Stollen with Marzipan baked into its Centre
One of my favourite Christmas foods is marzipan, which is something I grew up with in the UK and is intimately connected with my ideas of Christmas along with turkey, fruit cake, Brandy butter and cardamon- and cinnamon-flavoured baking.
I have German relatives who give me Niederegger Lübeck marzipan; Lübeck being a centre for marzipan manufacture in Europe. You can try Niederegger products in Aotearoa here.
Marzipan or almond paste is made from egg white, ground almonds and sugar, and is so easy to make, so if you haven’t tried it, or haven’t made it yourself, I encourage you to give it a go!
It is soft when you first make it and can be rolled into sheets (to cover a Christmas cake), formed into decorative shapes like leaves or balls (to decorate a cake or to be stand-alone treats), or to go in the centre of baking to add an extra dimension (such as Stollen – see the photo above).
Almond paste tends to be sweeter and softer with more almond essence, and marzipan tends to be firmer and have rosewater as a flavouring, but they are similar products.
1½ cups ground almonds
1½ cups icing sugar
2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp rose water
1 egg white
- Put everything together in a blender (I use my Braun stick blender with the bowl attachment) and whizz it up.
- If the mixture is a bit sticky, you could add more icing sugar until it’s quite stiff. If the mixture is a bit dry, add a bit more egg white.
- Wrap it up and put it in the fridge to use later. If it is not allowed to dry out, it will keep for several weeks.
- When you need to use it or roll it out, use more icing sugar or corn starch (rather than flour).
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag #coastalflavour – I love to see what you’ve been making and any feedback is really welcome.