I've always loved how marzipan works for roses. I haven't always liked the price for marzipan though. In culinary school I'd save for weeks to get enough cash to buy a tube of the stuff. I think it's an acquired taste. I have Danish ancestry and it appears we are just naturally pre-disposed to a love of marzipan. But what is it? Marzipan is a sweet edible almond confection dough that is used to make decorative pieces for cakes and pastries. It's a candy dough for all intents and purposes. It's also used in some almond fillings, cakes and cookies. Sometimes it's flavored with rose water or liquore. My favorite use for it is making roses for wedding and special occasion cakes. I previously gave the tutorial for making gorgeous Sculpted Roses from homemade modeling chocolate here. It's the exact same process to form roses using marzipan except the marzipan is a stickier dough and will take a little more finesse. I think you can handle it.
French marzipan is made by combining almond meal with a sugar syrup. This recipe is one that I came up with and now am using Blanched Almond flour. It's simple. Too simple.. It's gluten free. I have fun with it. The secret ingredient is honey! It gives a great sweetness and it's all natural. You want it to be thick but not dry and crumbly. In my experience, warming the honey is key. If you mix it in cold, it will not work as well.My Chef Tess Homemade Marzipan
2 1/2 cups-3 Blanched Almond flour (about 12 oz)
1/2 cup thick light colored honey OR corn syrup
1 tsp almond extract
Lightly warm the honey in the microwave in a small bowl for 30 seconds until runny or use a double boiler and stir until thin. Mix in the flavoring. Mix with the 2 1/2-3 cups of almond flour until a very thick clay-like dough is achieved. Knead it a minute or so. Cover and let the dough sit 1-2 hours. The marzipan is ready to sculpt. Use powdered sugar or cornstarch on your work surfaces in a light dusting to keep it from sticking.
There you go. How to make homemade marzipan!
Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess