I have a cake to do for a 90th b-day. The grandmother doesn't like buttercream icing or anything chocolate, but likes marzipan. I know it seems to be uncommon but I thought I may give it a try. I am at a loss on what to do and also looking for a little more info on marzipan, and I can't find a thing. Any ideas, info is appreciated. I was trying to figure out if marzipan can be used to cover a cake?? I thought I could do a small 4-6" cake for her and then maybe cupcakes for the rest of the guests b/c most people I don't believe would like marzipan. I specialize in cupcakes and at times I do a feature cake for the top of the cupcake tower and then cupcakes, and I think that concept may work and please both the birthday girl and the guests........Any thoughts appreciated
I think that's a great idea. In the olden days and I'm sure it's still done commonly but overseas--they would wrap a layer of marzipan over the cake then the fondant--often over fruitcake. I don't even know why they used all that. It tastes pretty good --helps seal it too I guess.
Anyhow I think that's a great idea. Marzipan totally rocks.
It rolls like fondant kinda --doesn't have the exact same stretch.
When I think of marzipan I think of modeling something. It takes color like crazy. You could decorate her cake with little flowers or fruits & stuff. You could make ribbon and a bow. Marzipan sets up beautifully.
I can't remember ever covering a cake with it myself--but while it is uncommon especially in the US it is pure cake deco tradition.
I can tell you that it's a dream to model with--I've made marzipan candies for people, and they came out BEAUTIFULLY. I made apples, oranges, and peaches, and making up little nut cups of them. Working with it reminded me more of working with chocolate clay than with fondant, personally, but you could make flowers with them and everything.
Also I have definitely heard that you can cover a cake with it, though I've never tried it myself. Apparently there is a strong Hispanic tradition of it, or at least that's what the girl in my class last semester said. She was from El Salvador, and she told me that the last time she'd had marzipan was on a fruit cake and she loved it and...lots of thanks, so I gather she hasn't had it in a while.
If you need ideas of where to get it, well, my local grocery store carries it, as well as my cake decorating store. ...the same brand, actually. Odense, I believe it was.
Thanks for the ideas and info. When I first got the request my first thought of marzipan was the small candies that you guys had mentioned. I know that they are typically seen in Europe, not as much in the U.S. I feel that given this party is for 50 people I am not so sure eveyone would be onboard with marzipan and I feel a feature 6" cake and then cupcakes with buttercream would please the entire crowd. I am going to look around this week for more ideas and I thought the feture cake could be some type of dense spice cake (I read that you need a denser cake to hold the weight of marzipan). and the cupcakes could be iced in butter cream and maybe with a marzipan flower/fruit??? Thanks again and I will look for more ideas
Yes, marzipan is commonly used to cover fruitcakes in the UK - it's the traditional wedding and christmas cake. It can be heavy as you can't roll it as thin as fondant, but is similar to work with in many ways. A dense cake works best - it tastes of almonds so any flavour that would complement that would work. Most UK or Aussie bakers will have experience with marzipan so shout up if you have any more questions!
marzipan is those little fruits, but can be shaped into anything just like fondant. It's pretty easy to make too. If she likes marzipan, she would probably like an almond flavored cake or filling since that is basically what marzipan is made of.
My DH and his family are marzipan freaks and they love WASC and tose little almond flavored petit fours. Little marzipan shaped decorations on top of your cupcakes would be nice.
If you have Cost Plus World Market, they have great marzipan (or had - bought a ton on sales after New Years, exp. date was Oct. 2009, and I finished it in May). Very tasty, very pliable, very easy to work with, but in TINY packages, you do need to buy a lot and without the sale it is quite pricey. I've seen marzipan at Whole Foods and at Trader Joe's but haven't bought any yet. If you're up for the task you could make your own with almond flour (at Trader Joe's) or almond paste (Whole Foods) but I have not ventured into it. Searching through for pics of a 3-tier 'death by chocolate' and 'plain vanilla' cake I had covered solely in marzipan, will upload shortly if I find it.
Update: found it, uploaded Gotham City
I think the idea of doing a small cake with marzipan is a good one. Marzipan is pretty expensive, at least here, so enough to cover a big cake could be pretty expensive.
The reason that it traditionally went over fruit cake was to seal in any dark liquid that might escape from the fruit cake, so that the liquid could't reach the royal icing and melt it. Now fondant is used more often than royal because it's easier to cut, but the marzipan is still used underneath if it's a fruit cake. (The only cake decorating books the library here had were the classic British ones, so I've read a lot about it )
Anyhow, you can make your own marizpan if you need very much of it. Almond meal or almond flour can be used for it. You can find it at the natural foods store or sometimes the grocery store. I usually add powdered sugar, corn syrup, amaretto and almond extract when I make it.
I have recipe for "false marzipan fondant" - I love the taste, it is close to the marzipan, but it is more flexible just like fondant, so great for covering cakes. I am using this for covering cakes, but the color is not pure white, more like Ivory color. If you are interested in this recipe, pm me. This recipe is commonly use in Czech for making fondant cakes.