This sweet miracle – marzipan

This sweet miracle – marzipan

In the days of my childhood, I was sure that “marzipan” – it is such a bun with walnut filling. Burger was delicious, but from such a “marzipan” is possible to make the lock, does not fit in my head. Now, many years later, I’m not surprised. In museums, marzipan, which many around the world, can be seen not only locks fashioned sweet treats hardworking confectioners (or more correct to call them artists?), But also a lot of other fun things.

You want the building of the Hungarian Parliament with all the details? Welcome to the Marzipan Museum Sentedre!

marzipan Hungarian Parliament

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Or Holstein Gate (Holshtentor) from the German city of Lübeck? You go in the marzipan museum of the city!

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Luxury bouquets, room interiors, coach and musical instruments, scenes from the Holy Scriptures, children’s books and cartoons can be seen in museums in Hungary, Estonia, Israel (Kfar Tavor).

This sweet miracle - marzipan

And portraits of historical characters, fairy tale characters and famous people of our time …

This sweet miracle - marzipan

The Spanish Toledo marzipan museum there, but showcases confectionery shops with success it is replaced. Churches and cathedrals of almond paste fashioned with amazing accuracy.

And here is why some very popular marzipan dessert in the form of an eel. Honestly, at first I thought it was a snake, but a nun in the monastery shop has convinced me – eel. Traditional Christmas dessert.

marzipan Traditional Christmas dessert

Most interesting is that this beauty can be eaten. Of course, chew museum exhibits no one will let you, and shelf life in marzipan sweets is not infinite … But all the beauty products sold in pastry shops, – please.

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This sweet miracle - marzipan

However, figures of animals or delicate flowers have pity … Another thing – marzipan fruits and vegetables. Particularly beautiful they are obtained in the south of France and Sicily – are often not even distinguished from the present!

This sweet miracle - marzipan

A German pastry made from marzipan funny “trompe l’oeil” – a famous hot dogs and sausages. A great souvenir!

So what exactly is marzipan? Tender. Fragrant. Melt in your mouth … It is very simple – almonds and sugar are the main-marking of the marzipan. The trick is in the right proportions, and / or additional ingredients. And, of course, as the almond – the highest grade is required for making marzipan.

At the cold method of preparing marzipan peeled and pureed almonds combined with sugar, carefully kneaded and cooled – then the mass acquires plasticity, and out of easily sculpt funny figurines.

For hot process using preheated sugar syrup and the mixture boiled in a water bath.

Sometimes marzipan dough add eggs or egg yolks, various spices, orange or lemon zest, candied fruit, candied fruit, raisins, cocoa, coffee, grated chocolate, rum, lemon juice and liqueur. Hungarians are even with your favorite Paprika experimenting! The desired color almond mass or ready figurines out of it is infused with the help of various dyes (natural, of course, is preferred).

Marzipan can be used not only for modeling figurines and decorating cakes. He goes to the stuffing cakes and sweets, as well with different icing. From marzipan dough obtained excellent pastries. And there’s even ice cream and marzipan marzipan liquor!

Who, where and when invented marzipan is unknown. Several countries claim to “palm” in this issue. Residents of Germany, where no marzipan figures does not do any Christmas and Easter, are confident that this delicacy was invented precisely here, in times of famine, when the only raw material for bread remained almonds. And today, German marzipan is famous all over the world – especially their famous city of Lübeck.

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The German marzipan necessarily add bitter almonds, which gives the product a special flavor and aroma. Sometimes, instead of using almond almond essence or other flavoring, but it is not the same. The exact proportion of almonds and sugar, which are used confectioners Lübeck, are trade secrets!

Frankfurt is famous for its Christmas “betmenhenami” – they are baked from the dough and marzipan decorated with walnut halves. These products have been known for almost 200 years and is not inferior to the popularity of the traditional gingerbread.

This sweet miracle - marzipan

The Austrian Salzburg is also famous for marzipan, however, slightly different – pistachio. It is because it makes the filling for the famous candy “Mozartkugel”.

This sweet miracle - marzipan "Mozartkugel"

Famous was in his time, and Königsberg marzipan, which is kneaded in the rose water, and then to brown in the oven. Another “marzipan legend” says that initially “almond miracle” was not confectionery and medicine and was sold in pharmacies. Not surprisingly – modern scholars believe that the almonds, containing a fair amount of vitamins B and E, magnesium, potassium, calcium and phosphorus, very useful. The benefits of almond oil, we also know … And by the oppressed state of mind delicious medication exactly help!

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“Medicinal” version of the origin “of Martov’s bread” and adhere to Estonian Confectionary – of course, marzipan was invented in Tallinn, in the XV century! By the way, one of the ingredients of the old marzipan called cinnamon. This “therapeutic” marzipan cost is very expensive, as well as pastries afterwards. Not cheap real marzipan and today – is too low price should alert the buyer, and to consider the quality of the starting materials and on the observance of technology. Very long shelf life is also suspicious – preservatives in these marzipan are not welcome.

“Kings of European cuisine”, the French, and to be leading in the production of marzipan claim. Of course, in this respect there is a suitable legend – about the confectioner, who lived in the XIII century. Allegedly, he had to hastily prepare a meal for a large company, and nothing but almonds and sugar at hand was not … he was blind from almond paste various figures, color them in fruit and vegetable juices, than beautifully landed noble guests. Nowadays very popular Easter goodies marzipan and figures in the shape of a heart for Valentine’s Day, decorated with humor and grace at the same time.

This sweet miracle - marzipanheart  for Valentine's Day

Do not lag behind and southern neighbors of the French – Spanish. The history of its marzipan they are traced back to VII-VIII centuries, and there are two versions of the origin of fragrant delicacies. One of them says that the nuns invented marzipan in Toledo. When the Arabs besieged the city, in the storerooms of the monastery, of course, nothing but sugar and almonds was not found … In Toledo marzipan is sometimes called “a holy delicacy” – not only because of the origin, but also because it allowed to have in the post. In Toledo marzipan baked sure to add some pine nuts – is that they emphasize the taste of almonds, making it even more delicious.

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Showcases confectionery in Toledo like to decorate scenes on “The nuns prepare marzipan”

More realistic historians cookery believe that “almond miracle” brought the Arabs, seized the peninsula. In Andalusia, which was ruled by the Moors longer than other provinces, marzipan prepare cold way, adding a chopped candied fruit, and sold in the form of large flat tiles. And in Valencia and Catalonia are an indispensable component of marzipan citrus fruits – in the form of juice and peel. Often in Spanish flavor marzipan add sherry or red wine. The latter gives the confection also delicate pink hue.

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Now there are more than 500 recipes for marzipan in the world, and each confectioner can make a list of something new, show imagination. But no matter how much experimenting basis for marzipan – tender, melting on the mouth, a little sticky, sweet creamy and delicate flavor – not change. And it can be made at home.
We are introducing one of the most simple recipes – without heating the eggs and marzipan mass.

To implement it, we need:

0.5 kg of sweet almonds
10-15 pieces of bitter almonds
0.5 kg of powdered sugar
a little water or lemon juice, or brandy, or any aromatic essences

Almond pour boiling water and let stand for a few minutes. Drain and clean the nuts from the skins. Rinse. To dry the almonds, it can be placed in the oven or fry in a pan, the main thing – to prevent the yellowing of nuts, and the more they stick. Maximum grind the almonds and mix it with powdered sugar. Sprinkle with cold water (or juice) and carefully Stir the resulting mass. It should be soft enough and completely homogeneous. If the mass crumbles, add some liquid, but if it gets too soft – powdered sugar. Marzipan mass in the shape of a ball or briquette cover with foil or cling film and place in the refrigerator (film need and storing articles of marzipan – they dry quickly.) During cooking, you can add candied fruit, raisins, grated chocolate and everything you want.

This sweet miracle - marzipan

The cooled mass before work is necessary to get out of the fridge and a little hold at room temperature. Then it can be rolled and cut into pieces, covering glaze, or sculpt various figures, decorating and painting the them – the real scope for creativity. I think it will be interesting to both children and adults. By the way, a family entertainment it is possible to coincide with Easter, creating a festive marzipan eggs, lambs and rabbits.

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I’m willing to try. And you?

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