San Pablo Christmas Marzipan Recipe
Flavors of Spain
Total time: 15 to 30 minutes
Cooking time: 5 to 10 minutes
Marzipan has always been synonymous with Christmas pastries, but it can just as readily be eaten at any other time of the year.
Crushing almonds and decorating cakes require lots of time: the nuns grind the almonds up to four successive times to attain the necessary smoothness - but according to Sister Maria de la Nieves, the most difficult thing is controlling the oven temperature: the perfect temperature is very hot on top to toast the marzipan, and cool enough at the bottom so that the base remains half-cooked and soft.
For a 25 cm (10") cake
- 1 kg / 2 1/4 lb. almonds, ground very finely
- 900 g / 2 lb. icing sugar
- 8 or 9 beaten eggyolks
- 1 egg white, lightly whipped
- 1 or 2 Tbsp. sugar
- A sheet of parchment paper, 30 cm (12") per side
- Preheat the oven to 240°C / 465°F and turn on the broiler.
- Mix the almonds and the sugar together in the largest bowl of a food processor, then add in the egg yolks and work into a malleable dough.
- Remove a little less than half the dough and set aside for decoration.
- Place the parchment paper on two 30 cm / 12" baking sheets placed one on top of the other. Spread the larger piece of marzipan in a round flat cake pan 25 cm / 10" in diameter. Fill in any holes using the back of a spoon.
- Make a large ring with half of the remaining marzipan and place it all around the outer edge of the cake; roll out the other half and cut out stars, leaves and flowers to decorate the centre of the cake - they should cover almost the whole cake to help keep the base soft. Brush with beaten egg white.
- Sprinkle small quantities of sugar among the decorations.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 5 to 10 minutes until well-browned.
Champagne or dry sparkling wine
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With the special collaboration of Spanish Department of Foreign Affairs and Spain Gourmetour
Photo: ID 34220853 / Juanda Ferrando / MSCOMM
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