18 March 2013


The third thing I baked for our afternoon tea was real mazarins.


Yes, I finally got my act together and opted for the recipe in the book "277 types of cakes". It is a bit fiddlier to do and at least one instruction was incomplete, but on the whole well worth the effort. They are called "Classical", however, I had to make some changes to the recipe, so I won't call them that. I used ready-made marzipan, though there are instructions on how to make it at home. And I didn't make true fondant for the final decoration, I don't have a marble slab and didn't have any time to spare in making it. Instead I opted for royal icing as I had a couple of egg whites left-over from the pastry cream I made for the coconut tops. The recipe calls for marzipan of type "50-50", also called "tant pour tant", meaning equal parts of almonds and sugar. I suspect shop-bought marzipan has some additives, but I believe a 50% almonds does the trick.

The amounts given are for 30 mazarins and in Sweden they are all the same size, in oval aluminium cases and weighing about 70 g each. However, the only aluminium cases I could find were round and smaller.

Ingredients for the filling
500 g marzipan with 50% almonds
250 g unsalted butter at room temperature
250 g eggs (about 5 medium sized)

  1. It is absolutely crucial that all ingredients are at room temperature or the filling will split.
  2. Break up the marzipan into small chunks into a large bowl, then using one hand, add a third of the butter and work it in to form a smooth mixture.
    This takes some time, but it's important not to incorporate too much air into the filling or it will puff up during baking.
  3. Add the next third of the butter and incorporate well, before incorporating the final third and achieving a lump-free goo.
  4. Now the mixture should be soft enough to be mixed with a spoon. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, incorporating well and stop just after the last egg is in.
  5. If not using immediately, cover the surface with cling film, making sure no air bubbles are trapped, and keep in the fridge.
  6. Let warm up to room temperature before using it.

The shortcrust pastry is called 1 - 2 - 3 because of the proportions of the ingredients. Eggs are added to make it easier to roll. It can be done in a mixer, but it's better done manually, so that the dough doesn't get over worked.

Ingredients for the dough
600 g plain flour
400 g unsalted butter at room temperature
200 g granulated sugar
100 g eggs (about 2 medium sized)

  1. Sift the flour onto the work surface and make a well.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in the middle, then pinch together into a crumbly mixture.
  3. Add the eggs and work together to a dough, then place in a plastic bag, squeeze out all the air, tie it tightly and let rest in the fridge for at least 1 h.
  4. The dough should be rolled while cold.

I prepared the above on Thursday and kept in the fridge, then took out early on Saturday morning to warm out, while I worked on the coconut tops.

And so yesterday, I put things together.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C.
  2. Arrange round aluminium cases on trays which have a lip along the edges. The cases can glide easily, the lip will stop them from dropping on the floor.
  3. Dust the work surface with some flour, then roll out a piece of the dough to 3 mm thickness.
  4. .
  5. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place in the aluminium cases. The cutter should be a little larger than the cases. Gently press the dough into each case.
  6. Place the mazarin filling in a piping bag, cut off a hole of about 2 cm diameter or use a large plain tip and pipe into the dough cases. Fill up to about three-quarters.
  7. Bake for about 18 - 23 minutes, until the mazarins are golden brown.
  8. Prepare the royal icing - place 3 - 4 dl of icing sugar in a bowl and start adding egg white, a couple of tsp at a time and stir in before adding more. Continue until the consistency is thin enough to be "self levelling", but not too runny. Keep covered until it should be used.
  9. Remove the mazarins from the oven and let cool enough so they can be handled.
  10. Place about a tsp of royal icing on top of a mazarin and spread it over the surface with a knife or spatula.
  11. Best served on the day of baking, but should be OK for a day or two afterwards as well. Ready baked mazarins can be frozen before being iced.

Well, I actually only made 15 mazarins, the rest of the dough and filling are now happily biding their time in the freezer. We still have way too many sweet things to eat. Certainly the coconut tops were well received and the younger of our guests found it very hard to stop eating the chewy fudge biscuits and had to be told off.

The mistake I made was to pipe too much filling, so my mazarins mushroomed a bit. This means that I have more dough than filling left, but that's easy to remedy.

Lundulph's verdict: very nice.

A further comment on the "classical" mazarins - as I mentioned before, they should really be glazed with runny fondant. But in order to do that, they need to first be glazed with apricot glaze. This is called "aprikotyr" in Swedish and I went ahead and made it, but here is where the instructions let me down - the simple, yet very important bit about glazing the mazarins with the apricot glaze while it is still hot. Because once it had cooled, it was like jelly. This practice is to prevent the fondant from soaking up moisture from the mazarin and going soggy. However, when using royal icing, this doesn't happen, so I made it in vain. But I've frozen it too, might get to use it at a later date.

Update 25th March: Due to the much-ness of all the baking, I froze a number of the ready glazed mazarins and thawed them earlier this week. Guess what, they were absolutely fine, perhaps a bit on the crumbly side perhaps. For Easter Sunday, I'll thaw the dough and filling and make some more. By the way, I thawed the mazarins by just leaving them out in the kitchen, nothing fancy at all.

Update 23rd June: The other week, I thawed the dough and filling. The dough felt a bit sticky, so I had to be a bit more generous when dusting with flour, but the mazarins turned out very nice as well. As predicted, I ran out of filling before running out of dough. I also ran out of aluminium cases, so instead I lined my heart shaped tins and used gooseberry jam as filling, before covering with more dough, just like with the vanilla hearts. I glazed with royal icing and they turned out really nice too.


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