It’s that time of the year again; the one month of the year when marzipan is universally enjoyed and in prodigious quantity. Whether it’s separating your Christmas cake from royal icing or simply rolled into a ball and popped in your mouth, marzipan is a true Christmas tradition. However, despite its simplicity most marzipan is shop bought, yet there is no comparison. Homemade is simply superior in every way. Let me show you how to make it!
Make your own marzipan and you’ll realise just how stark the difference is between it and the shop bought stuff, which is force-fed flavour using almond extract. Homemade marzipan has a far more interesting texture – you can actually tell it contains real almonds – and its flavour is subtle and inoffensive.
This recipe is for nutmeg marzipan, but you may flavour it however you want. Cinnamon works very well in this capacity, but so will most spices and citrus flavours. The reason I went with nutmeg is simply because it’s one of my favourite spices. Nutmeg has such a versatile flavour; I struggle to find situations in which it doesn’t perform well!
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, minimum fuss Christmas cake give my mince pie cake a shot, covering it with a layer of nutmeg marzipan, followed by a generous coating of royal icing
Nutmeg Marzipan (adapted from BBC GoodFood)
Makes 1 large ball (around 1.2kg)
• 175g caster sugar
• 280g icing sugar
• 450g ground almonds
• 2 eggs, beaten
• ½ tsp orange juice
• ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1. In a large bowl, mix together the sugars, almonds and nutmeg. Make a well in the centre and tip in the juice and beaten eggs. Cut the wet into the dry with a knife.
2. Dust the surface with a little icing sugar and turn out the marzipan. Knead it gently for 1-2 minutes, form into a ball, wrap and keep in the fridge. It will last for up to a week, or for 2 months once on an iced Christmas Cake.
Cost: Considering the vast difference in quality between shop bought and homemade marzipan, almost any price is worth it. However, since this huge ball of marzipan should set you back only £3.40 there is absolutely no reason not to make your own.