Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Home Made Marzipan Sweets




This is another recipe from my book Sweet As, and something that I love to make for Xmas.
I would like to say that for marzipan you should get the best almonds around, natural, but here in New Zealand the almonds taste different from the ones in Italy. They are imported, not sure where from most of the time, but they are not top grade almonds.

Still, with a few tips, you can make your marzipan taste great even with 'regular' almonds! Buy them natural, not blanched, you need to blanche then yourself or the result will be too dry.



To blanch them you need to put them in boiling water for a couple of minutes, and then add cold water and take the skin off, one by one. For this recipe you will need:

200 g almonds
100 g icing sugar
5 apricot kernels.


As I was saying before, the almond here have little taste, so I like to collect the stones from apricot and get the almonds out. They are a real pain to crack! In the photo above you can see apricot stones and kernels.

The apricot kernels too need to be blanched, in fact the skin is poisonous! And you should not eat too many, 5 for 200 g of normal almonds is what I use, and they give the marzipan a nice almondy taste. In the photo above you can see an apricot kernel (left) , and a normal almond (right). Try and taste an apricot kernel, they are bitter, but more aromatic.


Blend the blanched almonds and apricot kernels, still wet from blanching, until they are very fine, almost a paste. You may need to do this a few times, scraping the sides of the food processor.



Place in a bowl with the icing sugar and mix, first with a spatula, and then with your hand, like for a dough. At first it will seem dry and crumbly, but then it will all come together in a paste.



And here you have it, almond paste to work with. If you like you can also add a little grated lemon zest, or use vanilla sugar for a delicate floral hint.


You can colour your marzipan. I like to go for natural colours, so I made green with spirulina powder dissolved in water, and red with berry juice.


Roll and cut, like for gnocchi, and then shape with your fingers. For my main sweets I made simple shapes, but you can make fruit (on the blog tomorrow!!).


To top the marzipan with fruit I used more blanched almonds and pistachio, plus some walnuts. I made a syrup with a little sugar and water, and when hot I put the nuts into it to coat them and make them shiny and sticky. Then I placed a nut over each little marzipan sweet (I used tweezers for this, as the sugar was still hot!).




Ready to be eaten, and pretty too! A perfect Vegan and gluten free Christmas treat! And you can also use it to stuff dates and dried figs, or cover it with bitter dark chocolate.



Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©






I am entering this recipe in the Blogging event 
Sweet New Zealand for the month of November 2011, hosted by Mairi of Toast.











22 comments:

  1. they are so beautyful and mut be deliscious! bravo!
    kiss

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  2. Deliziosi, in tutti i sensi!!!

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  3. ho utilizzato spesso i coloranti per fare di tutto, anche lo zucchero, ma non mi era mai impallidito così!
    :)
    but...whatever...Christmas cakes made by a jewish mom, are great anyway!
    kiss

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  4. Sono davvero deliziosi e carinissimi complimenti sei molto brava !!!

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  5. Sicuramente sembrano belli Eleonora :-)

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  6. Ciao Alessandra eccomi sul tuo blog a contracambiare la tua visita!!Che bello arrivare fino in Nuova Zelanda...I tuoi bellissimi dolcetti starebbero proprio bene vicino alla mia torta wonderland ;) A presto Federica Fusco.

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  7. These are absolutely beautiful! I recently made homemade marzipan too! My recipe was quite a bit different...I would love to give your method a try!

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  8. Excellent job, Alessandra.
    Alemno in Arabia si trova frutta secca di qualità...una cosa in meno da mettere in valigia :-)

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  9. i love your step by step instructions!! Brava!

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  10. I am so impressed. I have never seen marzipan made from scratch and tainted in such pretty colours.

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  11. Araba felice, sono sicura che la frutta secca in Arabia sia buonissima, ho sentito parlare di pistacchi e datteri ed albicocche favolosi!

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  12. Ciao, these look so tasty. I would love to try these!

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  13. Onion and garlic powder are exactly that. They are powdered garlic and onions. If you can not get them wear you are you could use fresh but just make sure you puree them very well. :)

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  14. How beautiful! Looking forward to seeing your Marzipan fruit too!

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  15. Ciao ALessandra.. sono ALe di cuoca a tempo perso...che lentamnete e' arrivata fino in nuova zelanda.. che darei per essere li.. !!
    Ti seguiro come posso a presto a dimenticavo buoni buoni questi dolcetti di mandorla
    Un abbraccio Alessandra

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  16. Oh this is so pretty Alseendra and those pink one wish to grab of it....awesome!

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  17. Thanks for the recipe, I will make them for Xmas. Hopefully I should be able to find the apricot kernels ready to use.

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  18. Ciao Yari, the almonds in Italy are tasty enough and you can get different 'grades'. Use the best you can find, and also if you don't feel that there is enough almond aroma you can use some bitter almonds instead of the apricot kernels.

    ciao
    A.

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  19. Alessandra non avevavo visto questo post, ci voglio proprio provare!!!
    Le mandorle qui negli States sono molto buone, le producono in california e qui le mangiano tantissimo!! Quelle italiane sono un mix di mandorle amare (in realta` velenose, trattate se non sbaglio con il cianuro) e mandorle dolci.
    Ci provero` di sicuro!

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  20. Si' Ilaria, i dolci di marzapane in Sardegna sono proprio buoni!

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  21. Gosh, I have never tried making my own marzipan, but this looks like a fun project to try.
    Thanks for sharing it.
    Sue xo

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