I have a bride who wants marzipan on a vanilla sponge cake, but does not want the color of it showing through. She also does not want fondant. Is it possible to cover the marzipan with buttercream and not have any issues with it? (I have never worked with marzipan, but she is adamant about trying it.)
I've never done buttercream over marzipan, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. That's going to be very rich and very sweet. I would suggest marzipan in between the layers so it's not as rich. When working with marzipan, it's not as soft and elastic as fondant. It's stiffer and stickier and it can tear if you roll it too thin.
Personally, I wouldn't do it. Marzipan is used on heavy fruit cakes, not on sponge. It's to cover the uneven surface of the fruit cake so that the surface icing--either royal or rolled fondant--will be smooth.
Good marzipan is expensive and can be oily. Depending on the buttercream recipe, it could easily degrade it from the underside and create a deflated, weepy sponge cake. Honestly, there's no good reason to put it under the buttercream.
Some people get really screwy ideas and then try to foist them on the baker. And those people never fail to be the first ones to create a scene when it doesn't work out like the fantasy in their head.
What she said. May put between the layers.
Great points. I'd never heard of anyone using it on a sponge cake. I will be trying out a recipe tomorrow, and if it goes well, I'll tell her it can be used in between layers. To me, I think it would just be a strange addition to a sponge cake.
She made a couple of other requests that I know would not hold up on a tiered, decorated cake (at least in Florida), like cream cheese frosting and white chocolate buttercream. So this will be an interesting tasting/consultation.
Have any of you guys made your own marzipan? If so, are there any tips you would have?
For marzipan, I would use pre-ground almonds instead of trying to grind them yourself. My food processor can never get them ground finely enough and the heat and friction cause the almonds to start to leach their oils. Almond flour is drier than using freshly ground nuts so you may need to add more sugar syrup or egg white (whatever the recipe is calling for) to get a workable consistency.