Marzipan is a world famous pastry which is made from raw marzipan mass and sugar. By itself, raw marzipan is most often obtained from blanched and peeled almonds, occasionally pistachios. They are digested with designated rollers, but the end result is a fine paste.
The next step in the production of marzipan includes the addition of powdered sugar, the quantity of which plays a major role in the quality of marzipan - the more sugar is added, the lower the quality is. Standards for the production of marzipan prevent the quantity of added sugars from exceeding the amount of raw marzipan mass. After adding the sugar, you have a thick and firm paste that is susceptible to modeling in a variety of shapes and colors.
The city of Lübeck in Germany has a long reputation as a manufacturer of the finest marzipan in the world. The manufacturers of this city shall ensure that the amount of almonds in the paste reach almost 70%.
Marzipan is a much loved part of pastry. Proof of this is the marzipan museum, which is located in Szentendre /suburb of Budapest, Hungary/. This small town attracts tourists every year who are tempted by the little pastry shop of the museum.
History of marzipan
The origin of the delicious treat is wrapped in mysterious mystery. It is known that since the ancient times there was a method of mixing the almond juice with sugar cane in the Mediterranean and India. Marzipan was called "divine food". It is believed that it was reserved for the Caliphs in about 800 AD. In those days, it not look like today, but one thing is clear - it is made from almonds. For a long time, there was a very wrong idea of marzipan. Decades with this word meant something resembling chocolate that actually has nothing to do with real marzipan.
The roots of this sweet substance must be sought in the Orient. The prototype of today's marzipan appeared 1000 years ago in the eastern Mediterranean, while in Europe it arrives through Italy.
For a long time, Marzipan is considered a royal and aristocratic trademark. The reason for this is rooted in sugar, which at that time was very expensive. In the 18th century, sugar becomes more accessible to ordinary people, thanks to the intensive cultivation of sugar cane in the colonies. Thus, it appears at poorer tables, but does not lose its shine and essential qualities.
Composition of marzipan
The composition of marzipan has peeled almonds, sugar and egg. 100 g marzipan contains about 500 calories, 5.8 g fiber, 2.5 g fat, 11 g proteins. Marzipan can be divided into two types according to the content of almonds in it. One species has 30% almonds, while the so-called real almond marzipan’s content reaches 50%.
Selection and storage of marzipan
Marzipan is a product that can be found in large chain grocery stores. Must be packed well and has a label on which the manufacturer and expiration date are listed. If you have prepared marzipan at home, best leave it long at room temperature because it will lack the preservatives that are in store-bought marzipan.
Recommended is that you tightly wrap marzipan can be stored in a box in the fridge. Note that the figures made of almond marzipan dry at room temperature. It is good to prepare it before the actual cake, but no more than 5-6 days in advance. During the hot summer weather, this should be much less.
Marzipan in cooking
Marzipan is very widely used in confectionery. It is used to decorate various cakes, pastries and small cakes and figures of marzipan are made worldwide. It is estimated that in about 1300 Pope Clement V was served various fruits made of marzipan and this marked the beginning of the creation of different figures.
Marzipan can be colored with paint and the confectionary is modeled easily, which makes it suitable for decorating cakes and pastries with different themes. Marzipan enters into the composition of many sweets, gingerbreads and cakes. In Germany, marzipan sweets are an integral part of the holidays, mostly Christmas and Easter. Delicious stollen is most delicious with the addition of a piece of marzipan inside.
Preparation of marzipan
If you want to make your own marzipan, do not worry, because the task is easy. To do this you need 350 g ground almonds, 175 g granulated sugar, 170 g caster sugar, 1 egg, 3 drops of almond flavoring and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Almonds are soaked in hot water for about 30 minutes, then peeled and left to dry. It should be ground as finely as possible.
Mix with sugar in a bowl and shape a well. In the middle- pour the egg, essence and lemon juice. Stir into a thick paste and pour over pre sprinkled with powdered sugar on top. Mix with your hands until you obtain a smooth, homogeneous mixture. Do not overdo the mixing, otherwise the paste will be messy and hard to work with. The quantity of marzipan is enough to cover the cake with a diameter of less than 20 cm
Dangers of marzipan
Marzipan can be harmful, because of some of the enhancers and preservatives that are used to make it. Homemade marzipan does not contain these additives, so its consumption does not hide serious risks. However, we should not ignore the fact that Marzipan contains sugar, whose dangers are notorious. Pastry dye which stains marzipan figurines is not healthy. Therefore, the consumption of these sweets should be in small quantities.