Marzipan vs. Almond Paste Question

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CharlieD

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... I walk by the baking goods I see that little tubes of “almond paste” and “marzipan” both ready to use. I have never used either one, nor have I really seen recipes that use that stuff. :oops: Every time I mean to ask somebody what is it? And what is it used for? Anybody, please.
 
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GB

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Marzipan is delicious. It is a mixture of Almond paste and sugar and sometimes egg whites. It can easily be shaped into just about any form you want. Lost of times it is colored with food coloring. It is very sweet. You can often times see it shaped like other fruits. If you like almonds then try marzipan. You will love it!
 

Raine

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Marzipan is used I think mostly for decorations.

In 2003 at the Jack Daniels BBQ contest, I made pumpkins to decorate our dessert tray.

You may have seen it and not known what it was. They have it in the grocery store sometimes.

We didn't think it tasted very good, kinda blah!

here is an idea of what some may look like.

http://www.marzipanworld.com/acatalog/index.html
 

GB

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Rainee said:
Marzipan is used I think mostly for decorations.

I almost never disagree with Rainee, but I need to do so here. Marzipan is used as decoration sometimes, but it is much more frequently seen as a sweet on its own. Italian pastry shops usually have it for sale just as you would see candy.
 

Raine

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We don't have any Italian pastry shops around, so I've never had any of those kind of pastires. All the info I've ever seen talks about decorating.

So maybe my nextr trip to NY I'll try to find some of these pastries.
 

CharlieD

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I think marzipan in Italian shop is completely different thing. The one I was talking about is grocery store thing. It comes in the little package size of ah hm…, a little fat hotdog. On the box, not the package it self it said: “ready to use” and something about decorating the cake. So how do I use it to decorate the cake then? Or any other use?
 

CharlieD

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P.S. GB not to disagree with you or anything. The marzipans from Italian or for that matter French or Russian bakery, I am very familiar with, and love them too.
 

PA Baker

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Here's an explanation of Marzipan that I found that also describes the difference between Marzipan and Almond Paste. For Marzipan recipes, you can click on http://www.pastrywiz.com/season/marzipan.htm

"Marzipan has been used for centuries by pastry chefs all over the world. It can be used in baking and for covering and filling cakes. Marzipan looks fabulous for colorful cake decorations and figurines. Marzipan has to have at least 25 % almonds otherwise it is considered almond paste.
A thin layer of Marzipan can be used to cover a cake. Colored it can replace the need for frosting. It is also used under Fondant, much like apricot glaze to protect the Fondant from moisture.

Both recipe call for extra fine ground blanched almonds. In commercial bakeries the almonds are finely grounded by passing them through granite rollers. The finer the almonds the better your results will be.

The uncooked Marzipan is kneaded together until smooth and is then stored in an airtight container or plastic bag over night.

For cooked Marzipan add the sugar to the water in a saucepan and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Add the almonds and cook it until the batter stops sticking to the pan. Remove from heat and place onto a marble slap, wooden board or a sheet pan. While still warm knead first with a wooden spatula and then by hand until smooth. Store in an airtight container or plastic bag.

Marzipan can be softened by adding small amounts of syrup to it, if too soft add additional powdered sugar to it."
 

Raine

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That's what I used to make my pumpkins, the stuff in the grocery store.

My pumpkins looked similar those on this cake. (I didn't make this one)

indians.jpg
 

Ishbel

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I've posted a recipe for a simnel cake (traditional for Mothering Sunday and Easter in the UK) - this uses marzipan.

Lots of upmarket sweetie shops here sell marzipan shaped into fruits, vegetables etc - they are beautifully handcrafted.
 

Raine

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We made 3 of these in one week practicing on it. We lived it and the neighbors all loved it. However the judges didn't care too much for it.

Oh well, you win some, you lose some and you wreck some!
 

CharlieD

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So, let me see if I understand it correctly. The marzipan that is sold in the grocery store in little tubes can be made into those beautiful little pumpkins on your picture, is it correct?
 
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