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Marzipan v. Almond Paste


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This offers some possible options on substitutions ... .. see whether it answers your question ...

1 3/4 cups ground blanched almonds plus 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar plus 1 egg white plus 1 teaspoon almond extract plus 1/4 teaspoon salt
but you have to make this yourself instead of buying it ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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  • 2 months later...

I have read a few references which indicate that marzipan and almond paste are different. However, the ingredients seem very similar.

Is there a difference between the two? Is it in the ingredients, ratio of ingredients, finished product texture?

Any help (as always) is greatly appreciated :smile:

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Almond paste is available in varying degrees of quality, like so many other ingredients. The better versions contain only almonds and sugar, typically 50/50 or (better), 66% almonds to 34% sugar. The sugar prevents the almonds becoming almond butter (y'know, like peanut butter). Cheaper brands use lesser percentages of almonds and may include preservatives, artificial flavouring, or other adulterants.

Marzipan is made by adding additional powdered sugar to the almond paste, and some glucose (sometimes corn syrup, in North America) as well. Marzipan is more malleable, and can be rolled and shaped in any number of ways. It can also be dried to a beautifully smooth surface which may be painted on with edible pigments for interesting effects.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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TPT (tant pour tant) is a mixture of 50% ground, dried almonds and 50% ground sugar.

Almond paste is a like a TPT but with 10-11% moisture.

Marzipan uses dried almonds but has fondant (brought to 122C/hardball-stage) in it instead.

This means that the marzipan is much more workable for sculpting. About textures, TPT is dry, almond paste is moist and sticky and marzipan is compact and easy to work with. It is not totally uncommon that store bought marzipan is flavoured with a bit of bitter almond.

Edited by priich (log)
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Thanks everyone.

Does this mean that almond paste is more of a thick liquid (like a praline paste)? Or does it look like marzipan (ie when bought in a package) but is a stickier substance to work with.

Also, do marzipan and almond paste taste very different? For example, if I was using one as an ingredient to be mixed into a chocolate filling, could I susbstitute the other (assuming the same ratio of nuts to sugar in both)?

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I'm glad someone posted this topic, I've wondered about the difference myself!

Is there a good recipe for almond paste that anyone can recommend? I haven't been able to find it in the stores here, although marzipan is pretty prevalent.

Edited by Beebs (log)
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I also add a little rosewater to the marzipan/marchpane I prepare, mainly because the traditional recipe from the middle ages, included it. I also use a few bitter almonds (4 or 5 kernels to a pound of almonds because it intensifies the flavor. I also add a little almond oil which I buy at the local middle eastern market.

Almonds are grown locally so I can get them when they are very fresh, which makes a huge difference. Blanching them is much easier, the skins simply float off when the water is stirred.

If you have almonds that have been around for a while and are very dry and hard, you can steam them for a few minutes and they will be much easier to work.

I put them (along with the dry sugar) through a meat grinder, then into the food processor and add the syrup in a thin until it is the correct consistency.

I then knead it by hand until it is smooth and pliable.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I love almost anything made with almond paste. Yum. This gives me the opportunity (yet again) to mention one of my favorite companies -- almond paste and related stuff from this company:

Mandelin

I have know financial interest or relatives with the company. I just really like their stuff and love supporting a company dedicated to a great product here in my home state of California. I'm just a home baker but love their stuff so much, I got my local professional cooking supply place to carry their stuff in quantities that work for me. However, when I first found them, they were really nice on the phone to lil 'ol me when I ordered direct. I just want them to be successful so I'm always happy to turn more people on to them.

Hope you check it out.

So long and thanks for all the fish.
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I've done a bit of investigating myself and found the following links:

This is a description of Almond Paste and has a photo - it seems to look just like marzipan (recipes at the bottom)

http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/equivalents_s...p?index=A&tid=4

This one actually adresses the question: what is the difference between marzipan and almond paste

http://www.odense.com/faq.cfm

According to the site, the difference is that marzipan is milled to a smoother consistency and contains more sugar (less almonds). This is in contrast to the link above that says almond paste is less granular than marzipan. Not sure what to make of the different information between websites. :hmmm:

This is just the wikipedia entry for marzipan which I thought was interesting:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marzipan

So armed with this information, I think I have the answer to one of my ealier questions but if someone could confirm that would be great - can I substitute a 50/50 (almond/sugar) marzipan with a 50/50 almond paste? - ie., wouldn't they be essentially the same thing.

Or am I missing the point that marzipan is just not made with a higher ratio of almonds because it would destroy the very consistency that is required of marzipan?

Cheers

Edited by gap (log)
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...I also use a few bitter almonds (4 or 5 kernels to a pound of almonds because it intensifies the flavor... 

where are you finding bitter almonds?

I actually save the pits from my heirloom apricot tree, crack and dry the kernels and store them in a vacuum bag in the freezer and then in a red plastic container. CAREFULLY MARKED!

You can order them online -here the half-pound package will be enough to last you a long time. Read the notes, you use them sparingly.

They are considered a spice.

Just as an aside. I know some very fine bakers who start out with the almond paste in a can that one can usually find in the kosher foods section of most markets, and work powdered sugar, almond extract and whatever other flavoring they want, into the stuff and produce a very respectable product.

Or you can order some ready made marzipan & almond paste

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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  • 6 months later...

I'm making this recipe ( http://www.canadianliving.com/food/marzipan_bars.php )

and I'm wondering if I could use diced almond paste instead of marzipan. I've made it before and it's delicious but I can't remember what I used. I happen to have quite a bit of almond paste at the moment. Can you see a problem with this?

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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I think the difference between the two is the amount of sugar, marzipan having more than almond paste, but it could be the other way 'round.  I think you could substitute, being mindful of any adjustments you may need to make on the basis of sweetness or, possibly, dryness.

Mazipan is almond paste with a lot of extra confectioner's sugar added. You could add approximate an equal volume of confectioner's sugar to almond paste along with a couple of egg whites.

Instructions from Carole Blum (truffles, candies & confections): dust board with sugar, make a mound with almond paste (~2,5 cups), with a well in center. Put in egg whites & 1 cup sugar, knead(about 5 min). Add sugar as needed to make a pliabe texture about consistency of pie dough.

Mark

www.roseconfections.com

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  • 1 month later...

Help! After Elk Candies in NYC went out of business a couple of years ago, my brother (a furniture builder by profession, not a confectioner) took it upon himself to make our traditional Christmas marzipan pigs, using almond paste and confectioner's sugar. Last year they were terrific. This year, he's having a problem with almond paste being very oily. Does he just need to add more confectioner's sugar, or is there some other way to deal with this problem? Our whole clan would be grateful for any advice you can give that I could pass on to him.

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I simply add almond meal and a bit more XXXX sugar, sprinkling a little of each on the paste and kneading it into the mass until it reaches the desired consistency. I make my own almond meal but sometimes rely on Trader Joe's if I have less time.

I have a friend who adds rice flour to almond paste (won't disclose the secret) and achieves a very thin, ruffled and pierced, to look like lace, edge on a tart shell.

The only reason I mention it is that this year she made trios of pigs, "Hear No, See No, Speak No Evil" and two of the pigs have erect ears that are almost transparent. She had already formed the figures when I visited but was airbrushing markings on the pigs while I was there.

I would love to know how she achieves this effect because I have never even come close. My pigies are rather crude.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Andie, thank you so much for your quick and, as always, informative answer. Our pigs are much cruder, but the design feels almost like a family heirloom.

Interesting about the rice flour. My brother and I had discussed using rice flour, but I use it in bread baking precisely because it doesn't absorb moisture as readily as wheat flour, so I thought it might not absorb the oil either. I suspect the cornstarch in the confectioner's sugar does some of that, so we thought maybe a very small amount of cornstarch might work.

Anyway, a million thanks.

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  • 1 year later...

I found a recipe for almond cake I want to try that calls for almond paste. I'm having a bit of trouble finding almond paste in Japan, but I found marzipanrohmasse.

According to German Food Guide, marzipanrohmasse is

Marzipanrohmasse (raw marzipan) is the base from which all marzipan is made. This is its simplest form. It contains two-thirds (65%) ground, blanched almonds and one-third (35%) sugar. Marzipanrohmasse is labeled as 100:0, meaning 100% Marzipanrohmasse and 0% extra sugar. From here, different qualities of marzipan are made.

Can I assume this is almond paste? The company I can get it from lists the ingredients as almonds and sugar (in that order), while the marzipan on the website has a few other ingredients in it.

The almond cake recipe, by the way, is this one from Jacques Pepin.

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