When I saw these little morsels in a “making of” video from season 4, I just knew I had to make them. I got in touch with Karyn Booth, the home economist from the set, and she revealed that they were made of ground almonds, essentially a cousin to marzipan. Convenient, since I just did a post on making almond milk, which leaves a lot of ground almond pulp leftover. Color me thrilled. Also, color me pinks and purples:
My version is pretty and tasty, as well as fairly easy to make. They end up looking a bit more rustic than the version on the show, but I’m always a big fan of rustic. :) The almond flavor comes through, and isn’t really overpowered by the sugar, as is sometimes the case with commercial marzipan. The sweetness comes from the icing, and whatever you choose to use for a topping. All in all, they’re dainty little things, just perfect for special occasions, or making a statement with dessert.
Mini Marzipans Recipe
Cook’s Note: This is loosely based on several medieval marzipan recipes, most of which call for rose water. While this would be wonderful in the rose-petal-garnished version, I wanted to make something basic to start. Feel free to add your favorite flavorings!
- 1 1/2 cups dried ground almonds, from making almond milk, or almond meal
- 1/4 cup fine sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- ~1 Tbs. almond milk
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- ~1 Tbs. almond milk
- various garnishes: candied flowers, dried fruit, sprinkles, etc.
- food coloring (optional)
Combine the ground almonds and sugar in a bowl, then stir in the honey. Add a single drop of food coloring, then the almond milk very gradually to avoid too wet a mixture to handle. When the whole mixture has come together and is not too wet or sticky to handle (it’ll still be a bit sticky), pinch off a piece a little smaller than a walnut or Tablespoon, and form into your desired shape. Tapping or rolling on a clean countertop can help make neater shapes with clean edges. Set each little finished cake on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
Make the icing: pour the confectioner’s sugar into a separate bowl. Add your desired food coloring to match the almond filling. Very slowly mix in almond milk until you have a thick icing that can just be drizzled, but isn’t runny. Use a pastry brush, spoon, or your fingers to smooth the icing onto each almond cake. Set the iced cakes back onto the cooling rack to let the excess icing drip off. Garnish as you like, and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes to set. Can be stored for several days in the fridge.