This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
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The almond paste is coarser grained and does not color or sculpt well.
Be sure to get the "Marzipan".
also make sure that the Marzipan is fresh, by squeezing the tube, and
making sure it is pliable.
Some of the stuff in stores is older than T Rex! (the band OR the
dinosaur, take your pick!)
For those who do not have a lot of experience with this medium, here are
a few notes:
If the marzipan is too loose to work with, then quickly knead in some
Work fast! The surfaces harden and start to crack quickly, and cannot be
easily restored. Put as fine a coating of vegetable oil on the hands as
possible (Too much will loosen the Marzipan), or dust them liberally
with confectioners sugar. Do not spray or brush with water if it dries
out, if possible, just quickly knead it until pliable(or it crumbles).
Keep whatever you are not working with wrapped completely in plastic.
If you have kept it in the fridge, knead it until warm enough to work IN
THE PLASTIC WRAPPING. The less time exposed to air, the better the
Practice, practice, practice!
The best Roses I made for a cake I made with marzipan!! (until I got
into gum paste, which I do not believe to be period!)
Speaking of recipes, a while ago, a period recipe for "sugar paste" was
posted. Could someone reprise that one? I lost the original.
Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 17:55:45 -0500 (CDT)
From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming)
Subject: SC - Re: Marzipan for Sotelties
>The best Roses I made for a cake I made with marzipan!! (until I got
>into gum paste, which I do not believe to be period!)
>Speaking of recipes, a while ago, a period recipe for "sugar paste"
>was posted. Could someone reprise that one? I lost the original.
Yes, gum paste is period - late Tudor/Elizabethan, and probably earlier in Italy.
One comment on sculpting with marzipan - Keep in mind that it might also have been put over an armature, that not the entire thing would have been edible, especially if one is dealing with a large item. Mashing marzipan (catchy song title!) onto an armature would require less stiff marzipan.
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 1999 07:00:00 -0800
From: varmstro at zipcon.net (Valoise Armstrong)
Subject: SC - Welser marzipan part 1 (long) was Re: Puck's marzipan
I've been following this thread with great interest but haven't commented
since most all of my books are still in storage. I did have Sabina Welserin
on my hard drive and remembered that there was also a marzipan on wafer
>Um, how do you mean, cooked? Do you mean it is cooked afterwards, or
>that cooking is somehow integral to the process of making marzipan?
No, I'm probably wrong here, it is just that all my old recipes call for
some sort of cooking or heating - mixing the pounded almonds with a hot
sugar syrup, or heating them gently in a saucepan with the sugar, or
whisking eggs and sugar in a bain-marie, then adding almonds. And the almond
paste recipes do not.
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 18:48:17 -0500 (CDT)
From: alysk at ix.netcom.com
Subject: SC - Re: Almond Paste and Marzipan
Greetings! I have a hunch that the two terms mean whatever someone _thinks_ they mean. Early marzipan recipes don't seem to include cooking. I'm probably wrong :-) but my memory seems to tell me that most period recipes are for "marzipan" or "marchpane" but are not entitled "almond paste". And, while almond paste is modernly put under a layer of icing on certain cakes, older recipes called for "marzipan" under the icing.
I usually think of almond paste as the stuff one can start with to make marzipan, after adding lots more sugar. Homemade marzipan usually isn't as sweet as commercial marzipan. Period marzipan called for rosewater, orange juice or orange flower water. The latter makes a _very_ interesting confection, since the flavor is not what one would expect from "marzipan". Someone asked about a lack of almond flavor. Well, with the addition of orange flower water, one would taste more of that rather than more of almonds. And, I think the same is probably true for adding rosewater, which is called for in most English, period recipes. Modern stuff lacks the rosewater or other flavoring ingredient which is (always?) added in period recipes.
For my own part, I've found that a food processor can make a fairly smooth
marzipan. As someone else noted, the almonds should be processed in small batches. For me, a pound of almonds is done in three batches. I process one-third and then put it into a separate bowl. As each third is done, it's put into the bowl. Then I go back and take a third or even a quarter of the first processing (which contains sugar and rosewater). That stuff is put into a different bowl. I then go through the whole process a third time. You can feel the difference in the size of the ground almonds between your fingers. However, at no point will the stuff get as finely ground as modern commercial paste which uses many blades and more processing. I would suppose that if one had a big enough mortar and good muscles, the paste could be reduced to even further smoothness. Modern blenders don't have quite the same "action" as a medieval mortar and an hour or more of pounding.
Yes, you had better refrigerate the marzipan or you will eventually grow an intriguing variety of mold!
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 1999 09:58:36 EST
From: ChannonM at aol.com
Subject: Re: SC - Chocolate - Yes I know its not period!
If you would like to employ a heraldic device, I suggest going to a cake
makers store and look through their chocolate molds, you can even paint with
coloured chocolate that is made with the pretend "white chocolate". The sizes
would be perfect for individual servings at a feast. You could even go to the
extant of making say a marzipan shield and making the various charges in
chocolate and placing them appropriately upon it. I have used various molds
for doing marzipan sublteties. I have a recipe that works well for the sheild
(I did various devices for a 15thC feast a few years ago). I'll post that now.
The sweet confection, currently known as marzipan is made from ground
almonds, rose water, confectioners sugar and egg whites. This sweet was a
discovery of the later Middle Ages as it required refined sugar to make. The
origin of marzipan is difficult to determine as many countries claim its
discovery. It is believed, however, that the name marchpane was first
used in Italy in the 13th Century11. Many countries have claimed to be the
place of origin of marzipan, however, it should be noted that the name
marchpane can be compared to the Arabic word mautaban--meaning glazed
vessel12. Recipes for marchpane can be found that date back as far as 13th