I have been waiting for an opportunity to try out covering a cake with marzipan. So when Adriaanâ€™s grandmother, mother and sister came to stay with us this week I did. I used Madeira cake (which I baked too long, making it quite dry) and buttercream as a base. I didnâ€™t feel like making decorations to put on the cake. Instead I thought Iâ€™d incorporate the decoration in the marzipan by cutting out rounds of marzipan and substituting them with marzipan of a different colour.
Unfortunately the marzipan I bought was not the same quality as the one I used a couple of weeks ago. When I opened the container and unwrapped the marzipan it was much coarser and also contained some small fragments of the skin. It did say marzipan (in Hebrew) on the container and that it contained 50 % almonds. Decided to give it a try anyway…
Working with marzipan was more difficult than working with rolled fondant but it was totally worth it because it tastes so much better. Next time Iâ€™ll try it with more suitable marzipan, maybe it will make a difference…Marzipan does have the advantage that you can correct minor mistakes after you have covered it. I more or less corrected the gaps that were visible between the polka dots and the surrounding marzipan by carefully pressing them against each other.
I thought my first-time-covering-of-a-cake-with-marzipan-cake looked really good (if you donâ€™t look at the pieces of almond that are visible in the marzipan). My family-in-law thought the cake looked beautiful. Too bad the cake was too dry…
Madeira cake (from: Beginnerâ€™s guide to cake decorating by Merehurst)
125 g (4 Â¼ oz / Â½ cup) butter, at room temperature
125 g (4 Â¼ oz / Â½ cup) caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
185 g (6 Â½ oz / 1 Â½ cup) self-raising flour, sifted
grated rind of Â½ a lemon
Preheat the oven to 160ÂºC (325ÂºF). Grease and line a 15 cm (6 in) round cake pan (I used 2 springformâ€™s because 1 wasnâ€™t high enough for the amount of batter, unfortunately I was stupid enough not to cut back on the baking time….my cakes turned out rather dry).
Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and add the lemon rind. Beat for about 2 minutes. Turn the mixture into the pan and level the surface. Bake for 1 â€“ 1 Â¼ hours or until the cake is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
Buttercream (adapted from: Beginnerâ€™s guide to cake decorating by Merehurst)
60 g (2 oz / Â¼ cup) butter, softened
125 g (4 Â½ oz / 1 cup + 2 tbs) icing sugar, sifted
1 tbs Amaretto liqueur
Beat the butter until pale and fluffy. Add the icing sugar a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the Amaretto liqueur.
800 g ( 28 oz) marzipan
gel colours (green, pink and orange)
Divide the marzipan into 500 g (18 oz), 150 g (5 oz) and 150 g (5 oz). Colour the 500 g (18 oz) piece green, and the other two pink and orange. (it takes quite a long time to knead the colouring into the marzipan)
Cut the cake into 2 layers. Spread about â…” of the buttercream between the layers and sandwich the layers together. Spread the remaining butter cream on the sides and top of the cake.
Roll out the green marzipan (the 500 g (18 oz) piece) until itâ€™s Â½ cm (Â¼ in) thick. Either roll it out between layers of plastic foil or use icing sugar for dusting and turn it occasionally to prevent sticking. Cut out rounds using a small cookie cutter (I did about 40) and remove them.
Roll out the pink and the orange marzipan until itâ€™s Â½ cm (Â¼ in) thick. Cut out rounds using a small (I used a 1.8 cm (0.7 in) cookie cutter (about 20 per colour). Stick the pink and orange rounds into the holes in the green marzipan. Use your rolling pin to roll over the green marzipan so that the pink and orange rounds â€˜fuseâ€™ with the green marzipan.
Cover the cake with the marzipan slab and gently press the marzipan against the cake (you can use a rolled fondant smoother tool) starting on top and working your way down. Cut the excess marzipan with a sharp knife or a pizza-cutter.
1 serving â€“ 660 kcal
100 g â€“ 430 kcal
carbohydrate 57 g â€“ protein 5 g â€“ fat 20 g (saturated fat 9 g) â€“ fibre 2 g