There are many homemade marzipan recipes to make this delicious treat at home.
But what is marzipan? In short, it's a paste that contains equal parts ground almonds and sugar. Usually, you would add an ingredient to help bind the mixture of almonds and sugar in the base. These ingredients are generally water, egg white, some honey, or a mixture of them.
How To Make Marzipan
This easy marzipan recipe calls for almonds, sugar, and egg to bind. You can find eggless recipes online easily, with just a quick google.
- 250 g of raw ground almonds
- 250 g icing sugar
- 1 medium egg white
If you can grind the almonds at home, it is much better; it can be done with Thermomix or a powerful blender. It will always be cooler and will absorb less liquid.
Weigh equal amounts of the ground almonds (also called almond meal or almond flour) and the sugar and mix them well.
Add the egg white, mix it in and then knead the mixture by hand until it becomes a smooth and manageable paste. If you have Thermomix, you can also do this very comfortably with the kneading/spike function.
The dough should be tacky but not stick excessively to your hands. If it is too sticky, it means that the egg white was too much, and we solve this by adding a little more almond and sugar in equal parts. If, on the other hand, the dough is a bit dry, you can always add a little bit of water. The sign that it is dry is that it cracks too much when handled.
Wrap it in plastic and let it rest for half an hour so that everything can hydrate through.
Once the homemade marzipan dough has had a chance to rest, we have to cut it into small pieces and knead it into figures to our liking. A very popular option is making it into marzipan fruits: delicious and adorable, typical of Southern Italy.
Different Marzipan recipes and variations around the world
In Spain, it is a traditional Christmas dessert. In Toledo, they shape marzipan into small animals and sometimes fill them with egg yolk and sugar. In Greece and Cyprus, marzipan is made in a variety of shapes and sizes and is almost always white. In the islands of the Aegean in particular, white marzipan is a popular wedding treat. In Malta, marzipan is the filling in the traditional Maltese Easter treats Figolla.
In Germany, it is common to give marzipan in the shape of a loaf of bread, called "Marzipanbrot", during Christmas time or shaped as small potatoes (Marzipankartoffeln). Austria is a famous exporter of Mozartkugel: marzipan balls dipped in dark chocolate.
Here in the UK, everyone associates marzipan with fruitcakes, Christmas cake, Simnel cake and of course, delicious Battenberg Cake.
In Denmark, Sweden and Norway, it is customary to snack on marzipan pigs around Christmas, marzipan shaped as eggs around Easter, and Kransekage on New Year's Eve.
In Syria, marzipan has the flavour of orange-flower water and the shape of roses and other delicate flowers before baking. They also have marzipan recipes calling for oatmeal or semolina.
Latin America marzipan recipe
In many areas of Latin American mazapán is generally made with peanuts - which I think sounds fantastic!
In Goa, the recipe for marzipan calls for cashew nuts and is traditional in making Easter treats. In Mumbai, the East Indians mould their cashew nut-based or almond-based marzipan into different shapes for Christmas and into marzipan eggs, chickens and bonnets for Easter.
In the Philippines, marzipan was brought from Spain, mazapán de pili is made from pili nuts.