In Sicily, where almonds have been grown for centuries, a refreshing drink made from ground almonds, sugar and water is served. (Bakeries usually sell packets of almond paste to be used for this purpose.) The paste turns creamy and milky with a hint of almond taste. The dry summer heat is so intense that this almond milk is served at breakfast, sometimes frozen into a soft slush. We’ve used marzipan to add a creamy, sweet taste to two fruit smoothies, one flavored with orange and the other fresh strawberries.
Almonds are the good news nut, one of the better sources of vitamin E, high in fiber, associated with preventing cardiovascular disease and linked to cancer prevention. These lovely drinks could be a pleasing and healthy way to start the day. Or an exciting cocktail when vodka or rum are added. (Adults only please.)
Here is the Strawberry Almond Smoothie recipe, and the Orange Almondsicle™ Smoothie recipe.
Sweetheart Chocolate and Marzipan Bites
Running out of time for Valentine’s Day? Here’s a sweet morsel you can whip up for that “special someone” in just a few minutes.
A little marzipan is tucked underneath a dollop of our Chocolate Schmear in a mini tart shell. When warmed, the Schmear softens and its flavor blooms. Pop these in the oven for a few minutes then top with a slice of fresh strawberry or a few raspberries. If you’re feeling crafty, mold tiny heart from marzipan to garnish each tartlet before serving. You’ll find buttery tartlet shells at specialty supermarkets but frozen phyllo dough shells will work just as well.
For the Sweetheart Marzipan Bites recipe, click here.
Chocolate Marzipan Heart Cake
The rich flavors of marzipan and chocolate always spell romance. This is a delicious special occasion cake, made stunning with a marzipan plaque made from a House on the Hill Mold. (Tinted Love’n Bake Marzipan rolled and cut out in a heat shape will also do the trick.)
We made this heart-shaped cake with basic brownie mix but any brownie recipe made in heart-shaped pans will do. Cover it with a 5-minute chocolate glaze and you have the perfect canvas for marzipan embellishments.
For the recipe, click here.
White House Organic Garden in Marzipan
- White House Pastry Chef Bill Yosses and the 2009 Gingerbread
So much marzipan news this season that we do not known where to start. Kudos to friend and White House pastry chef, Bill Yossis for his take on the traditional Holiday Gingerbread for the White House. White chocolate coats a gingerbread structure of the White House complete with a peek into the State Dining Room and First Dog, Bo, in Marzipan on the front steps.
We especially like the White House organic garden rendered in marzipan. Local school children helped sculpt the veggies. Nice touch and a tasty one too.
Sculpting with marzipan is really child’s play so do not be daunted. Yes, people do create unimaginably lovely creations using marzipan and a fine artist’s sculpting skill. But mere mortals and their guests can have fun with it.
These delicious treats can be made up to a week ahead and stored in an airtight container before serving.
|With the first shoots of green grass appearing in our lawns up here in the Northeast, we’re thinking of springtime holidays and spending more time out- doors. This month we’re recommending a moist carrot muffin with an almond twist; there is marzipan in the batter. (The mini carrot garnish is there for those who want to spend a little extra time, but not fuss.) And our dense hazelnut and chocolate truffle would make a treat suitable for any seasonal celebration.
| FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Carrot Marzipan Muffins These moist carrot muffins strike just the right note of sweetness with a hint of almond from grated marzipan in the batter. The secret to a tender muffin is in the mixing, only enough just to moisten the ingredients. The miniature marzipan carrots add a welcome flourish. Enlist older children to help shape the mini veggies. Kids (and adults) will have as much fun making them as eating them.
| FROM OUR RECIPE BOX – Hazelnut Chocolate Ginger Truffles
|A rich truffle is an elegant end to any meal or a house gift that is deceptively simple to prepare. The flavor of our Hazelnut Praline adds a pronounced nutty undertone and the crystallized ginger punches up the flavor of these little gems. This recipe calls for 70% chocolate, which refers to the cocoa solids in the chocolate. (A higher percentage of cocoa solids means a darker, richer-tasting chocolate, the kind used by professional confectioners.) Quality bittersweet chocolate from a brand such as Callebaut, Ghirardelli, Green and Black or Valhrona will work well here.
(Here is a memorable way to use a small amount of hazelnut praline you may have left over from another recipe.) This recipe is adapted from one attributed to chocolatier Jacques Bockel, who runs two chocolate shops in the Alsace region of France. To see his delectable creations, visit his site.