Thursday, December 15, 2016

Homemade Marzipan + Double Dark Chocolate Marzipan Truffles

As promised in our Easy Delicious Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen post, here is how I make marzipan.  It's far easier than you might think and homemade is an excellent option for value (marzipan can be unavailable or hard to source in some locations and also rather expensive).  You can also customise it to your your own personal preferences. Want it a little sweeter? Softer? Traditional? Vegan? The world is your marzipan oyster. :)  Traditional marzipan uses egg whites as a moistener/binder, but I'm not so comfortable with the whole raw egg white thing in my homemade treats, so my marzipan is vegan-friendly. Since glucose syrup is very sweet, my marzipan is a little higher in almond meal compared to some homemade marzipans, which are often 50-50 mixes.

Homemade (Egg-Free | Vegan) Marzipan

2.5 cups almond meal (super fine will create the smoothest texture, if you can find it)
2 cups icing/confectioners sugar
Approximately 2 tbsp glucose syrup*
1/2 tbsp almond extract (optional)
1 tsp rosewater (optional)
warm water

Scale volumes to suit. Sift or sieve the almond meal and confectioners sugar (optional, but helps separate out any clumps) into a large mixing bowl and stir to thoroughly combine.  Add the glucose syrup, almond extract, and rosewater and work through by hand to thoroughly and evenly combine. Thick sticky glucose syrup isn't very measurement friendly, but a spoon and a calibrated eyeball is close enough for making marzipan. At this stage, it will be a very dry crumby mix. Starting first with 1 tbsp warm water and adding very small increments from there, slowly rub/mix the water in by hand until it becomes a very firm smooth dough.  Hand form into a log (or multiple logs), wrap tightly in cling film, and refrigerate.  Once thoroughly chilled, use it for homemade candies, baking, or divide and roll into smaller logs for gifting. 

*I like using glucose syrup as its super thick, an excellent moistener/binder for the marzipan, and doesn't carry a tinting colour or flavor to take away from the marzipany goodness.  Sure, it's not good for you, but neither is a boatload of confectioners sugar. These are treats, after all! Other sugary syrups like corn syrup, golden syrup, maple syrup, etc can work as well if you prefer, but you may get a little darker marzipan and/or some subtle flavour hints - especially if you go for maple. Some recipes skip the moistener altogether and just use water but, unlike "real" egg white marzipans or those made with syrupy substitutes, these will rapidly dry out so I don't recommend that method. I find the syrup + water method above to be a good compromise for texture and sweetness.

One of my favourite things to do with marzipan is to tint it with food colouring and make little hand-formed decorations with it for Christmas cakes and such - it's just like working with clay...only tastier. :)  Small rolled and wrapped logs of homemade marzipan also make great presents for family, friends, neighbours, hosts/hostesses, etc. As shared in our Easy Delicious Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen post, I used some of my latest batch of marzipan to make Double Dark Chocolate Marzipan Truffles.  Here are some delicious ideas for using your homemade marzipan...I can't decide which one(s) to make this Christmas holidays. What do you think I should try? They all look so good!  Do you have your own favourite tasty marzipan treat recipe?  Let us know in the comments! :)

Clockwise from upper left:

We're on a special holiday posting schedule this month, with a Christmas share for you ever weekday between now and the start of our offline holidays, with DIY decorations, wrapping, treats, and more.  Yay! Stay tuned for more! 

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