I know first-hand that marzipan is a big thing in the Netherlands and Germany. I find this recipe better than the vegan store-bought versions, and it is so easy to make. The taste of this homemade marzipan is mind-blowing, considering how easy this recipe is.
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WHAT IS MARZIPAN MADE OF?
Marzipan is a sweet paste. It is also called almond paste or almond candy dough. It may be popular in Europe, but outside of Europe, in countries such as Italy, Greece, and Cyprus, marzipan is a traditional food to serve on festive days.
Marzipan is finely ground-blanched almonds mixed with sugar (the vegan variation). This paste is used in sweet and delicious things, such as chocolate, croissants, cookies, candy bars, candies, fruit cakes, cupcakes, and much more.
Marzipan is made with powdered sugar, almonds, and a little bit of water. You can also add rose water and a little bit of (bitter) almond extract to intensify the almond flavor, but it’s optional. It’s so straightforward and inexpensive. And once you have made a marzipan roll or disc, you can keep it for later to sweeten up your favorite recipes or eat as is.
Who invented marzipan?
I’m always curious where recipes such as marzipan originate from. I’m not sure on this one, but it seems to be originated from the Arabs. But Germans will tell you differently, stating that the invention of marzipan is usually attributed to Germany (Lübeck).
Some say it was invented in Persia and introduced to Europe through the Turks. Where in Europe then? Hungary, Spain, or Italy? I can’t tell you 100% sure, but it became a specialty of the Baltic Sea and Germany. It gained popularity in Spain in the 13th century and Germany in the 15th century. An authentic classic recipe. And so simple!
Marzipan vs. almond paste – what’s the difference?
Since marzipan is a simple recipe with blended almonds and sugar, what is the difference between almond paste and marzipan? In essence, they are very similar.
Partially, it comes down to where you live. In Europe, it is called marzipan, whereas, in (North) America, you will have more luck with the term almond paste. So, if you can’t find marzipan in your store, ask for almond paste.
The most significant difference is the amount of sugar and the texture in almond paste or marzipan.
Marzipan usually contains (the store-bought versions) way more sugar than store-bought almond paste. So, per definition, marzipan is sweeter. The texture is also smoother, and it can be dyed and molded into shapes.
Almond paste (as known in Europe) is less sweet, and it is said that the quality is, therefore, higher: less sugar, more almonds. The texture is a bit coarser too. Almond paste uses almond extract only, whereas marzipan can also contain rose water.
Sweet marzipan is firmer and used to cover candies/chocolate and eat as it is, whereas almond paste is softer and used as an ingredient or filling for baked goods.
If you want to use rose water (I can highly recommend it), there are many brands to choose from. But whatever price or quality you go for, make sure it is food-grade rose water. This is a good online option. If you don’t know what to do with the rest of the bottle, I have a tip for you: I use it every day on my face as a toner or face mist.
The bottom line is that if you are looking for high-quality marzipan in the store that is not overly sweet, look for almond paste.
I use the terms here interchangeably (I hope you don’t mind), but my recipe is a mix of marzipan and almond paste.
I’m still trying to understand why some traditional recipes use egg whites to bind the marzipan. Other recipes skip egg whites and use syrup or boil the sugar with water to create a syrup. In my opinion, it’s best to keep the ingredients as pure as possible to make high-quality marzipan, so I skip the syrup, and as a vegan, of course, don’t use egg whites either.
The blending will release fat (from the almonds), and the sugar + water will create a sticky consistency, which will bind it all together.
How to make marzipan?
To make marzipan, you will only need a food processor. I use a small chopper / small food processor, which works very well. Unless you are making a big batch, of course, in that case, I would recommend a food processor such as this one.
You will also need almond flour, water, and powdered sugar. You can use any powdered sugar. Suppose you want to keep the color light brown (like traditional marzipan) and keep it refined sugar-free. In that case, my recommendations are erythritol or maybe even xylitol if you can tolerate it.
I use erythritol, and with a small personal blender or coffee grinder, I process it until it becomes a powder.
When it comes to almonds, there are a few options. You can use whole almonds and blend these, or you can use finely ground-blanched almond flour. When you use whole almonds, you will need to blanch and grind the almonds. I love both options, but store-bought almond flour is the quickest way.
Ensure the almond meal is made from blanched almonds (skins removed). If you can’t find almond flour, you can also buy ground almonds but get the finely ground almonds as that is best for marzipan recipes.
When you have all your ingredients ready, it is as simple as blending everything up in the food processor until you have a thick, smooth, and sticky dough.
In the below step-by-step process photos or video, you can see how the texture should be.
How to use marzipan?
The possibilities are endless! Probably the most delicious way I ever enjoyed marzipan was in Paris. It was a vegan marzipan croissant and genuinely delicious.
But there are more options. You can dip marzipan in melted chocolate; I often see this in Germany.
It’s also often shaped into different kinds of molds and dyed, such as vegetable and fruit shapes. I especially remember this type of marzipan from my childhood in the Netherlands.
If you are a bit creative, marzipan can be a fun, sweet ingredient to work with.
And last but not least, marzipan (or almond paste) is also quite often used in delicious cakes and baked goods.
How to store marzipan?
Fresh marzipan can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped in cling wrap. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or 3 months in the freezer.
Why you should try homemade marzipan
Marzipan is a beautiful and versatile product to have on hand. If I didn’t convince you already, here are some reasons why you should also try homemade marzipan.
- This recipe is vegan (no egg whites and a vegan sweetener). Not all white sugar is vegan, and some recipes use honey as a sweetener.
- Not only is this recipe naturally gluten-free, but it is also refined sugar-free (if you use erythritol).
- Homemade marzipan is way cheaper than store-bought marzipan or almond paste. Especially when you buy almond paste, it comes in small quantities with a hefty price tag.
- Marzipan can be made ahead, so you have it on hand when you need it for various recipes (e.g., bread, candy).
If you are going to make this marzipan recipe, let me know! Don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below. And if you snap a photo, share it with me on Instagram #thegreencreator or Facebook.
This easy homemade marzipan recipe contains only 3 ingredients and takes 5 minutes to make! It’s vegan (no egg whites), naturally gluten-free, and refined sugar-free.
For this recipe I use erythritol. With an electric coffee/spice grinder I make powdered erythritol.
Place the almond flour and powdered sugar in a food processor and process until combined and smooth. Depending on how big and powerful your food processor is this can take 1-2 minutes. Process until it comes together in a firm mass.
I recommend using a small food processor for this recipe and quantity.
After a few seconds add in the water, almond extract, and food grade rose water (optional). Process again to combine. The marzipan is well combined if you can scoop out a bit of the dough and form a ball with y our fingers. It should be slightly sticky and hold together.
If the dough is moist and crumbly, process longer. And when the dough is too dry and crumbly, add a little bit of water (like ½ tsp).
Be careful with adding too much water as the dough can become too sticky and moist. The only way to compensate too much water is by adding more almond flour and depending on the taste also more sweetener. So be careful with the water. You want to create a thick dough and not a nut butter.
Take out the marzipan dough and knead it as (bread) dough on a surface until it gets warm and easily adapts to any form you would like to create. You can shape it into a log, disc or ball and place it in the refrigerator, either in an air tight container or tightly wrapped in cling wrap.
After about 3-4 hours in the refrigerator the marzipan will be firm.
Depending on how you want to use the marzipan, it may be helpful to warm the marzipan to room temperature before using.
- Almond flour: it is the easiest to use finely ground blanched almond flour. Ensure the almond meal is made from blanched almonds (skins removed). But instead of almond flour, you can use the same amount of whole almonds (without the skin). You can remove the skin yourself by soaking the almonds in boiling water. When the water is cooled off, you can easily take off the skin with your fingers. Before using the almonds in the recipe, make sure they are dry. You can air dry them or pat them with kitchen paper. Next, pulse them in a food processor to create almond flour.
- If you can’t find almond flour, you can also buy ground almonds, but get the finely ground almonds that are best for marzipan recipes.
- Sweetener: if you would like sweeter marzipan (more similar to marzipan than almond paste), use a sweet syrup instead of water, such as maple syrup, agave syrup, rice malt syrup, or any other liquid sweetener for sweeter marzipan.
- Powdered sweetener: you can use any powdered sugar, make sure it’s vegan. For a refined sugar-free version, you can use xylitol or erythritol.
- When you use rose water, make sure it’s food-grade rose water such as this rose water.
- The taste is best when you use a good quality almond extract. I sometimes use bitter almond extract instead, and I love both.
- Fresh marzipan can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped in cling wrap for up to 2 weeks or 3 months in the freezer.
- This recipe makes about 6 ounces (180 gr) of marzipan/almond paste.
Keywords: almond paste, marzipan, sweet, dessert, glutenfree, grainfree
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