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June Kitchen Challenge Results: Homemade Marzipan

Chocolate-covered Marzipan Strawberries from @loveandoliveoil

Mthp mowpheth ahh finthgs thorfth marthiparwn.

Oh, excuse me. My mouth is full of marzipan.

As will be yours when you realize how easy (and inexpensively) it can be made at home. No more spending $17 for an 8 oz log. When you calculate the cost for the homemade stuff (even the more expensive version using almond flour vs whole almonds), it’s less than $5 for a full pound.

Cost aside, I dare you to find a store-bought marzipan as lusciously soft as this. It’s anything but hard and crumbly. The splash of orange blossom water enhances the flavor in a way that you can’t really pinpoint, a faintly floral undertone that frolics around the intense almond essence.

Chocolate-covered Marzipan Strawberries made with Homemade Marzipan from @loveandoliveoil

Deciding what to DO with a pound of fresh, still warm marzipan though (other than, you know, shove it in my mouth) was tricky. Since I’m apparently going through a ‘chocolate-covered strawberry’ phase, both real and faux (in this case), I colored the dough (and my hands) a vibrant berry red and shaped it into strawberries. With a bit of green (made using a thin piece of marzipan and a flower cutter), and dipped in chocolate, it was all I could do not to devour the entire batch before the chocolate was even hardened.

How to Make Homemade Marzipan from @loveandoliveoil

June Kitchen Challenge: MarzipanYou don’t need much to make homemade marzipan: almonds (or almond flour), sugar, water, egg white (I used a carton liquid egg white), and optionally orange blossom water and almond extract for flavoring.

I chose to use almond flour, mainly because I’ve never had much luck grinding almonds as finely as necessary on my own. My food processor simply doesn’t do it justice. Sure, I could blanch and peel and dry and grind and sift and grind and sift and grind… but frankly I was feeling lazy and had a few bags of almond flour on hand. So I used it. It’d be a bit more economical to grind your own, as whole almonds usually run around half the price of almond flour. But time is money, right? Half the price, double the time… I’ll let you decide what is worthwhile to you.

How to Make Homemade Marzipan from @loveandoliveoil

Once you’ve got your finely ground almonds, though, the process is surprisingly quick. Boil sugar, mix in almonds, egg whites, and flavorings until it forms a smooth paste. Then knead with some powdered/confectioner’s sugar until it’s smooth and pliable. Once there, what you do with it is up to you. I chose to color and shape the dough into strawberry shapes, and then dip them in melted chocolate.

You could also use the marzipan within another recipe, such as these Mini Marzipan Cheesecakes, or these Marzipan and Orange Blossom Morning Buns.

While I was unable to track down actual bitter almond, a bit of extra almond extract served to enhance the almond flavor. It’s optional, as is the orange blossom water, but if you love almond flavor my guess is you like it intense.

How to Make Homemade Marzipan Strawberries from @loveandoliveoil

To make the strawberries, pull off a golf-ball-sized chunk of marzipan and set aside. Color the large portion red, and the smaller ball green, kneading until the color is smooth. Pull off 1-inch chunks of the red. Roll into a ball, then roll or pinch one end to make it slightly oblong. Using the back of a paintbrush or chopstick, indent the top of the berry shape for the ‘dimple’ where the stem goes.

Roll out the green piece between two sheets of waxed paper. Cut out small flower shapes. I used a small flower cutter similar to these ones. Thin out the leaves a bit with your fingers. Dab a bit of corn syrup on the bottom of the green piece, then adhere to the top of the strawberry shape. Mine stuck, mostly, although they were pretty fragile. You could also use a dollop of chocolate or even buttercream to make them stick a little more securely.

Chocolate-covered Marzipan Strawberries made with Homemade Marzipan from @loveandoliveoil

Once you’ve shaped all your berries, dip them in some melted chocolate if you like. Because the only thing better than fresh marzipan is fresh marzipan dipped in chocolate.

Homemade Marzipan (Boiled Marzipan)

Yield: about 1 pound

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (6 ounces) almond flour or finely ground blanched almonds
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 egg white (3 tablespoons), lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • Confectioner's sugar, as needed

Directions:

  1. In a pan, gently heat sugar and water over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring and bring to a boil, brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to wash down stray sugar crystals. Increase the heat to medium-high and boil until the syrup reaches 238ºF (116ºC) on a candy thermometer.
  2. Remove the pan from heat and lightly stir until the syrup begins to grain (you should see a faint cloudiness). Stir in the ground almonds. Add lightly beaten egg white and return to low heat, cooking gently for a minute or two until the marzipan firms up slightly. Remove from heat and mix in orange blossom water and almond extract.
  3. Turn out marzipan onto a work surface dusted with confectioner's sugar. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Knead until smooth and pliable, kneading in a few tablespoons of confectioner's sugar as needed if mixture is too sticky. Knead in color and flavor while still warm.
  4. Store marzipan and finished candies wrapped in plastic wrap or waxed paper, refrigerated in a airtight container or zip-top bag, for up to 1 month, or frozen for up to 6 months. To soften, bring to room temperature and knead in a few drops of water until marzipan is smooth and pliable.

I must have scared you guys or something, that or it’s summer vacation and no one wants to be slaving over a hot pot of boiling sugar. Who knows. I DO know that Liz gets, like, 42 gold stars for her submission. Not only was she the only brave soul to tackle this challenge, but her truffles look fan-freaking-tastic. Seriously. Check them out.

June Kitchen Challenge, Marzipan - Liz

I’ll be back again in a few weeks with the August kitchen challenge. Any requests? :)

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32 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 6:46 am

    What a fun project! These little strawberries are too cute. I like marzipan, but I have a feeling I’d LOVE homemade marzipan!

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Oh wow, they look gorgeous! Heading straight over for Liz’s recipe too, they look right up my street!!!

    Reply

  3. 3
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 7:24 am

    Oh how fun!  My mother has always loved marzipan so I’d love to make some of these for her.  I’ll definitely give this a try!  :)

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 8:25 am

    Fantastic. I’ll try it this weekend; fresh and fluffy marzipan strawberries sounds fantastic. 

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 8:27 am

    So fun and cute!! I love the strawberries you made and covered in chocolate too! YUM!

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Your marzipan strawberries are beautiful, Lindsay! I am amazed at how easy the recipe is and can’t wait to try playing in almond playdough! :) Can you tell me anything about storage? Based on the ingredients, I am guessing the marzipan creations don’t need to be refrigerated but do you have any idea how long they stay soft and delicious?

    Reply

    • Posted On July 3, 2014 at 11:08 am

      My recipe says to wrap the individual candies in waxed paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a month. You can also freeze them for up to 6 months (!). It’s normal for the outsides to get a bit harder, but the insides should stay plenty soft. :)

  7. 7
    Chris
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 8:49 am

    The list of ingredients omitted the amount of water needed for the syrup. Are we making a simple syrup and therefore using 1 cup water to 1 cup sugar? Or is a different amount needed?

    Reply

    • Posted On July 3, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Recipe updated… it’s actually 6 tablespoons of water to 1 cup sugar, definitely not the same as a simple syrup. :) Thanks for pointing this out!

  8. 8
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 8:57 am

    These are the cutest things! I don’t think I’ve ever had marzipan, but I’ve got to try it now. :)

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 10:03 am

    Wow!  I always hated marzipan as a kid and haven’t tried it since, but I think you’ve convinced me to give the homemade version a chance.  These are so cute.

    Reply

  10. 10
    Liz F
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Fab! I’m going to make this edible play dough for my daughter and her friends for our Saturday, 4th of July party! Where did you get orange blossom water? Is Cortas the full brand name? Hopefully I can find it online…. 

    Reply

    • Posted On July 3, 2014 at 11:06 am

      Yep, Cortas is the brand, and you can definitely find it online: http://amzn.to/1mbRgTg. I bought mine at an international grocery. Any place that sells like Indian/Middle Eastern spices and ingredients should have it.

  11. 11
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Your strawberries look beautiful, Lindsay! And thanks for hosting the challenge!

    Reply

    • Posted On July 3, 2014 at 11:07 am

      Thanks for being the lone soul brave enough to do it with me! :)

  12. 12
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Will there be a July challenge?  I noted that you’d said you would be back in a few weeks for the August challenge.   Looking forward to trying your marzipan recipe… looks wonderful!  

    Reply

    • Posted On July 3, 2014 at 11:18 am

      I switched to every-other-month challenges earlier this year. A bit more manageable than doing one every single month!

    • Teri
      Posted On July 3, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      OK, thanks!

  13. 13
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 11:27 am

    LOVE these! I grew up eating marzipan so it brings back so many happy, sugary memories. :)

    Reply

  14. 14
    Abby
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 11:47 am

    I cannot thank you enough for this challenge! My husband’s family is from Europe and they have the same feelings as you about Marzipan found in the states. Can’t wait to make some. Thanks again!!!!!

    Reply

  15. 15
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    Marzipan is so delicious! I love this recipe and it’s much better home made than store bought!

    Reply

  16. 16
    Sarah
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Hello, these look so cute, i hope to try this recipe soon! And maybe try a coffee grinder to make almond flour if you having trouble with your processor and want to make it from scratch. That is what we used to make almond flour when we made macarons and it was extremely fine. 

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    I remember falling in love with marzipan when I was in Germany and miss it! Making it at home would be a great solution. Yum! 

    Reply

  18. 18
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    wow, these are so impressive & they look delicious! 

    Reply

  19. 19
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Now I LOVE marzipan.  I am too afraid to make my own. I go for See’s candies marzipan when I need my fix,but my favorite is by Niederegger Lubeck. I think this fall I will try my hand at marzipan; I will pin this recipe for further use! Thanks!

    Reply

  20. 20
    Posted On July 3, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    I love marzipan fruits! Me and my mama make them often. Take a look at this batch that we catered for a wedding :) https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.559027657466820.1073741827.345255778844010&type=3

    Reply

  21. 21
    Posted On July 4, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Cute little strawberries!

    Reply

  22. 22
    Posted On July 5, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Love how easy this is!

    Reply

  23. 23
    Posted On July 6, 2014 at 8:15 am

    I was wondering how neat and lovely marzipans are these. Love it!!

    Reply

  24. 24
    Posted On July 8, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Lindsay you are WILDLY talented mama, I am beyond pressed with how these turned out!!!! lovely as a marzipan creation could be :)

    Reply

  25. 25
    Posted On July 17, 2014 at 10:56 am

    oh Lindsay I feel terrible, you have been so super sweet on twitter and I don’t even had time to check your website to see what you eventually did with your marzipan! You can guess that I didn’t had time either to make a new batch of marzipan, all the weekends were busy, but you know what, I didn’t give up entirely and will try again, because I had a very traditional Swiss recipe in my head and bought all the necessary gadgets, so I just have to try again ;) but I have to say, almond flour is new to me and I was also a bit skeptical that my food processor isn’t making it fine enough… you think that could have been part of the problem? 
    thanks a lot for being such a nice person and I cant believe more people joined? or was I not the only one having problems? ;) 
    love, rebecca

    Reply

  26. 26
    Posted On August 2, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Hmmm… I’ve got a good bit of cardamon. If I wanted to use it to flavor the marzipan, how much would you recommend using?

    Reply

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