Marzipan pops in a box
Marzipan( /ˈmɑː.zɪ.pæn/ ) is also called almond candy dough. (Almond lover’s dream ) Basically it’s almond paste, traditionally made with ground almonds, sugar and egg white. But I had all the thoughts to make my Marzipan egg less, low-fat, and with less sugar, wholesome and with all the goodness of healthy almonds.
A good flavorsome Marzipan is normally made with equal parts of almonds and sugar. Adding less sugar was the idea; but at the same time I was not willing to compromise on the taste of the final made Marzipan. I went with my baker’s instinct and used different healthy options like dried Cranberries, dried Plums, and dried Figs. Ta. . .da . . .These all worked wonderfully;
1. The dried cranberries/plums/figs acted as the binder in the place of egg white.
2. This beautifully enhanced the flavor even though there was less sugar.
3. I am not bothered of overindulgence, it’s a healthy version of Marzipan.
The only problem; I see here is that the traditional Marzipan is smooth in the texture and adding all these dry fruits changed the texture of my Marzipan. All these pictures you see here have a bite to them, but a delicious bite. At the same time I feel adding dry fruits like cranberries and dry plums gave a beautiful contrast to the nutty sweet almond flavor. It became more addictive; I just can’t stop eating.
These are the cute little Marzipan pops. A treat for the kids and their friends; and I wanted to keep them bite size, so easy to pop in the mouth, absolutely no fuss. Covering with chocolate makes the Marzipan very inviting for the kids. If you have fussy eaters at home, such heathy disguised foods will be a great help.
Aside from being dipped in the chocolate, Marzipan can also be shaped into various shapes and figures. Christmas Cakes are incomplete without a layer of Marzipan. Marzipan is also incorporated into many delicious baked goods. Making your own fresh Marzipan at home whenever needed will be a great idea. The best part of making Marzipan at home is that the recipe and the process is extremely easy and forgiving.
Just go through these points written down :
1. With good quality almonds you will make great tasting Marzipan. Don’t use any old packet of almonds kept deep inside your kitchen cabinet. Or you can use same quantity of almond meal. That will save you some work of (peeling the almonds). But don’t forget to check on the expiry date on the packet before you buy.
2. Making Marzipan with almonds and sugar alone will be difficult. So we will need some binder to get the dough consistency out of almond. Options are egg white, corn syrup, rosewater, lemon juice, maple syrup. One gracefully wonderful lady; ( I call her Pummy Aunty – An amazing person and a fantastic cook ) once had made Marzipan using rum, which I think will be a great idea too. You can try any of these as binders for your marzipan.
3. Marzipan is flexible, it can be softened by adding a small amount of binder. And if too soft additional powder sugar can be added to stiffen it.
4. You can use marzipan when made immediately but I think keeping in the fridge for some time is good idea when you want to shape the Marzipan dough.
5. Marzipan can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for couple of months. But I suggest make small batch every time you need it for a recipe. It’s easy to make and fresh made is much better.
1. 2 Cups of blanched almonds
2. 2/3rd cup of sugar
3. 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
4. 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
5.1/4th cup of cranberries
7. 1/4th cup of dried plums deseeded
8. Dry figs finally chopped
9. 100 gm of chocolate melted
Dip the almonds overnight in water. Then deskin the almonds in the morning and wipe on a clean kitchen towel. Grind the almonds in a food processor or in a coffee grinder till you get fine flour.
Add the sugar into the processor and mix using pulse button. Add in the lemon juice and almond extract. Mix all the ingredients together until the mixture starts to stick together.
Dust some powdered sugar on the kitchen work surface and put the almond mix over it. Begin to knead the Marzipan with hand till smooth.
Wrap the Marzipan in plastic and keep in the fridge for some time. Take the dough out and divide the dough into the parts according to the number of flavors you want. I divided the Marzipan into 4 parts using a bench scraper. Put one portion of the dough into the food processor along with the choice of dry fruit and pulse it couple of times, till fully incorporated.
You can chill the dough again or start to roll the balls, depending on the consistency. Keeping in the fridge will harden the Marzipan dough. Once the balls are ready dip them each in melted chocolate (use a double boiler to melt). Let the chocolate dipped balls sit on parchment paper t dry out.
I have rolled some of my Marzipan pops with coconut, but don’t think it’s a good idea. Because I think it interferes with the rich almond flavor. You can give it a try, if you are a coconut fan.
These flavored Marzipan pops will make a beautiful gift. Enjoy ! a power packed healthy and delicious indulgence.