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How to make homemade Marzipan this Christmas

Looking for an easy home-made Christmas Marzipan recipe? Marzipan is one of those simple recipes that not only taste divine, but is also quick to make. Learn how to prepare marzipan in your own kitchen and surprise your family and guests this Christmas. Try the vegetarian and egg based versions of this all time favourite.

December is here and the smell of plum cake, cookies and puddings is already wafting through my home. It is nostalgia time once again, as I painstakingly prepare all the Christmas goodies, just the way my mother used to. The only difference being I have modern gadgets to help me. Thankfully, no more long hours of beating the eggs and mixing the batter till the wrist ached.

With all the baking nearly done it is time to prepare an all-time Christmas favourite of mine, Marzipan.

What is marzipan?

Marzipan can best be described as a sweet, with multiple uses. Pastry chefs have been using it for centuries to decorate cakes and also use it as filling. It goes into Stollen, a traditional German Christmas cake. It makes a perfect base for rich royal icing or fondant and can be used independently too. While the delectable confectionary makes the perfect icing for plum puddings, it also makes a great stand-alone sweat. And I love it that way.

The texture of Marzipan is like soft dough that can be easily moulded into shapes quite easily. Marzipan is traditionally prepared using almonds, but it can also be made with cashew nuts. Both preparations taste heavenly, and melt in the mouth, giving a burst of sweet, nutty flavour. I personally prefer the cashew based marzipan, because that is how I have grown up eating it.

Marzipan is prepared differently in different regions. Some recipes involve cooking on a fire, while others involve the use of raw ingredients. Mom always made two varieties of marzipan; one the traditional way with egg, and an eggless variant for vegetarian guests who'd call on us, during the festive season.

Both recipes are quite simple. You do not require major culinary skills to master the art of making marzipan.

Eggless Marzipan Recipe

So, here's an irresistible eggless marzipan recipe. Try it this festive season, you are definitely going to get many compliments and innumerable requests for the recipe.

You will need the following ingredients

  • Cashew nuts – 1 ½ cups or 1 ½ cups blanched almonds
  • Sugar – 1 ½ cups
  • Food colour – To your liking
  • A few drops almond essence

How to make Marzipan

Here is a step-by-step guide to making the perfect marzipan -

  • Run the cashew nuts or blanched almonds in a blender, to make a smooth paste. Make sure the texture is smooth and not grainy
  • Melt sugar in a heavy bottomed pan on medium flame. Stirring occasionally to ensure it does not caramelize. We want the sugar melted, not changing colour
  • Turn the flame to low and stir in the cashew/almond paste into the melted sugar
  • Cook the mixture on a low flame till it forms a homogenised mix. Continue stirring, we don't want the paste to burn
  • Turn off the flame, once the sugar and cashew/almond paste begin moving in a mass
  • Remove the pan off the fire, and set it down to cool
  • It is now time to add the colours and the almond essence. Take a little of the mix each time and mix in the food colour
  • Wear gloves as the colour can stain your hands, particularly the nails.
  • Press the marzipan into moulds or use your bare hands to shape the marzipan into desired shapes as shown in the image below.

Home made Marzipan

Traditional Marzipan Recipe with Egg White

The recipe requires the following ingredients –

    Fine almond meal or cashew powder – 1 cup
  • Icing sugar – 2 cups
  • Almond essence – ½ tsp
  • Lightly whisked egg white
  • Food grade colour

Method to prepare the marzipan

There is no cooking required.

  • Make a very fine paste of the cashew/almond powders. They need to be very fine, so the marzipan binds together
  • Sieve the cashew/almond powder and icing sugar to ensure no lumps remain
  • Add almond essence to the mixture
  • Separte an egg white from a whole egg and use it to knead the powders. You do not need to roll and press the mix - knead it very gently
  • Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for ½ hour.
  • Divide the marzipan into portions and add colours of your choice
  • Get creative and shape the marzipan in attractive designs or use moulds to shape them

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Author: Ashok Goyal07 Dec 2014 Member Level: Gold   Points : 4

Marzipan, the very name watered my mouth as I am fond of eating sweet preparations full of dry fruits. But for my limitations due to diabetes, I will like to crush almonds, Pishtows embedded in desi ghee ki pinni. Marzipan, a confectionary consisting primarily of honey and almond meal, sometimes augmented with almond oil or extract is my best sought after dry fruit preparation in the winter season if permitted by my family physician. If you have no restrictions then I will like you to enjoy the delicious confectionery this Christmas.

Author: Juana08 Dec 2014 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

Thank you for reading the recipe and leaving a comment. I have since updated the page and added a newer version to the list.

I see that you got your information from wikipedia. That marzipan is a confectionary consisting primarily of honey is news to me. I have never come across a marzipan recipe using honey.

My opinion is that honey has a distinct flavour of its own which can mar the taste of the marzipan.

Nuts are supposed to be healthy. The only thing we need to be watchful of is the amount we eat, as they are also high in calories.

Pistachios taste good only when they are salted. At least I like them that way.

Guest Author: jo14 Feb 2015

Hi. I have tried the eggless recipe but after I made fruits n stored it in a box they started sweating in a few days.. any
Idea why did I do something incorrectly

Author: Juana17 Feb 2015 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 4

Hi, The nuts change their property and release oil when they are ground. This is what makes them sweat. Also since the nuts are ground the shelf life reduces. They (marzipan) don't stay good for long.

I generally make marzipan in small batches and do not refrigerate it - it gets devoured before the mold gets to it.

However, I make a larger batch during Christmas and Easter when I expect friends and family calling on us. This I refrigerate; without shaping. Each day I take out a small quantity and let it stand for half a day at room temperature, before shaping it. It does sweat; and I think it's the solidified fat from the nuts that oozes out. To stop the sweating I gently knead the marzipan before shaping it. This works well.

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