Marzipan is a thick almond paste. The consistency of marzipan is like that of modeling clay or soft rubber, making it an ideal confection for molding, rolling and shaping. Marzipan can be used as a baking ingredient. More commonly, however, marzipan is a confection used on its own to create shapes and molded forms for edible decorations. Marzipan can also be rolled out in a thin sheet to form a uniform layer of icing for cakes.
Sugar and Almonds
The main ingredients of marzipan are sugar and ground almonds. The sugar can be confectioners' sugar or granulated sugar, or sometimes a combination of the two. The almonds are finely ground into a powder. A typical recipe for marzipan calls for near-equal amounts of sugar and ground almonds. According to MarzipanCakes.com, the best marzipan should have an almond content of at least 22 percent.
In order to make the marzipan form a thick paste, some liquid is needed to act as a binder. For this, different recipes may use a combination of egg whites, water and corn syrup. Egg whites add liquid and also help to stiffen the paste. Some recipes will use egg yolk as well, which gives a deeper color and flavor to the marzipan.
The last ingredients of marzipan are not found in all marzipan recipes. For extra flavor, some marzipan recipes call for added vanilla extract and lemon juice. For color, some recipes will add food coloring to the marzipan.
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