Does anyone cover their cakes w/ Marzipan? I know it's popular in Europe, but wondered if anyone in the States used it. If so, do you like it?
I had an internship in England a few years back I used marzipan all the time on fruit cake and than it was covered with fondant overtop. Here in North America it's not really common for fruit cake to be serve at the wedding. First off marzipan is really really pricing (99 dollar per 5 kilo) but there are some decorators who to half and half with fondant keaded into it or decorate with marzipan fruits.
My word! Why is Marzipan so expensive? Is that to buy it ready made, or also to make it yourself?
marzipan is so expensive because of the almonds in it. But...
there are different kind of consistencies of marzipan, marzipan in those little chocolats (we call it bonbon, I don't know the english name ) are 1 part almonds and 1 part of sugar, this kind of marzipan is expensive. The best marzipan to cover cakes is 1 part almonds and 3 parts of sugar, this marzipan is more flexible and smooth, you can see it on my cakes, most of the time I use marzipan to cover. A common price for this kind of marzipan is 85euro for 14 kilo's.
I've used marzipan before. I'm originally from Europe so I grew up eating a lot of marzipan. I love the taste, it's much much tastier and not as sweet as fondant. But it is pretty tricky to work with. It's not as forgiving as fondant, it has almost no stretch to it and it's a pain to cover an entire cake with it. But I have some silicon molds for decorations and marzipan is much easier to use for many decorations. It doesn't stick to the cavities of some molds and comes out very easily.
It is pricey, but I bought a 5lb block from Amazon and the price wasn't too bad, I think around $30. But the taste was horrible! And you since marzipan is made from almonds, it's never white. I've tried making my own, and it tasted great, but I had a problem with texture, I couldn't get the almonds ground all the way, so you could see the grainy texture when I used darker colors to color it.
I live in the UK and I now use marzipan on all my cakes, bethey sponge or fruit. I think that it gives a great finish to the fondant and once you have managed to cover a cake with it you will probably delighted with the end result. I'm not sure why it's so expensive in the US. Probably because not many people use it
Very interesting info from those of you in Europe. Thank you! Do either of you have a recipe for making marzipan from scratch? I'm wondering if a coffee grinder would get the almonds into small enough pieces.....
Marzipan is really easy to make and kind of fun, at least for me
First you need to buy raw almonds, Nob Hill is a supermarket in my area that sells raw almonds by pound and they're about $5 o $6 a lb.
Put them in a bowl and boil some water. Pour the hot water over the almonds and cover the bowl for about a minute. Rinse the almonds and pop them out of their skins. That's the most time consuming part, but I actually enjoyed it
After that I was just grinding them in a spice grinder, but you can do it in the coffee grinder as well. The almonds do not seem completely dry when I do it, so maybe it would help if you pop them in the oven for few minutes to toast them a bit. That way the grinder would probably be able to do a better job.
After that put the ground almonds, powdered sugar and some pasteurized egg whites into food processor and pulse it until smooth paste forms.
Here is a recipe as well, but I always eyeball it. I like it more nutty and less sugary and I always use powdered sugar and skip the cream of tartar and add some almond extract, it gives the marzipan a really nice taste.
2 cups granulated sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
4 cups ground almonds (or almond meal)
2 egg whites
Powdered sugar for dusting
As you can see, it's very basic and really easy to do.
Sorry, here is the link to the full recipe. http://candy.about.com/od/nougatmarzipancandy/r/Basicmarzipan.htm
It's very different from what I do, but the quantaties should be the same, just the method is different. And if you don't boil it, definately use powdered sugar for the food processor.
Thank you SO MUCH for those Marzipan recipes! I need to buy almonds, and then want to try it. Even as a child, I remember looking at marzipan fruit on top of cakes that was coated in sugar and being fascinated by it. Thanks again!