She Wants A Cake Covered In What?

Decorating By cupcakeco Updated 13 Jun 2009 , 12:32pm by Evoir

cupcakeco Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:17am
post #1 of 33

Just had a BTB contact me and ask for a cake "covered in almond paste and iced in sugar paste" ??

I am assuming that by sugar paste she means fondant, but the almond paste throws me off. Can almond paste be used like an icing? Or is she referring to an almond-flavored icing possibly?

Can someone please explain how/why/what?? I've never had a request such as this, and I am slightly confused. Thanks.

32 replies
playingwithsugar Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:20am
post #2 of 33

She might mean marzipan, which is traditionally used in the UK under rolled fondant or royal icing.

Contact her and ask her if she wants plain, unsweetened almond paste or the sweetened marzipan. Either way, it's going to cost big bucks, because even if you make it yourself, it's costly. It takes a lot of almonds to make a pound of almond paste.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

JaeRodriguez Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:21am
post #3 of 33

I'm thinking she meant almond flavored buttercream? But I'm not too sure or experienced so here's a bump! :] hth a little bit!

pursuing_perfection Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:22am
post #4 of 33

My guess would be that she wants a marzipan layer topped with fondant. Definitely clarify with the customer before you proceed.

cupcakeco Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:25am
post #5 of 33

Hm, interesting. So is the paste really a paste, or is it more of a dough like marzipan?

playingwithsugar Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:27am
post #6 of 33

Almond paste is the base that marzipan is made of. Marzipan is almond paste with sweeteners added.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

pursuing_perfection Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:29am
post #7 of 33

I thought I was the first to reply, but someone beat me to it. I guess we are all thinking Marzipan. Check this link: http://cakecentral.com/cake_recipe-711-2-Marzipan.html
(I have not tried this particular recipe and I am always leary about anything with raw eggs. Perhaps someone out there has a marzipan recipe without the raw eggs.)

I concur that whether you buy it or make it, it is not cheap!

playingwithsugar Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:31am
post #8 of 33

There are recipes for marzipan w/o raw egg on the Net.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

BakingGirl Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:31am
post #9 of 33

Sounds to me like she means marzipan. It is very traditional to use marzipan in Europe, it is often in place of fondant. In the UK it is usually used under the fondant or royal icing, it helps preserve traditional fruitcake. I think it is delicious, much rather eat marzipan than fondant myself. But as other posters have pointed out, it is very pricey on this side of the pond. You could make it yourself but it is a big job! You got to blanch almonds, let them dry, then grind them before mixing with powdered sugar and egg white to make a dough.

chassidyg Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:35am
post #10 of 33

A couple of the cake books I have say to use marzipan under fondant

tonedna Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:41am
post #11 of 33

Sounds to me like marzipan too..Marzipan is like fondant. But is shinier. Used a lot in Europe on fruit cakes too..
Edna icon_smile.gif

krissycupcakes Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:41am
post #12 of 33

ok my teeth hurt just thinking about this!!!!!

Christie_H Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:43am
post #13 of 33

Lindy Smith gives instructions in her books for covering a cake in marzipan, then sugarpaste (rolled fondant). She brushes warm apricot glaze on the cake before the marzipan, then moistens it with a clear spirit before the fondant. As previous posters mentioned, she specifies that these layers are going on a fruit cake but she recommends the usual buttercream under fondant if it's sponge cake.

Sweet_Toof Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 3:48am
post #14 of 33

I'm doing classes at a cake decorating place. I've used, and they sell almond icing (just like fondant, used like fondant, but you can be more rough with it and work it onto the cake a lot harder.. well that's for a fruit cake).
I am assuming this is not available in the U.S? I can get it for you if you can wait long enough for it. Just message me

tonedna Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 4:25am
post #15 of 33

It is available here in FL
Edna icon_smile.gif

cupcakeco Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 4:29am
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christie_H

Lindy Smith gives instructions in her books for covering a cake in marzipan, then sugarpaste (rolled fondant). She brushes warm apricot glaze on the cake before the marzipan, then moistens it with a clear spirit before the fondant. As previous posters mentioned, she specifies that these layers are going on a fruit cake but she recommends the usual buttercream under fondant if it's sponge cake.




Christie, this is great information. If it's possible, could you elaborate? In particular, why is it reccomended that buttercream be used instead when covering a regular cake?

And to everyone else-- thank you so much for your feedback on this. I'll be sure to ask the BTB whether she definitely wants almond paste or if she's mistaking it with marzipan.

Also one last question: a lot of you have mentioned that it is a 'traditional' thing to use the almond paste/marzipan under fondant. Is it more a tradition or could she just simply like the taste?

Again, thanks everyone for your replies!! icon_smile.gif

Christie_H Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 4:47am
post #17 of 33

Lindy doesn't say why but having both layers on is probably heavy and would need a denser cake to support it. She mentions that the marzipan adds to the fruit cake's flavor, seals in moisture, and keeps the fruit from staining the fondant.

I also checked one of Toba Garrett's books and she noted that marzipan isn't as flexible (and usually beige the way it's created in the U.S.) but that adding fondant to it makes it lighter and gives it a creamier taste. If a client didn't want pure white, combining the two and only having to use one layer might be an alternative.

Cakechick123 Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 5:13am
post #18 of 33

in SA, UK and I think AUS a traditional fruit cake is covered in marzipan and fondant (sugarpaste over here icon_smile.gif )
I know a few decorators in South Africa that also puts marzipan over a sponge cake before adding the fondant, you just need to cover the cake in a smooth preverve and then add a THIN layer of marzipan. You can then add the fondant, I would also do it fairly thin unless you have a very dense cake.
HTH

bmarlow001 Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 5:19am
post #19 of 33

I bought that marzipan stuff at HEB a few weeks ago and it was really hard! I can't see it being used as an icing under fondant but then again I am no pro so... I could barely do anything with it, I just threw it away icon_razz.gif I'm interested to know what she is talking about.

tonedna Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 5:45am
post #20 of 33

marzipan is not something you spread like icing, is more the consistency of fondant.
Edna icon_smile.gif

miss_sweetstory Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 6:29am
post #21 of 33

The first cake I ever did was rich fruit cake covered in marzipan and sugarpaste. The marzipan plays multiple roles: it "seals" the cake for freshness, allowing for significant decorating and storage time; it acts as a barrier between the cake and the sugarpaste or royal icing (fruit cakes tend to be moist/sticky because of the fruit and alcohol, any sticky seepage could erode sugarpaste or RI if it was in direct contact); it also provides a smooth surface for the sugarpaste or RI (fruitcake can have a very pitted surface. you normally plug the small holes with bits of marzipan before covering it with the rolled layer or RI).

Although I've heard of people covering sponge cakes with marzipan, I've never seen it. The marzipan and sugarpaste together get heavy and very few sponges, even dense ones, could support the weight.

In the European Union, marzipan must contain a certain percentage of almonds or it can't be called marzipan, otherwise it must be called almond paste. (Check ingredients carefully. Less expensive brands are often made with almond substitutes; e.g., ground apricot stones. ) However, in the UK I hear the terms used interchangeably. Marzipan and almond paste are handled and used the same way. But real marzipan is much more flavorful.

A note about working with marzipan. Knead it until pliable, but don't overwork. Overworking causes the almond oils to start separating out of the dough, and it becomes a bit of a pain! If too hard, give it a 10 second burst in the microwave to soften it up a bit. Marzipan mixed with some Tylo can be used for modeling too!

Does the BTB have British, SA, or Australian roots? Or does someone close to her? She's had it somewhere!

**edited for spelling and it add the "interchangeably" bit

MikeRowesHunny Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 6:48am
post #22 of 33

miss-sweetstory is right. If you want to buy an almond paste that you roll out for covering a cake, you need it to have a 4:1 ratio of sugar to almonds. It is definitely more expensive than fondant! Here in Holland, cakes are routinely covered in marzipan rather than fondant (blergh!). I have a wedding in August where my Dutch couple wanted marzipan on the cake. As they want the cake to be coloured light blue, I recommended a 50/50 mix of fondant & marzipan so I get a lighter coloured base to work with and it will be easier to roll out & use. I offer marzipan as a covering for my cakes, but only by special order (minimum 2 weeks in advance). I don't keep it laying a round just in case, as it has a much shorter shelf-life than fondant (almonds will eventually make it go rancid). As 90% of my customer is expat of some kind or another, fondant, ganache & buttercreams are the mediums I use most!

Bunsen Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 6:58am
post #23 of 33

Exactly what Miss-Sweetstory said!

It is usually only used on fruitcake because of the weight and because that type of cake can take a thick layer of hard icing - it would be overkill on a sponge cake where you want something light and moist!

You will find most of the UK decorators on here will be able to help you out with any questions as it's where most of us start (I'm in Australia but from the UK originally if my location is confusing anyone icon_smile.gif) My suggestion would be to buy a ready made marzipan rather than try to make your own - it's not hard to make but you will end up spending all your profit perfecting your recipe! (I still haven't got it right and I try every year on my Christmas cake!) And do your research before you quote a price to your BTB - it is really expensive to buy enough for a large tiered cake.

miss_sweetstory Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:50am
post #24 of 33

Here is an online resource for marzipan:

http://www.nutsonline.com/nuts/almonds/almond-marzipan.html

You can see how expensive it is... and that price looks a bit cheaper than what I saw it selling for at a cake store in the States last summer.

If your BTB is hoping to provide the marzipan covered cake for a few special family members or something, perhaps you could suggest it be limited to one of the smaller tiers, or a grooms cake. Both from an expense standpoint, and the fact that a lot American guests aren't going to care for it because it is so unfamiliar.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bonjovibabe

(blergh!).




Haven't heard that one before. Is that a Dutch saying? icon_razz.gif

MikeRowesHunny Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 11:28am
post #25 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by miss_sweetstory


Quote:
Originally Posted by bonjovibabe

(blergh!).



Haven't heard that one before. Is that a Dutch saying? icon_razz.gif




Well, it's the thing you'll hear 99% of Expats say when talking about what the Dutch view as 'cakes'!

Auryn Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 11:47am
post #26 of 33

you can get marzipan in bulk for a lot cheaper than at the store.
I though it was actually pretty inexpensive. Something like $40 for 5 lbs with shipping.
Let me find the link and I'll post it.

I looovveeee marzipan, its absolutely amazing.

That being said, when I worked a country club and the pastry chef made all the employee birthday cakes, she would always put a "scroll" of marzipan with the inscription on it. I got to eat the whole thing every time cause no one else (besides the chef) knew what it was and they didn't know you could eat it.
Once they tasted it I had to share cause they all loved it

Caths_Cakes Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 11:57am
post #27 of 33

Im from the UK, and make a lot of fruit cakes. I personally believe she is referrering to marzipan, as its also called almond paste here ( you can buy Nutless almond paste too , more expensive, but just as good )

Honestly, i wouldnt put it on a sponge. i think with the added weight and volume, its going to be OTT on a sponge. it does work wonders mind, its fantastic for getting a beautiful smooth cake before you apply the fondant.

Evoir Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 12:07pm
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by miss_sweetstory

The first cake I ever did was rich fruit cake covered in marzipan and sugarpaste. The marzipan plays multiple roles: it "seals" the cake for freshness, allowing for significant decorating and storage time; it acts as a barrier between the cake and the sugarpaste or royal icing (fruit cakes tend to be moist/sticky because of the fruit and alcohol, any sticky seepage could erode sugarpaste or RI if it was in direct contact); it also provides a smooth surface for the sugarpaste or RI (fruitcake can have a very pitted surface. you normally plug the small holes with bits of marzipan before covering it with the rolled layer or RI).

Although I've heard of people covering sponge cakes with marzipan, I've never seen it. The marzipan and sugarpaste together get heavy and very few sponges, even dense ones, could support the weight.

In the European Union, marzipan must contain a certain percentage of almonds or it can't be called marzipan, otherwise it must be called almond paste. (Check ingredients carefully. Less expensive brands are often made with almond substitutes; e.g., ground apricot stones. ) However, in the UK I hear the terms used interchangeably. Marzipan and almond paste are handled and used the same way. But real marzipan is much more flavorful.

A note about working with marzipan. Knead it until pliable, but don't overwork. Overworking causes the almond oils to start separating out of the dough, and it becomes a bit of a pain! If too hard, give it a 10 second burst in the microwave to soften it up a bit. Marzipan mixed with some Tylo can be used for modeling too!

Does the BTB have British, SA, or Australian roots? Or does someone close to her? She's had it somewhere!

**edited for spelling and it add the "interchangeably" bit





Amen! You said everything I was going to say, especially the bit about NOT overworking it icon_smile.gif

I am interested in what type of cake the BTB wants. For marzipan under fondant/sugarpaste I would expect a fruit cake, or at the very very least a heavy madiera (pound) cake.

cupcakeco Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 2:16pm
post #29 of 33

Thank you so much everyone! All of this feedback is wonderful and so helpful. You've all cleared up quite a bit for me! icon_smile.gif

anabelz01 Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 1:50pm
post #30 of 33

Hi, I'm in the uk and we can get marzipan here for the same sort of price as sugarpaste, quite common really, you can get white or yellow, white is normally a bit more expensice than the yellow. Its not really my cup of tea but if you go to www.squires-shop.com they have some new flavours of marzipan... like hazelnut and orange etc in case anyone wanted any new ideas to try out! some can be put directly onto sponge in place of sugar paste, in their latest newsletter they have a orange and lemon battenburg with the hazelnut and orange marzipan.

Just thought i'd tell y'all about it!

Anna icon_smile.gif

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