Inspired by marzipanning the Christmas cake yesterday and acutely aware of the looming Christmas Fair after the Carol Concert at our children’s school, I decided to experiment with some sweet making this morning. Also, chidhood memories of Niederegger marzipan may have played on my psyche.
I think we’ll look at making fudge and peppermint mice – I’ve already talked about the recipes for these on a previous blog: see http://www.steenbergs.co.uk/blog/2009/08/make-your-own-birthday-tea/.
We used a slightly different marzipan recipe to the one from yesterday as I wanted something less rich and a bit drier. I also beefed up the almond flavour with some of our very own Steenbergs natural almond extract.
Put the ground almonds and sugars together in a mixing bowl, then make a hole in the centre. Add the lemon juice, natural almond extract and beaten eggs into the hole. Mix it all together – I use my hands for this, massaging it all together into a smooth paste. When it has all mixed into a ball, put it onto a lightly iced board.
Now, you can do as you wish. For this experimentation, I simply rolled small amounts into smooth balls; it’s probably about 1tsp for each ball, but you just need to break it off the main ball with the tips of your fingers. We then dropped some of the balls into cocoa which is nice and easy, but the children were not sure about the mix of the bitterness of the cocoa and the sweetness of the marzipan; I actually quite liked it.
For the remainder, I melted two 150g bars of dark Green & Black’s chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. We then dipped the balls into the melted chocolate and using a toothpick scooped them out and left them to dry on some baking parchment.
You probably only need 200g of chocolate as we had some left over and poured this into some chocolate moulds that we have to make some chocolates. The dark chocolate worked really well against the sweetness of the marzipan, but milk chocolate would work better for individual chocolates. I think we will also look at getting some brazil nuts and coat those in chocolate, as well as some white chocolate to play with the colours a bit. This could really be quite fun; really messy fun.
We also experimented using the marzipan with trying to make mice shapes. We shaped the marzipan into a thick oval, teased out the end to make a nose and pinched up two small bits to make the ears. Then we stuck on some pink coloured balls for the eyes. We will either use string or find some edible shoelace to make the tails when we use the peppermint cream mix to make the actual ones.
Everyone’s got involved in some capacity, particularly scoffing the sweets down!
I have ordered some little gold truffle boxes to put them and they have Merry Christmas printed on them.
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