|Chocolate marzipans ready for the fridge|
Dave returned to the Lidl quest, cycling back the next day, and did locate the store on the other side of the Gran Plaza mall. However, the only thing he really wanted to buy was their chocolate marzipan bars and there weren't any. I suspected they are only a Christmas special and it would seem this is the case. Poor Davey was quite disappointed.
With Valentine's Day then approaching, I got all creative as I was sure I had made marzipan in the past and it hadn't been especially difficult. A homemade box of marzipan sweets would make a good present for
Ingredients (made 20 marzipan sweets)
90g icing sugar
80g caster sugar
10g vanilla sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp brandy
175g ground almonds
Large bar of dark chocolate
Sift the sugars together into a bowl. I actually only had standard granulated sugar in place of the icing and caster mix, although I did find vanilla sugar at Mercadona. The granulated worked ok, but did make the final texture quite grainy. A finer sugar would, I think, give a more luxurious result.
Stir in the beaten egg, then stir in the brandy, then stir in the almonds. Knead gently to form a dough, but try not to handle said dough too much as the almonds get greasy.
Separate out small pieces of dough with a teaspoon and roll them into balls. I got 20 two-bite pieces from this batch. Alternatively, you could roll out the dough and cut fun shapes with pastry cutters.
Place a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (or use a bain-marie if you have one). This stage was improvised somewhat precariously in the caravan. Amazingly, it worked! Break the chocolate into the bowl and wait until it melts. Using cocktail sticks, spear each marzipan ball, roll it in the chocolate, then set it aside on a flat tray. DON'T get the ends of your fingers in the chocolate - it's hot and it hurts!
When all the marzipan balls are coated, put them in the fridge to set. Overnight is best. Some of mine lasted that long!