzipan in grocery stores, and certain brands may contain ingredients or additives that you would prefer to avoid. It was a pleasant surprise to learn that making marzipan at home is both simple and quick. You only need about five minutes of your time and a few ingredients that you most likely already have at home: ingredients including almond flour, almond extract, and powdered sugar.
The Difference Between Marzipan, Almond Paste, and Frangipane
It is easy to see why there is a great deal of misunderstanding regarding the differences between the various almond fillings that are utilized in desserts like marzipan, almond paste, and frangipane. Even though they are all made with almonds, there are significant differences between them and their uses in baking.
- Marzipan is a paste that is made by combining sugar with finely ground almonds. Although there are no regulations regarding the number of almonds that should be present in marzipan in the United States, the typical range is somewhere between 25 and 30 percent by weight. Raw marzipan is delicious, and it’s also great for making candies, ice cakes, and fillings for baked goods.
- Almond paste is comparable to marzipan, but it contains a higher percentage of ground almonds and a lower amount of sugar. Almond paste is typically composed of almonds that account for fifty percent of the total weight. Raw almond paste can also be eaten, but it is more commonly found as an ingredient in cookie dough, cake batter, and fillings. Raw almond paste can also be eaten.
- Frangipane is an almond cream that is typically used in tarts and pastries. It is made by combining butter, sugar, eggs, and either almond flour or almond paste. It cannot be consumed raw and, when baked, transforms into a filling that is velvety and nutty.
Use Ground Almond Flour for Marzipan
When making marzipan at home, using almond flour that has been ground extremely finely produces the best and smoothest results every time. It is also possible to use almond meal, which is similar to almond flour but also contains almond skin, with successful results; however, the resulting marzipan will have a darker hue. When you use almonds that have been blanched but not further processed, the food processor will not be able to grind the almonds to a fine enough consistency.
Uses for Homemade Marzipan
- Before finishing them off with fondant, cover Christmas fruitcakes with a layer of marzipan. In addition to providing an additional layer that helps the cake retain its moisture, marzipan has a flavor that is significantly more pleasant than fondant. Use the smaller amount of sugar called for in the recipe when you are making marzipan to cover cakes. Homemade marzipan is ideal for covering cakes because it is very soft and has a flavor that is very similar to almond paste despite having less sugar.
- It’s possible to use marzipan as a filling for candies. To make the marzipan a little bit more solid, stir some orange zest into it and add a little bit of extra sugar. The flavored marzipan should be cut into small squares, and then the squares should be covered in chocolate that has been tempered.
- To make decorative pieces that are both delicious and pretty, use homemade marzipan. If you add enough sugar, the marzipan will harden up and become suitable for shaping into rose petals, holly leaves, and berries.
- You can make a show-stopping centerpiece out of marzipan by shaping it into lifelike pieces of fruit, then coloring them by hand with powdered food coloring. This will result in a delectable treat.
The Marzipan Ingredients
- 1 pound almond paste
- 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting
- 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract, optional
How to Make Marzipan
- Collect all of the ingredients.
- Place the almond paste in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and coarsely chop it into quarter-sized chunks.
- Mix in the powdered sugar on low speed until the mixture has a fine, sandy texture. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a food processor will suffice.
- Pulse the almond paste and powdered sugar together until the mixture looks like wet sand.
- Slowly add the egg whites (and almond extract, if using) to the mixer on low speed until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball. (If using a food processor, look for a similar appearance.) It’s possible that you won’t need to use all of the egg whites.
- Dust a countertop or cutting board with powdered sugar and knead the marzipan until smooth and pliable. It should be free of lumps and dry patches.
- Use the marzipan right away or save it for later.
- It’s delicious on a piece of cake or as a nutty snack.
- If you are concerned about using raw egg whites, you can substitute pasteurized egg whites in this recipe.
- Add marzipan chunks to the dough for a unique twist on your favorite chocolate chip cookies.
- Spread a thin layer of marzipan on the bottom of a cooked pie shell, then top with apricot, peach, or cherry pie filling.
How to Store Marzipan
Wrap the marzipan in plastic wrap and place it in a plastic bag. It will stay moist and will not absorb any odors if stored in this manner. Marzipan can be stored in the refrigerator for three months or frozen for up to six months. Before using marzipan, bring it to room temperature.
Marzipan is a baking ingredient that is commonly used in Holiday treats but is also used year-round for cake decorating and candy making. You can now make it at home with just a few ingredients thanks to this simple step-by-step recipe. Enjoy!