Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas marzipan recipe

 

I love Christmas!

Well, I guess I like the romantic notion of Christmas – cold winter days, candlelit dinners, lovely food, roaring fires, spending time with family & friends  – but ever so often reality looks slightly different. With Christmas around the corner, stress levels build up to make it all so perfect. We run around town to find the perfect gift, we spend a whole lot of money that we don’t have and by the end of it we are so exhausted that if something doesn’t go according to plan we snap at each other and eventually melt into tears.

Last year, I made a conscious effort to relax a bit more and not try to tick every single Christmas box there is. And the same I intend to do this year.

Instead of expensive presents, I get creative and make things – photos collages and calendars are always beautiful presents and they are made to last. I invite friends for dinner and spend quality time with them. Last year I had eight friends over and I made home-made chicken liver pate on toasted brioche which went down a treat with a few glasses of bubbles at the beginning of the meal!

This year, I am doing more baking & cooking to surprise my loved ones. Food brings people together and can say more than thousand words.

I want to share one of my recipes with you which takes less than 30 mins to make and looks great under the Christmas tree.

German Marzipan Recipe

I made my own marzipan for the first time at one of my pop ups in 2015 and ever since I get asked for my recipe. Well, here it is 🙂

Marzipan is very popular in Germany all year round. During the Christmas time, it is common to give marzipan in the shape of a bread, which is called ‘Marzipanbrot’ or small potatoes ‘Marzipankartoffeln’. Another tradition is a Glücksschwein (‘lucky pig’) on New Years Eve.

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Historically, Marzipan is a specialty of the Hanseatic League port towns. In particular the city of Lübeck in the north of Germany, has a proud and long-standing tradition of marzipan manufacture and you will find the German Niederegger Marzipan in most shops these days.

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Marzipan is so delicious and quick to make at home. You can add it to cakes and cookies, make decoration for cakes or simply enjoy it on its own.  I love recipes that allow for modifications. You can add anything to the mix – nuts, chocolate, spices, colourings, you name it.

I made some Marzipankartoffel the other day with dark chocolate coating and inside it had a roasted almond. I wrapped them up nicely and gave them as a present. It was a winner

Here is how it goes 

Makes ten to 15 little marzipan balls

Ingredients

1 cup of ground almonds
1 cup of icing sugar
1 egg white
2 table spoons of pure almond extract
1 table spoon of rose water 

For the filling & coating

100gr of dark chocolate (80%)
Whole almonds

3 table spoons of icing sugar
1/2 table spoons of cinnamon

Preparation

  • Add the ground almonds, almond extract, rose water, icing sugar and egg white together in a bowl. Use your clean hands to kneed the dough until all the ingredients are well mixed together. No need to get the whisker out.

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  • Refrigerate the dough for 15 mins.
  • After 15 mins remove the marzipan from the fridge and form little balls or squares with your hands (any shape goes really). Place one whole almond in the middle when shaping the dough (optional)

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  • Prepare the chocolate. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and place into a heatproof bowl.
  • Sit over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Ensure no hot water gets into the chocolate.
  • Cover the marzipan shapes with chocolate and allow to cool on a flat surface. You can also use cocoa powder for coating, which is less messy and equally delicious.
  • Mix the icing sugar an cinnamon and sieve over the cooled chocolate marzipans.

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Done! 

Eat straight away, wrap up nicely as a present or serve at the end of your meal with coffee & teas.

Enjoy your Christmas and don’t forget..

Christmas is not be about the size of the turkey, the quality of champagne or the amount of presents under the Christmas tree. It is the time to be with family and friends, cherish the moments we have together and appreciate the simple things in life that we often take for granted.

x

 

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