ok so, this little block of marzipan has been in my cupboard for almost a year now. i bought it last year during the christmas holidays, very excited to incorporate it into something baked. here in germany, marzipan is quite popular, and cheap to buy. i’ve never thought about it or even eaten it back home i think, but after some research now it seems that it’s actually expensive to buy in the US? anyways, i bought it and just never used it. during christmas time in germany, marzipan can be found in stollen (which i plan on making this season myself), and is found at every christmas market, usually rolled in cocoa powder and made to look like adorable little potatoes. i’ve been staring at this little package every time i open my baking cupboard. i’m about to move out of my apartment next week, and even though i could easily buy more in berlin (where i’ll be staying for a few weeks before flying home) i couldn’t see letting it go to waste after it waited so patiently for me on that shelf.
it was a little tricky for me to find a decent (and somewhat easy) recipe using marzipan. i could have made some stollen, but it’s more complicated with yeast and dough and waiting for it to rise and blah blah blah. there are lots of recipes that use marzipan for cake decorations. i guess you can roll it out to cover cakes, and you can also mold it into fun little shapes. i wanted some sort of cookie or cake that is easily consumed for dessert or with tea tomorrow afternoon. i came across this british recipe finally and it was almost what i was looking for. i roughly converted the measurements, and added/subtracted ingredients according to what i had and wanted to use. this is the first recipe that i have more or less created myself. normally i slightly adjust recipes that i find, but this time i felt i was in an uncharted territory called experimenting with baking.
and good news, it turned out great. i was quite proud of myself actually. with baking, sometimes if you mess up the proportions of things, it can end up a disaster. it’s like an equation. sometimes it does feel like magic when you throw some ingredients in a pan and out comes a beautiful sweet treat, but sometimes the chemical reactions don’t add up right and it’s not so pretty. i was fully prepared to eat a baking boo-boo, but this was a welcome surprise to pull out of the oven.
(this will work for pans about the size of 6x6in. to 9x9in.)
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 c. ground almonds
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. chopped hazelnuts
1/4 c. marzipan, cut into small cubes
1/2 of an apple, peeled and cut into small cubes
preheat oven to 350 degrees. butter and flour your baking pan. beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. then add the eggs, one at a time. in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, almonds, and cinnamon. slowly combine the flour mixture into the egg mixture. gently fold in the hazelnuts. then fold in the apple and marzipan.
pour into the baking pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. because i made this in a small toaster oven, i did notice that the top started to brown quickly after only 15 minutes, so i then covered it loosely with aluminum foil for the rest of the baking time. if you notice yours is also browning rather quickly, cover with foil too. let cool in pan on wire rack.
the british recipe i based this on calls for a lemon icing which seems quite easy. basically you whisk together fluffy powdered sugar with a bit of lemon juice. i chose not to make it, primarily because of laziness, but i do enjoy desserts that aren’t too sweet. this cake was perfect on it’s own for me.