Easy Marzipan Recipe with Almond Paste

Take a look at these colorful little beauties. Aren't they the sweetest? Yes, these pretty, pastel marzipan flowers scream 'Hello Spring' and are the perfect Lilliputian confection to grace your Easter table this year. 

Marzipan candy, maçapão confection, mazapan, Easter marzipan flowers with almond paste, Christmas kuswar sweets

They are just so darling you won't want to stop admiring them.  And when you do finally eat one and savor the sweet, slightly nutty marzipan texture, you will have a terribly hard time stopping with just one.

The best part is that they are so easy to make.


THE HARD WAY TO MAKE MARZIPAN

In the good old days, making marzipan from scratch was a real laborious labor of love- a science to make the marzipan and an art to color and fashion the beautiful flowers and fruits.

Almonds had to be blanched before peeling away the skin. This would be followed by grinding the almonds with sugar and egg whites. And then cooking the paste down slowly at the right temperature, for the right length of time, to the right consistency. Much too difficult for me; in my crystal ball I could clearly see too much going wrong in my kitchen.


Marzipan candy, maçapão confection, mazapan, Easter marzipan flowers with almond paste, Christmas kuswar sweets made with Wilton silicone flower mold.
Just imagine these juicy marzipan melting in your mouth! Mmmmm...

THE EASY WAY TO MAKE MARZIPAN

So, for years I just savored other people's home made marzipans with no intention of ever making them. Until, I discovered ready-made, easily available 'almond paste' that was the perfect base to make marzipan.

The ingredients in SOLO Almond paste (gluten free) are pure and simple... blanched almonds, sugar and water. It makes things so much easier. I love it when someone else has already done all the hard work. Traditionalists might scoff... but I embrace these short cuts.

I would say the only downside of using pre-made almond paste is that it's so terribly delicious that I just couldn't stop myself from popping pieces into my mouth on the pretext of 'tasting' how the marzipan was coming along.

This recipe does use raw egg whites. If you are concerned about consuming raw eggs, then consider substituting it with pasteurized egg whites instead.

In my recipe, I actually used much less sugar than most other marzipan recipes call for. My ratio of almond paste to sugar is 2:1, whereas the ratio in other recipes is 1:2.

The result is that while I might not get as many flowers, my marzipan flowers are not overly sweet. Also, they tend to be richer since the almond content in each flower is higher. 

All said and done, this is a really sweet, rich confection that's meant to be savored in small portions. 

Marzipan candy, maçapão confection, mazapan, Easter marzipan flowers with almond paste, Christmas kuswar sweets made with Wilton silicone flower mold.
In India, marzipan sweets most commonly feature on 'kuswar' trays during Christmas, but are also relished during Easter festivities. It's definitely a confection for a special occasion.


HOW TO MAKE MARZIPAN FLOWERS WITH ALMOND PASTE


INGREDIENTS:

☐ One package of SOLO Pure Almond Paste (gluten free)- 8oz or 227g.
☐ 125g confectioner's sugar + more for working as needed
☐ 1 medium egg white beaten 
(Note: You may not end up using the entire egg white)
☐ 1 drop of almond essence 
☐ Food coloring
☐ Oil to grease the mold
☐ Silicone flower mold 


METHOD:


Step 1: Make the marzipan

1. Crumble the almond paste with your fingers. Add the sugar and using your finger tips mix the sugar into the almond paste.

2. Add the egg white, a little at a time, and mix well until it all comes together to form a ball. 

        Important: You may not need to use all the egg white.

3. Dust the work surface with powdered sugar and  knead the marzipan dough lightly to evenly incorporate the sugar and egg white to create a smooth, pliable dough.

If the dough is a bit too tacky, sprinkle in a bit more powdered sugar until the dough becomes manageable to work with. There's no real science nor absolutely precise measurements required here. A little more sugar won't make a big difference to the outcome of the marzipan. It will still taste sweet and delicious.


Step 2: Dye the marzipan

Pinch off a small portion of marzipan, roll it into a ball and then flatten it into a disk. Add a drop of food coloring into the center of the disk and then with your finger tips fold the edges of the disk into the center. Keep folding from the outer edges into the center until the entire portion of marzipan becomes colored. Following this method, will prevent your fingers from getting stained... too much. 

    Note: Use the food color sparingly as a drop goes a long way. For small portions, a drop of food coloring can be too much. Instead, use a toothpick to draw out some of the dye from the bottle to color your marzipan.

Create a couple of different colored marzipan balls, but always retain the largest portion of marzipan uncolored. This is because if the dyed marzipan balls turn out to be darker or brighter in color than you might like, you can always create your desired pastel shade by working in a little uncolored marzipan. 

    Note: As you work, cover the portions of marzipan that you are not using with cling film to prevent them from drying out.


Step 3: Fill the flower molds

To create flowers of a single color, pinch off a piece of dyed marzipan, roll it into a ball and press it into the greased mold.

To create multi colored flowers, I pinch off pieces of colored dough in different sizes, roll each into a ball, flatten slightly and layer one onto the other into a little tower. 

How to make colored marzipan, dyeing marzipan into colors.

Then I turn the tower upside down into the lightly greased mold and press down gently to spread the marzipan into the mold. Any excess can be scraped away with a knife.

Pop the mold into the refrigerator for a few minutes to allow the oils in the marzipan to firm up a little bit. Then gently peel the silicon mold to release the marzipan flowers.

Store the marzipan flowers in an airtight container in the refrigerator to prevent them from drying out and absorbing any fridge odors.


Marzipan candy, maçapão confection, mazapan, Easter marzipan flowers with almond paste, Christmas kuswar sweets made with Wilton silicone flower mold.


SOME INTERESTING TIT BITS ABOUT MARZIPAN


These bite size delights, with their origins in Persia, are popular all over the world. Germany is well-known for it's famous Lübeck marzipan. In Spain, they are called mazapán and traditionally eaten around Christmas time. In Italy, marzapane are also made for Christmas, as well as for All Soul's Day. And in Portugal, particularly in the Algarve region, maçapão are shaped into exquisite fruits, vegetables, flowers, animals and fish.

It is said that the Portuguese introduced maçapão to India. With cashew nuts more prevalent in India, some Indian varieties are prepared with cashew nuts instead of almonds. Marzipan in India holds a prominent place on the 'kuswar' trays of Christian families during Christmas. Fashioned into tiny little fruits and vegetables, and sometimes flavored with rose water, they are most commonly prepared by the Christian East Indian, Goan, Mangalorean, Keralite and Anglo-Indian communities. 

I end this post with a photo I took through a bakery window, when I was in Portugal for Easter a couple of years ago. A tray full of tiny maçapão- easter eggs, strawberries and carrots. How lovely! But don't miss the mice, pigs and little babies. How charming! 

Portuguese Algarve maçapão sweets with amendoa licor, Easter marzipan in Portugal, babies, mice, eggs, strawberries

Marzipan inspiration for another day...

Explore my other recipes by clicking on either the "ANGLO INDIAN" category or the all "RECIPES" category below.



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