To make beautiful cakes, it often seems that you have one of three options:
1. Perfect your buttercream-piping skills so you can make flowers and such with only a pastry tip and a bag;
2. Make nasty-ass fondant flowers that nobody will actually eat; or
3. Shamefully obscure the entire cake with actual flowers that are neither edible nor meant for eating in the first place.
But a while back, while flipping through my totally fabulous copy of the Sprinkle Bakes cookbook, I happened upon her recipe for homemade marzipan—a recipe which seemed surprisingly easy, considering I’d always thought of the stuff as some obscure kind of candy only old people ate. Not so. I soon discovered that marzipan is not only great for making little figurines—
|How do people do that?? source|
but it can be an alternative to fondant when coating cakes, and one that I might add is substantially more delicious.
|Like so. source|
So last weekend, when attempting to make a SUPER DUPER TOP SECRET MISSION (i.e. I haven’t posted it yet), I pulled out a bag of almond flour and whipped up some of the stuff for my decorating needs. It worked quite well, as you can see.
|Very bland to look at, I know.|
It is sticky sweet and very rich, as you would expect from a candy, but the lemon and almond extracts really take it a step above, say, fondant. And, because it is homemade, you will find that even professed marzipan-haters (like my mom) are willing to try a bit.
The recipe here is very simple and can be used in a lot of different desserts. It can even be tinted by simply kneading in a bit of food coloring. Expect to see this referenced in some upcoming posts.
Here’s the recipe.
Homemade vegan marzipan
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
252 grams • blanched almond flour • 2 ¼ cups
180 grams • powdered sugar • 1 ½ cups
4 grams • lemon extract • 1 teaspoon
2 drops almond extract
8 grams • Ener-g egg replacer • 1 tablespoon
60 grams • water • ¼ cup
Place almond flour and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and stir well. Add lemon juice and almond extract; stir once more.
In a separate bowl, whisk together Ener-g egg replacer and water until dissolved. With mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the bowl. Mix on low speed for a few minutes until the dough comes together.
Store, wrapped in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.
|What an attractive little loaf.|
Given that marzipan is a very almond-flavored dessert (obviously), I thought I’d share with you a few other almond-flavored desserts posted on here. Witness:
Rainbow mini cupcakes with salted almond buttercream. The frosting is simple, but pure awesomeness.
Lemon blueberry crisp with almond cookie crumble. Fabulously gluten-free.
Maraschino cherry bread. Shamelessly pink.
Whatever these are. They have almond, I swear.