Friday, 13 December 2013

Foodie Friday Special Marzipan For Marzipan Haters

2 weeks today and it will all be over, the presents will have been opened and the food coma will be well and truly under way. I don't know about you but we never ever eat Christmas cake on the big day itself, we just don't have the room! Unlike a lot of people though I am partial to a bit of Christmas cake, in particular my mum's gluten free version of Delia Smith's Creole Christmas Cake (click here to see the recipe :). As much as I love the cake though I can't stand the topping. I'm fine with icing but I hate marzipan with a passion, that bitter almond flavour makes me want to hurl. Normally I just cut the icing and the marzipan off but a couple of years ago my mum had a go at making her own. I'm fine with the nutty, ground almonds so my mum just makes a basic marzipan / almond paste recipe but instead of adding almond extract she adds a bit of vanilla instead. This is the recipe that she uses :)

Mummy Lou's Easy Almond Paste 

6oz Ground Almonds 
3oz Caster Sugar
3oz Icing Sugar 
1 Small Egg or 1/2 Large Egg
Juice Of 1/2 Lemon 
Couple Of Drops Of Vanilla Extract

1. Put the ground almonds into a large bowl

Then add the sugar 

and the icing sugar

2. Juice the lemon 

and add to the mixing bowl

3. Then beat the egg 

and slowly add it to the mixing bowl, along with the vanilla, mixing it together all the time.

4. Eventually your mixture should start sticking together and you should end up with a ball of pliable paste that you can mold with your hands. If it's too wet add some more icing sugar if it's too dry add some more beaten egg.

Voila! your own yummy almond paste that doesn't taste of bitter almonds :) Of course you could add almond essence instead of the vanilla if your into that sort of thing bleurgh or you could add maybe a touch of alcohol for maybe a rum marzipan. You could also add food colouring if you liked to give it the "traditional" yellow colour or if you wanted to make it in to figures and shapes.

The amount that we've made here covers just the top of an 8x8 inch square cake, obviously you could make more to cover the full cake or a larger cake :)

Once you've made your almond paste though, what happens next? well simples using plenty of icing sugar for rolling give it a good knead

Then roll it out to roughly the size and shape that you want - don't roll it out too thin though because it will be harder to lift it up.

You want your almond paste to stick to your cake so give your cake a brush with either some warmed apricot jam or with some shred less marmalade.

Then carefully lift up your almond paste and pop it onto the cake - it's way easier to just do the top, just smooth it out the best you can. The one looks pretty rustic because my mum is going to make a textured royal icing so it doesn't need to be too smooth,

and your done x You shouldn't really ice it straight away, as it needs at least 24 hours to dry out, but it will keep really well in an airtight tin.

Obviously this recipe contains raw egg, so bear this in mind , you can buy pasteurised eggs in most supermarkets though if your concerned.

So there you have it, you can enjoy Christmas cake and marzipan even if you don't like bitter almond or almond extract :) Are you a marzipan fan? let me know in the comments x 

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