Sunday, December 18, 2011

things that are christmas: marzipanning the cake

If marzipanning is a proper verb, that is.
Every year, my christmas fruit cake is a Simnel cake. In other words, it has a rich and gooey vein of marzipan cooked into the middle of it. Then it's wrapped in yet more marzipan before the final icing layer.
This tradition has survived emigration, but only just. Marzipan in this part of Canada is shit, pardon the expression. A sickly sweet paste of sugar, emulsifier and anything that can be passed off as almond. It leaves a repulsive greasy feel on the hard palate and a chemical after-taste that even a sweet sherry cannot remove. Blech!
Tracking down real edible marzipan took time. Luckily (and at a price) Meinhardt's on Granville supplied the goods one year and then (bless them), Sandra and Edmund opened the Swedish Bakery just round the corner from where we were living. Real, echt marzipan was within my grasp year-round (Princess Cake anyone?).
This year is also a swedish marzipan year, although we're now too far from the bakery to stock up. This time the marzipan is courtesy of Ikea, manufactured in Belgium. It gets my yummy seal of approval and yes, most of the two packs did make it onto the cake (mainly cos I bought three packs as a precaution).
So, one cake, liberally coated with peach jam then blanketed in marzipan, is now drying out for the icing stage in a couple of days when the Wee Guy will let rip with this year's best christmas snow-scene cake topper.
Stay tuned.

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