Q. I love marzipan, but I wonder if it’s better if you make it yourself? I mainly don’t like the fact that there is corn syrup in the ingredients list; I’d rather make it without. Are there recipes for it? — M.W.
My first thought was “why would you want to – you can buy it ready made?” But, maybe, really, it would be even more delectable if it were made fresh. And, there’s the corn syrup issue. Marzipan is, basically, candy made from ground almonds, sugar, egg whites and a little cream of tartar. This recipe comes from About.com, and tells us that using this base, you can color, flavor or form it into shapes, dip it in chocolate, use it in recipes, etc.
The version below is cooked, but you can also make an uncooked version. Check this link.
Just a bit of trivia: Marzipan is popular throughout the world, and many countries have their own signature ways of using it. The German city of Lubeck, though, is known as the Marzipan Capital of the World. Lubeck Marzipan has been given protected status by the European Union as a Protected Geographical Indication.
2 cups granulated sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
4 cups ground almonds (or almond meal)
2 egg whites
Powdered sugar for dusting
Prepare a workspace by sprinkling powdered sugar over a marble slab, wooden cutting board, or large baking sheet. Fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water.
Place the sugar and 2/3 cup water in a large heavy saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
Add the cream of tartar and turn up the heat. Bring to a boil and cover, boiling, for 3 minutes.
Uncover and boil until the temperature reaches soft-ball stage, 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Place the bottom of the saucepan in the cold water you’ve prepared, stirring the sugar mixture constantly until it becomes thick and creamy.
Stir in the ground almonds and the egg whites, then place back over low heat and stir for 2 minutes more until the mixture is thick.
Spoon the marzipan onto your prepared work surface, and turn it with a metal spatula until it cools down enough to touch.
Coat your hands in powdered sugar and begin to knead the marzipan, working it until it is smooth and pliant.
Your marzipan can now be used immediately or stored by wrapping it in plastic wrap and keeping it in an airtight container.