Marzipan is traditionally eaten at Christmas in Germany and it is molded into fruit and vegetable shapes which are hung on the Christmas tree. Koenigsberg marzipan is a marzipan molded into tiny cup shapes, filled with fondant or, as special molds are sold to make the shapes, but they can also be fashioned by hand. If bitter almonds are not available, use 25 g (1 oz.) more of sweet almonds and add a few drops of almond extract. In the German method of making marzipan, the ground almonds are added with the sugar and water at the beginning of the cooking process. The marzipan must be taken off the heat as soon as it loses its stickiness, indicating that the almonds are giving up their oil. If the marzipan is overcooked, it will foam in the pan.
50 g almonds, blanched and very finely ground
25 g bitter almonds, blanched and very finely ground
175 g granulated sugar
6 tbs. water
500 g icing sugar
125 g crystallized fruits or fruit jellies, cut into decorative shapes
Put the almonds, granulated sugar and water into a saucepan on a medium heat and stir the mixture with a wooden spoon for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the mixture is smooth and comes away cleanly from the sides of the pan and a kitchen towel pressed against the mixture does not stick to it. Leave the marzipan to cool; then put it in a closed tin and leave it until the following day.
The next day, gradually work in 350 g of the icing sugar and the rose-water until the mixture is smooth. The Marzipan is now ready for use.
Shape the marzipan with molds or with your fingers into cylinders about 2.5 cm high and 2.5 cm in diameter and make a deep depression in the middle of each cylinder with your thumb. Arrange the marzipan shapes on a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper. In a bowl, mix the rest of the icing sugar with enough tepid water to make a thick syrup. Use this syrup to paint the tops and sides of the marzipan shapes.
Bake the marzipan on the top shelf of a preheated 200 degree C oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove fro the oven and leave to cool. When cold, fill the depressions in the shapes with the crystallized fruit of jellies.
DAS KOCHBUCH AUSMECKLENBURG, PRMMERN UND OSTPREUSSEN
This recipe is extracted from THE GOOD COOK/TECHNIQUES AND RECIPES, CONFECTIONERY by THE EDITORS OF TIME-LIFE BOOKS
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