Marzipan is a delicious, sweet, sticky substance made from almonds. It is often called almond paste and looks like a thick, white dough. It resembles fondant but is much more flavorful. In Norway it is often rolled into large disks to drape over cream filled cakes, making them beautifully decorated and also very tasty. Or you can mold it and make beautiful and fun creations. In Norway marzipan it is also sold as candy, in chocolate covered shapes during Easter and Christmas. Almond paste is made mainly from almond meal mixed with powdered sugar and egg whites. It is not easy to make good, smooth marzipan from scratch, so it is recommended to purchase it ready made for various recipes.
During holidays it is fun to roll it out into simple shapes to dip in melted chocolate for a beautiful and tasty treat. I’ve been able to find almond paste at our local grocery store, and Amazon sells it as well. The brand in this link seems to be very high quality and suitable for rolling, while Odense is a cheaper brand that will probably work well for making shapes. With Christmas quickly approaching, I decided to purchase a piece from our local supermarket along with some delicious European chocolate from Aldi, a discount grocery store chain based in Germany. They have stores all over the U.S. as well, and I happen to live close to one of them and was thrilled to find that they sell such high quality chocolate! It melts very well and is extremely smooth and tasty.
I used 10 ounces (just shy of 300 g) of marzipan and altogether 7 ounces (200 g) of chocolate, which resulted in some leftovers. In a pinch, I would think that 150 g of chocolate would do.
Edit: Aldi’s white chocolate pictured above must have changed since I wrote this article. It no longer melts well and I will not be using it for recipes needing melted chocolate. I now use Baker’s Premium White Chocolate Baking Squares as I’ve had good experiences with melting this brand of chocolate.
This time around, when I started to roll out the marzipan I discovered that it was quite dry and crumbly. It should be smooth and pliable. So I moistened my hands with a bit of water and kneaded it before trying again, and this time it was a lot better and easy to work with. Notice the two little “logs” I rolled out; the one to the left is very dry, while the one to the right (after adding water) is much more smooth and pliable.
Once the marzipan was moistened and kneaded, I rolled and shaped. Little balls, logs, and some cut into disks. Quick and easy.
I then melted the chocolate; dark, white, and milk chocolate. For simplicity I decided to use the microwave, but only 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between until melted. Don’t overdo it or you’ll end up with a crumbly mess. Once chocolate is over heated there’s really nothing you can do to restore it. It is ruined and you’ll need to start over.
When melted, I dipped each piece of marzipan in the chocolate, using a spoon to cover it.
I used toothpicks to pick them up and transfer to a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (you could also use parchment paper.) I let some of the leftover chocolate drip off and scraped the underside a little bit with a tooth pick to remove the excess.
At the end, seeing I had leftover chocolate, I decided to fill a corner of a cheap, small plastic bag with a little bit of it and use it to decorate a few of the pieces. I just cut a tiny hole in the corner of the bag and squeezed it to pipe out chocolate. I did simple little zig-zag lines for the most part; couldn’t be easier, but looks impressive. And, of course, light on dark or dark on light looks nice.
Once done, I put the tray of marzipan in the refrigerator to cool for 30 min. to firm up. At that point the chocolate could be handled enough to be quickly transferred to a platter, but any more handling and the heat from my fingers would have melted this delicate, delicious chocolate as it has a very low melting point.
Purchasing almond paste at the store, this is a fun and easy candy recipe even for kids. I typically make these marzipan shapes during Christmas, though they can be served year-round. They do make a different and special treat during holidays!