How to make Marzipan

Making your own marzipan is actually really easy.

Who'd have thought me of all people, has actually managed to make a Christmas cake AND my own marzipan!

Christmas Cake

Now for the cake itself, I used a recipe off the net which worked and I had a rich dark, moist fruit cake.

It is important to 'feed' the cake every few days by making small holes in with a cocktail stick and adding brandy.

Well due to one thing or another happening around here I didn't get round to icing it for a good few weeks so for fear of it drying out my cake was fed possibly a little too much; yep a lot of brandy went into this cake.

I think if I had a shop I'd need an alcohol licence to sell a slice!

So anyway the cake was made and with thanks to the lovely people over at Dr.Oetker the icing was taken care of by way of a ready to roll pack.

Well I got so into this cake making lark I even bought me a fondant icing smoother which is necessary for a lovely smooth finish - see I know all the techie bits lol 😉

A cake smoother is vital and will not only give a nice smooth finish but it ensures the marzipan and icing are nicely sealed with no airspace in between.

You may remember I had lessons at the Langham Hotel in London with Cherish Finden no less; so I know these things!

Me and Cherish Finden

Now all I needed was marzipan and since my Kenwood Chef my best friend, and I had ground almonds in my cupboard I set about making my own.

Now I ummed and erred over how much marzipan I would actually need since there are so many differences of opinion out there I was confused!

This marzipan recipe makes enough to cover a 22cm cake so if your cake is any bigger you will need more and it depends how deep your cake is too.

Of course, you don't have to have a food processor to make marzipan you can just mix/beat the ingredients with a wooden spoon in a large bowl, but its a lot more work.

Put the caster sugar, icing sugar and ground almonds into the bowl and attach the K-beater.

Marzipan Ingredients

Start the machine on a low speed to mix the ingredients together.

Now add the orange zest and the beaten egg. Set the machine to a slightly higher speed (3 or 4) to mix until you have a paste.

Please excuse this picture; it was taken when the weather had come over so dark, it was as if it was night time - so on with the kitchen light meaning the colour is a bit wrong but you get the gist, but more importantly marzipan happened!

Marzipan

Tip the mixture onto a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar and knead until it's lovely and smooth; don't get over-excited with the kneading otherwise, your marzipan can get too sticky and oily.

Christmas Cake

Wrap in clingfilm and pop it into the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight before using.

How thick should marzipan be?

Roll the marzipan into a disc about 1cm/½in thick and 1-2cm/½-1in wider than the diameter of your cake (check the marzipan isn't sticking to the worktop by dusting underneath it again with icing sugar).

To marzipan your cake you will need to brush the surface with about 3 tablespoons of apricot jam mixed with warm brandy or water and then passed through a sieve.

Brush the top and sides of the cake with the jam mixture and then put the marzipan on the cake.

When you're ready to ice the cake brush the marzipan with a bit of brandy, leave to dry before actually icing the cake.

How early should you marzipan your cake?

Delia says the traditional coat of almond icing (marzipan) should be put on the cake a week before you want to ice it, to allow its oiliness to dry out.

Cover the marzipan surface with a clean tea cloth and store out of the tin or container. Icing is best left to the last few days - even on Christmas Eve.

Happy Christmas Everyone!

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Author: Jan Bennett
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How to make Marzipan

How to make Marzipan

Of course, you don't have to have a food processor to make marzipan you can just mix/beat the ingredients with a wooden spoon in a large bowl.
Prep time: 10 Mininactive time: 3 HourTotal time: 3 H & 10 M

Ingredients

  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g ground almonds
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 medium egg, beaten - free range of course

Instructions

  1. Put the caster sugar, icing sugar and ground almonds into the mixing bowl of your food processor.
  2. Start the machine on a low speed to mix the ingredients together.
  3. Now add the orange zest and the beaten egg. 
  4. Set the machine to slightly higher speed to mix until you have a paste. Leave the machine to continue mixing for a couple of minutes.
  5. Tip the mixture onto a work surface lightly dusted with icing sugar and knead until it's lovely and smooth.
  6. Don't get over-excited with the kneading otherwise, your marzipan can get too sticky and oily.
  7. Wrap in clingfilm and pop it into the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight before using - apparently, this stops it cracking.
To marzipan your cake
  1. You will need to brush the surface with about 3 tablespoons of apricot jam mixed with warm brandy or water and then passed through a sieve. 
  2. Brush the top and sides of the cake with the jam mixture and then put the marzipan on the cake.
  3. When you're ready to ice the cake brush the marzipan with a bit of brandy, leave to dry before actually icing the cake.

Notes:


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