Today is National Marzipan Day! To be honest, although I love marzipan, I only bake with it at Christmas, Easter and for traditional fruit cakes. I never bother with it at other times of the year. I see it as something you use for special occasions. Even if it isn’t used as a layer for a fruit cake or Christmas cake or as one of the 13 balls on top of a Simnel Cake, I always see it as a special treat.
After baking with marzipan at Christmas I always have a bit left over and this year was no exception. I found three quarters of a packet wrapped up in my baking cupboard and thought about what I could bake with it. It had to be something quick and easy to make as I don’t have a lot of spare time during the week.
After looking on good old Google and through my recipe books, I came across a recipe I’m pretty sure I’ve baked before. It’s in one of the Great British Bake Off Recipe books, the one which accompanied the second series, aired in 2011. Called How To Bake, it had a whole cake recipe using fresh cranberries, marzipan and almonds. I think I did bake it using dried cranberries as I know fresh ones can be very hard to get hold of.
I chose to bake today’s version to celebrate National Marzipan Day with glace cherries instead of the cranberries. I think cherries work well with marzipan and almonds (think of Bakewell tarts!).
I can’t share the recipe with you, unfortunately as it is not my own recipe and I don’t want to infringe any copyright. But I can show you how I baked the cake.
It is a single layer cake which I baked in one of my loose bottomed sandwich tins. I used a 20cm (8″diameter) one. First, I had to grease and line the base of it with a baking parchment circle. I pre-heated my oven to 160oC (I have a fan oven) and then weighed out all the ingredients.
The glace cherries were washed, halved and dried before I mixed the cake up. I creamed butter and caster sugar together, then added the eggs to the mixture. After this, I used a large metal spoon to fold in small chunks of marzipan. I then folded in some ground almonds, flour and baking powder followed by the halved cherries. I only had 100g cherries left from my baking stash so I had to make do with that.
The mixture seemed a little firmer than other cake batters but it did look pretty with its chunks of yellow coming through from the marzipan and the bright red from the cherries. It took some spreading into the cake tin. The final touch was a sprinkling of flaked almonds to add to the topping before popping into the oven.
The cake baked for about 45 minutes in my fan oven. I did check it with a skewer after 35 minutes but one part of the cake was still not cooked whereas the rest looked done. It went back in the oven for a further 5 minutes, followed by another 5 minutes.
Pray, tell me why does having something in the oven always coincide with everything else happening at once? My Sainsbury’s online delivery arrived but that was about 15 minutes into the bake. So I was trying to put shopping away. Then I was trying to watch the dog who had decided he wanted to go outside in the garden. I heard the timer go off when I was outside in the garden with the dog. The cake went back in for its last 5 minutes just as Mr S came home from work and wanted a cup of tea- he had to wait!
After our dinner, I took the cake out of the tin and cut a piece. Although it’s been cut into, I’ve not actually eaten any of the cake. It was too late to eat any as I get indigestion when I eat anything sweet in the evening. I’ll have a taste of it tomorrow and give you the verdict.
What is your favourite recipe with marzipan in it? Or do you even like marzipan? Let me know!
Love Sam xx