Sunday, November 13, 2011

Almond Paste (Marzipan)

If you have the time and inclination, why not make your own Almond Paste this year? It’s easy to do! 
Almond Paste (Marzipan):
3 c. whole, blanched almonds
4 c. sifted icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
6 tbsp. water
1-½ tsp. almond extract
Preheat oven to 300 deg. F. Place almonds in a single layer on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake 10 min., but do not brown. Remove from oven and cool 5 min. Using steel blade of food processor, add still-warm almonds to machine, processing until finely ground and no chunks remain. Add icing sugar, water, and almond extract. Process until mixture forms a ball - about 15 sec. Use at once or wrap and freeze until needed. Makes about 3 c., or enough to top the fruit cakes in the recipe above. 
To top fruit cakes, beat 1 egg white slightly, painting over fruit cake to seal it. Allow to dry before proceeding with Marzipan topping.
To use Marzipan, dust your work surface and rolling pin with a little sifted icing sugar. Roll as thinly or thickly as your taste dictates, gently folding over rolling pin and unrolling over top of cake, trimming edge overhang to fit. Makes enough to top Grandma Parton’s Christmas Cake recipe in the adjacent post.

December Footnote: Five long weeks have passed. We are ready to top our fruitcakes with Marzipan and Royal Icing

Off come many layers of foil to reveal gauze-wrapped cakes

This is the first of the many cakes we made,
coy as a bride in her wedding veil

With all the cakes unwrapped, the
air bears the scent of fruit and rum

Ron rolls marzipan to desired thickness after painting
cakes with foam from lightly beaten egg white

Ron trims marzipan to fit cake top, saving trimmings

And now, on to the Royal Icing in the next post!

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