• The slice is this kind of cake which could be eaten whole for one dessert. Firstly – it is very thin so one piece is actually a half of a piece. Secondly – it is so light and tasty that you cannot resist to eat only one, or half piece. Today slice is crumble like pastry, the layer of marzipan (store bought or homemade - recipe here) and apricots with some crumble on the top. I used yellow apricots and black apricots (Aprium) which are a hybrid between apricots and plums (more apricots) and I realised that plums match perfectly to this slice as well. Enjoy!

     

    shallow pan 8 x 12 inch

     

    Ingredients:

    • 2/3 cup + 1 tablespoon butter, softened
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 ½ + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    • ½ teaspoon baking powder
    • 3 tablespoons corn starch
    • 100 gr raw marzipan masse
    • 6-8 fresh apricots (or plums) sliced roughly

     

    In the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter, salt and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg, mix together. Add corn starch, baking powder and gradually add flour to the butter mixture still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball. This dough is more sticky than usual so may not form exact ball but should be firm and elastic. When the dough is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let it cool in the fridge for 1- 2 hours.

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the baking pan with parchment paper.

    Remove the pastry from the fridge and divide it to 2/3 and 1/3. The smaller part wrap again and place into the freezer. The bigger part paste into the base of the baking pan by pressing down the dough with your hands. Roll out the marzipan masse into the pan size rectangular and place onto the dough. You can also cool the masse and grate on the biggest mesh of vegetable grater direct onto the pastry base. Place the slices of apricots (plums) on the top and sprinkle with the smaller part of pastry grated on the biggest mesh of vegetable grater. The fruits should be covered completely. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool and serve dusted with icing sugar.


     

    Category: Pastries/tarts.

    Tags: Apricots, marzipan, plums.

  • Very tasty and very popular English tea cake. The name was given when such kind of cake was served at the Princess Victoria’s wedding party to honour her husband Prince Battenberg. Usually it is a light almond sponge shaped as bicolour check covered with thin layer of marzipan. My version is red – green check with tastes of pistachio and cranberry. The sponge is delicate but tastes could be detected. Sweet marzipan completes them perfectly. I like this cake very much. Enjoy too!

     

    square pan 8 x 8 inch

     

    Ingredients:

    • 125 g (½ cup + 1 tablespoon) butter , softened
    • 125 g (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 100 g  (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) all purpose flour
    • 1½  teaspoons baking powder
    • 50 g finely ground almonds (almond flour)
    • 2 tablespoons powdered freeze-dried canberry
    • 7 tablespoons finely ground unsalted pistachios
    • few drops food colouring  – red and green

    Assembly:

    • 250 g raw marzipan mass (store bought or homemade – recipe here)
    • 3-4 tablespoons apricots jam

     

     

    Prepare the pan: grease with melted butter. Cut the parchment paper into a 8 x 14 inch rectangular. Fold the paper in half widthways then open out and push up the centre fold to make a pleat as tall as the pan. Line the base of greased pan with the paper so the pleat is placed exactly in the middle (creating a wall between two halves of the pan and dividing it to two separated containers – see last picture). Preheat oven to the 350°F.

    In a bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and baking powder, mix well. Divide the mixture in half. Add almond flour and powdered cranberry to one portion, mix until combined. Add pistachios to the second portion, mix until combined. If both mixtures are to pale and you wish more intensive colour add few drops of food colouring – red to the cranberry one and green to the pistachio one. Spoon prepared mixtures into the pan – one to each separated part. Bake for 20-25 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean). Leave in the pan for few minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Roll out the marzipan thinly. Heat gently the jam until it spreads easily. Cut both sponges in half lengthways to make four strips – two red and two green. Brush one long side of each cake with heated jam. Place onto the marzipan one red sponge and one green sponge in that way they touch together with brushed sides. Brush with jam the upper surface of sponges and place onto the remaining sponges touching their brushed sides. Alternate colours. Brush all outer sides of built cake with jam. Wrap the marzipan neatly around the cake and seal it on the bottom edge. Cut off the excess of marzipan. Serve in slices.


     

    Category: Tea- and bundtcakes.

    Tags:almonds, cranberry, marzipan, pistachio.

  • These shortbread cookies I baked in the shape of ‘2’ for my son’s second birthday. You can bake them of course in a different shape. There are easy and quick to prepare and not so common like just butter cookies. Almond flour gives them a new quality taste marzipan like. This is perfect treat for children – not too fat, not too sweet, funny and small enough to match little hands. In our house they disappeared without trace. Enjoy!

     

    the amount depends on cookie cutter size

     

     Ingredients:

    • ½ cup butter, softened
    • ½ cup icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 ¼ cups cake&pastry flour
    • 100 g almond flour

     Icing:

    • ¼ cup icing sugar
    • 1 tablespoon warm water
    • your favourite sprinkles

    In the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and almond extract, mix together. Add salt and almond flour. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball. The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

    Line the baking tray with paper parchment. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick square. Cut off desired shapes. Place cookies on the baking tray and store in the fridge until the oven is not ready. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown in colour. Cool completely.

    Make icing: mix the icing sugar with water until smooth. Cover each cookie with icing and sprinkle with sprinkles.


     

    Category: Cookies.

    Tags: Almonds, marzipan.

  • These loaves are soft gingerbread cakes baked in mini sizes. Very easy and quick in preparing, just after baking are soft and ready to eat. The top could be just frosted with sugar icing but jam and marzipan make them more delicious. Cakes are simple and very tasty and at the same time subtle and festive sophisticated. Enjoy!

     

    8 small loaves

     

     Ingredients:

    • 4/5 cup butter
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar (or ½ cup if you want more sweet cake)
    • ½ cup treacle (molasses)
    • ½ cup honey
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 cup minus 2 tablespoons flour
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
    • 3 teaspoons gingerbread spice mix (or pumpkin pie spice mix)
    • 2 eggs

     

    Layering and frosting:

    • 100 g apricots (or fig) jam
    • 200 g marzipan (store bought or homemade – recipe here)

     

     

    Preheat oven to the 320°F. Line pans (bottoms and short sides) with parchment paper.

    Place butter, sugar, treacle, honey and milk In a sauce pan and heat until sugar dissolved and butter melted. Bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Immediately add baking soda and set aside for 3-4 minutes. Add flour and spices, mix with fork or spoon. Add eggs, mix until combined. Spoon mixture into pans and cover with aluminium foil. Bake for 40 minutes then remove foil and bake for further 30 minutes (until skewer inserted into center comes out clean). Cool in pans.

    Remove cakes from pans and divide each in half horizontally. Spread both cut surfaces with thin layer of  jam. Cut marzipan into thin slices sized and shaped as loaves’ surfaces. You will need two slices for each loaf. If your marzipan is not cube shaped you should roll it out on icing sugar. Place one marzipan slice in the center of each loaf and cover with second half of cake. Spread thin layer of jam of the top of cake and place second slice on it. Cut off marzipan stars and decorate tops.


     

     

     

    Category: Tea- and bundtcakes.

    Tags: cinnamon, Christmas, ginger, honey, marzipan, molasses.

  • This popular Danish tea-cake is easy and tasty hence it is baked often. In dough mixture are lemon juice and zest and marzipan together which gives very interesting sweet-sour taste effect. The texture is subtle but moist. Traditionally is topped with thick lemon icing but I tried the combination with raspberries and it works. Very tasty cake that disappeared by us on the first day. Enjoy!

     

    sandwich pan ø 8 inch

     

    Ingredients:

    • 2/3 cup (150 g) butter, softened
    • ½ cup + 1 ½ tablespoon (120 g) sugar
    • 100 g  raw marzipan mass (store bought or homemade – recipe here)
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon (150 g) all purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • pinch of salt
    • juice and zest of 1 middle size lemon

    Raspberry glaze:

    • 100 g raspberries (might be frozen)
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon gelatine
    • 1/3 cup (50 g) icing sugar
    • 2 tablespoons warm water

     

     

    Grease and line pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 325°F.

    In a bowl of a stand mixer beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add grated or finely chopped marzipan, beat again. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separated bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture still mixing. Add lemon juice and zest, mix until combined. Pour dough mixture into prepared pan.  Bake for 50-55 minutes (until the wooden skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean). Leave in the pan for few minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    Make the glaze: place raspberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a saucepan and heat until sugar has dissolved and fruits become pulp. Meanwhile place gelatine in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Leave for 5 minutes then heat In microwave or double boiler until is dissolved. Stir liquid gelatine In warm raspberry mixture and mix. Set aside to cool slightly and starts to thicken. In a separated bowl beat together icing sugar and water until smooth, thick but still liquid. Pour raspberry mixture over the top of the cake. Make sugar icing swirl over it. After few minutes they will set and infiltrate each other creating decorating pattern.


     

    Category: Tea- and bundtcakes.

    Tags:lemon, marzipan, raspberry.

  • This is very easy to prepare tart, I would even say for beginners bakers. Shortbread crust, marzipan, plums – that is the secret of the dessert. If you like to bake seasonal this tart is a very good idea and I recommend to use blue plums (Italian plums). Simplicity of this dessert takes away nothing of its flavour, you will be delighted how wonderfully it melts in your mouth. Enjoy!

     

    1 tart ø 10 inch

     

    Base:

    • 2/3  cup softened butter
    • 7 tablespoons icing sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
    • 2 cups all purpose flour

    Filling:

    • 150 g marzipan (store bought or homemade – recipe here)
    • 300 g plums
    • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
    • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds

     

     

    Shortbread base: in the bowl of a stand mixer place the softened butter and sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix together. Gradually add flour still mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball (the sides of the bowl should be almost clean). The amount of flour you need could vary because of flour type. If the dough is still very soft and does not shape a ball add more flour, one tablespoon at the time. When is ready, remove it from the bowl, wrap in a cling film and let cool in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.

    Place the cooled pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll out into 1/5 inch thick circle. Fill pan with prepared pastry and press to place properly. Roll out marzipan to the circle the same size as pan bottom. Place the marzipan layer onto prepared pastry. Halve plums, remove pits. Arrange plums in the pan in the shape of rosette starting at outer side. Each fruit half should be half-laying and leans against the former one. Sprinkle with sugar and sliced almonds. Place the tart in fridge until oven is heated.

    Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes (until filling only slightly bubbles and the crust is golden brown). Cool after baking on a wire rack.


     

    Category: Tarts/pastries.

    Tags: almonds, autumn, marzipan, plums.

  • Stollen is traditional German Christmas cake. It is a yeast dough with plenty of dried fruits, marzipan and icing sugar on the top. Dried fruits are firstly soaked in strong liquor which gives the specific savour and then kneaded into dough for even and generous distribution. After baking the cake is repeatedly and rich sprinkled with icing sugar for snowy look. The whole cake is very tasty and contrary to appearances not very sweet. Dried fruit protect the cake against drying and it safes the freshness up to three weeks (however in my home it lasted for three days only). Enjoy!

     

    2 pieces

     

     Dough:

    • 2 ¾ cups plus 1 tablespoon bread flour
    • 4 teaspoons dried yeast
    • 125 ml lukewarm milk
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • pinch of salt
    • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, soften
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Filling:

    • ½ cup raisins
    • ½ cup golden raisins
    • ¼ cup dried cranberries
    • ¼ cup dried cherries
    • 8 dried figs (black mission)
    • ¾ cup Brandy
    • 1/3 cup Rum
    • zest of 1 orange
    • zest of 1 lemon
    • 150 g raw marzipan masse

    Icing:

    • ¾  cup icing sugar
    • ¼ cup butter, melted

     

    The day before: in a medium bowl place both raisins, dried cranberries and cherries and figs cut into small pieces. Pour over Brandy and Rum, cover and leave for overnight.

    Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix with the hook attachment on medium speed gradually adding butter (one tablespoon at the time) until dough is smooth (8-10 minutes). Once the dough is ready place it in an oiled bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

    Grease and line with parchment paper large baking sheet.

    Place the dough on a floured surface and flatten slightly with hands. Drain tightly soaked fruits and place them all over the dough. Start to knead the dough in order to incorporate all the fruit in. Divide the dough into half. Roll out each half into 9x13 inch oval shape. Divide the marzipan into half. Shape each into roll about 12 inch long. Place one marzipan on the first dough oval and fold the dough covering the marzipan but do not go to the end of the dough (you should become asymmetric shape partially two-ply, partially single-ply). Repeat your work with the second piece of dough and second marzipan half. Place both cakes on prepared sheet. Let stand in a warm place for 15-20 minutes to rest and preheat oven to 350°F.  Brush tops with melted butter and bake for 30-35 minutes until light brown in colour. After baking immediately brush with melted butter and sprinkle richly with icing sugar. Before serving sprinkle with icing sugar.

     

     

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags: Christmas, cranberry, figs, marzipan, raisins, yeast.