There are people out there that don’t like marzipan. Those people are weird, because marzipan is the food of the gods. It’s incredibly prevalent in many countries in Europe, and comes in all sorts of shapes. In Austria, you are often gifted little marzipan pigs holding clovers for New Years as they are said to bring good luck. Delicious and cute.
There is a difference between almond paste, and marzipan. Almond paste has a higher percentage of almonds, whereas marzipan is higher in sugar. You can take almond paste and add icing sugar to make marzipan. Many stores these days will either sell ready-made almond paste or marzipan, but nothing tastes as good as home-made, since home-made marzipan is considerably higher in almond content than the store-bough version would generally be. You can use home-made marzipan to cover cakes, make chocolates, or to make into fancy shapes to eat on its own.
Please note that this home-made version uses pasteurised egg whites – you may be concerned about using egg whites in a product that you do not cook afterwards, however, please note that pasteurised egg whites have already been heated to kill all bacteria. Marzipan is a product that is very high in sugar, and foods high in sugar are ‘low risk’ in terms of food safety, as sugar is a preservative. So please don’t worry! You can safely keep this marzipan for up to a week in a cool, dry place, but you could keep in in the fridge if you prefer. It will keep for a month at least in the freezer .
You can mix this in a bowl and use your hands to knead the mixture, however, a food processor really is better if you have one available, just because the warmth from your hands is likely to make the marzipan oily as you’re working with it. Unfortunately, I do not have a food processor, so I went for my stand mixer instead.
Measure out your icing sugar, ground almonds, and wet ingredients.
Mix together icing sugar, ground almonds, and salt.
Add the egg whites, rum, almond extract, and lemon zest.
Empty out the mixing bowl onto a piece of parchment paper sprinkled liberally with icing sugar. Knead until you have a cohesive dough.
And there we go! Marzipan, ready to go. Roll up the parchment paper, and wrap the entire thing in clingfilm. Let rest in the fridge for at least an hour before using.
- 350 grams icing sugar, sifted + more for kneading and dusting.
- 350 grams ground almonds
- 1 tablespoon almond extract
- 2 teaspoons rum
- ½ tsp salt
- 110 grams pasteurised egg whites
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- You can mix this in a bowl and use your hands to knead the mixture, however, a food processor really is better if you have one available, as you will end up with a finer textured marzipan.
- Add the almonds and sugar into a food processor. Pulse a few times to remove any clumps.
- Add the eggs, almond extract, and lemon zest, and pulse until the mixture comes together in a nice dough.
- Remove the dough from the food processor, and knead into a smooth dough using more icing sugar.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and leave to cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour before using. You can keep this in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Note: you may be concerned about the use of egg whites in this recipe. I have specified using pasteurised egg whites, which you can usually buy in a carton in the cool section of big supermarkets. Pasteurised egg whites are absolutely safe – you could drink them from the carton, if you wanted to! In the pasteurisation process, the egg whites were already cooked to a sufficient temperature to kill any bacteria in them. You may find recipes for cooked marzipan, that do exactly that – they cook the egg white involved to a certain temperature to ensure pasteurisation. Moreover, marzipan is very high in sugar, and sugar is a preservative. It is also low in moisture, which combined with the amount of sugar prevents bacteria growing.