Fluffy cupcakes with chunks of cherry and marzipan and a white chocolate cream cheese frosting on top.
After last years success with Simnel cake, I wanted to try something the same but different for Easter this year. Last year’s simnel cake had a biscuit/pie crust on the bottom and cake on top (with marzipan of course), but this version is more like a cake with streusel on top. Considering fruit cakes are usual heavy, this is a pretty dense cake – not too dense but not like an airy sponge cake.
I used a mix of raisins, dried apricots and cherries soaked in rum and spices overnight, but you can mix up the ratio if you prefer one fruit over another – just keep the total weight roughly the same.
Just like the Eskimos have 300 words for snow, Germany must have close to that many types of different gingerbread (especially at Christmas). Domiosteine are traditional at Christmas and consist of chocolate coated squares with a soft gingerbread base (the Lebkuchen kind, not the hard, biscuit kind), jelly in the middle, then rum soaked marzipan on top. The marzipan has chunks of chopped walnuts in. This is a fairly time consuming recipe – the gingerbread needs to cool before the other layers are added and the chocolate needs to set before serving.
Stollen is loaded with rum and packed with marzipan and fruit and can be made with or without yeast. This version uses regular flour and baking powder as a raising agent and despite the golden brown crust on the outside, the centre was squishy and moist.
A crumbly shortbread with a layer of marzipan on top. This was the first time I’ve used Dr. Oetker’s Ready Rolled Marzipan, which I bought to try out. It made decorating slightly quicker than just buying a block of Marzipan, but it’s designed for covering a cake really.
Marzipan is one of my favourite ingredients which only ever seems to be used at Easter and Christmas. This tart combines all the leftover marzipan you have leftover from Stollen or Simnel cake with apricots, which are in season at the moment. It’s best served with cream or vanilla ice cream.
I’ve tried a few different gingerbread recipes in the past, but usually they’re just a solid biscuit. These gingerbread cookies from Tula are a type of Russian gingerbread filled with jam. I filled mine with marzipan too, because… I like marzipan. They held their shape fairly well during baking, but they did spread a bit. If you plan to make them as gingerbread men you may need a fairly chunky gingerbread man cookie cutter.
“Vacuum cleaners” in Swedish, these chocolate cakes are covered in marzipan and dipped in chocolate. They’re a good use for either leftover cake or failed batches of cupcakes. I made them from the trimmings of Princesstårta cupcakes. Traditionally they’re flavoured with Arak or Punsch, but I used Amaretto instead.
In honour of Sweden’s awful winning Eurovision entry, I bit the bullet and made Princesstårta cupcakes. One of the more fiddly, time consuming cupcakes due to the multiple layers of cake and filling. The Princesstårta is a cross between a Victoria Sandwich and a Boston Cream Pie covered in marzipan. Created by Jenny Åkerström in the 1930s for a Swedish princess, it’s usually a full sized cake. These miniature versions are slightly bigger than a cupcake and have layers of jam, whipped cream and custard.
A good use for the marzipan you probably have left over from Stollen at Christmas. This is similar to a Bakewell tart, but with marzipan and an almond crust. The marzipan balls on top are supposed to represent the Apostles, and there are supposed to be 11 of them, but I just scattered with randomly because I knew I’d be dishing this out to a few people.