Marzipan: what to make, useful properties and contraindications
What is marzipan, probably knows everyone who loves sweets or in some way comes into contact with the art of confectionery. In addition to its excellent taste qualities, this product has a high nutritional value and a rich useful composition, which allowed it to be used once even as a medicine.
- What is marzipan
- What is marzipan made of?
- Types of
- What is the difference between marzipan and mastic
- Composition and Calories
- What is the usefulness of marzipan
- General benefits
- For Women
- For Men
- For Pregnancy
- For breastfeeding
- For children
- When losing weight
- Harm and Contraindications
- How to choose and store
- How to make marzipan: Recipes
- With the hot method
- The cold method
- French recipe
- No sugar
- Useful Tips
- Interesting facts about marzipan
Marzipan is an ancient delicacy, which is loved by almost all peoples of the world. The composition of such a delicacy involves a mixture of ground almonds and powdered sugar. It is not recommended to use another kind of nuts instead of almonds, because in that case the special structure of sweetness will be lost. This is due to the fact that this ingredient contains almond oil, which can give a certain shape to marzipan. And, as it is known, this dessert is used by confectioners to create different figures.
At first, this delicacy was considered a luxury for the common man. Marzipan was present only on the tables of rich people. Nowadays, hostesses have learned to create such a masterpiece with their own hands at home.
As for the origin of such a dish, there are very many versions. The most popular is the one that says that the delicacy was created in Italy.
According to the legend, the sweet appeared here in the most bad harvest year. At that time, the inhabitants of the state were left with almost no food of plant origin. In such adverse weather conditions could only grow almonds, fastidious to the climate. So as not to die of hunger Italians learned to grind almonds to powder-like consistency and thus obtain something like flour. It could be used to bake bread and various pastries. It is believed to be the progenitor of the now widely known dessert. Since then, the principle of preparation has not changed much.
According to another hypothesis, marzipan is of Spanish origin. In this case, the possible discoverers are the inhabitants of the mountainous regions. More than a thousand years ago, during the battles against the Moors, people learned to combine sugar with almond dust. This discovery is believed to have been made by monks from the monastery of San Clemente as a result of the church servants facing starvation. Although the Spaniards were victorious in this battle, a large number of men died in the process. This resulted in simply no one to work the soil, which had a negative effect on crop yields. So, the monks began to use these two components to create a certain nutrient mass.
There is another version of how such a delicacy came about. It is considered the most probable. So, it is assumed that the earliest mention of this recipe has eastern roots. Here we must thank the confectioners of the Ottoman Empire, as they began to prepare unusual treats at the beginning of the VIII century.
To date, there is constant debate among historians about the discoverer of such a dessert. However, experienced experts assure that in all these states, the inhabitants could independently of each other begin to combine these ingredients, without even knowing that in some other country the culinary experts were creating such a delicacy. A lot of European countries, one could say, are fighting for the right to call themselves the birthplace of marzipan. In Germany, in France and in Italy they really love this delicacy and know how to cook it delicately.
The word "marzipan" from Italian means "bread of March". In a period of insufficient wheat, this variety of nut became a source for sweet baked goods, which also has a high degree of nutritional value. It is also believed that European countries produced marzipan as a remedy for various illnesses associated with disorders of the nervous system, such as apathy and depression.
What is marzipan
So, as already mentioned, marzipan is a confectionery product, which is made from a mixture of ground almond flour and powdered sugar or syrup. Sometimes marzipan is considered a mass consisting of other varieties of nuts. Also the name refers to foods made from this component. For example, very popular are buns called marzipan. They contain peanuts.
What are they made of
In the composition of today's marzipan there are three mandatory components. They are sugar or syrup, and sweet and bitter almonds. All of these ingredients are taken in certain proportions.
Recipes can use almond oil, cocoa butter, citrus zest, various spices and other inclusions. Auxiliary ingredients include food colorings, vegetable oils, vanilla, eggs, etc. Some manufacturers are accustomed to using peanuts, as well as pine nuts and walnuts instead of almonds.
Today we know a lot of variants of making marzipan. As for the varieties, it is almost impossible to count them. For example, in Europe today known more than five hundred kinds of this candy. Marzipan is a delicious dessert, which is sure to be present at Christmas and New Year holidays. It can be used not only as a sweet, but also as a valuable product that will benefit the body.
Marzipan can be prepared in several ways. So, according to the method of manufacture, the product is divided into the following types.
The hot method consists of initially chopping the nuts and then pouring in sugar syrup, which acts as a sweetener.
The cold method of preparation is also known. In this case, all the ingredients are thoroughly chopped and well mixed. This method involves using eggs in the recipe.
In addition, marzipan differs in composition and method of use. So, the mixture can be white in color. It is a decoration for a variety of pastries and desserts. Yellow marzipan is formed as a result of dyeing white. This variety is used for pouring desserts. Raw marzipan can also be used for frosting.
What is the difference between marzipan and mastic
The difference between marzipan and mastic is in the composition of these products. Thus, to obtain mastic, powdered sugar is used, as well as gelatin, condensed milk and starch. Traditional marzipan, on the other hand, consists only of almond nuts and powdered sugar. In addition, the mastic is quite easy to make yourself. To make a tasty marzipan requires professional skill. Consequently, it will not be so easy to prepare it at home.
Another difference between these confectionery products is in the scope of application. For example, mastic is often used for decorating cakes and creating various figures. Marzipan, on the other hand, is characterized by a wider range of uses. It can be used for making liquor, candy, cookies, creating different figures. For decorating baked goods marzipan is not very suitable, because it strongly crumbles.
Composition and calories
Traditionally, this confectionery sweet is made from almonds with powdered sugar. And the content of the nut should be at least 1/3. Like any other dish, such a treat has undergone changes over time. Today its composition can be found in pine nuts, lemon zest, oranges, pineapple, egg yolk, etc. In any case, the ratio of almonds to sugar is strictly observed.
Germany is the best producer of marzipan. It is here, in one of the cities of this country live the best confectioners, who keep secret recipes for this delicacy. It is believed that the secret is that they add one bitter almond per hundred sweet ones.
The usefulness of marzipan is due to the natural almonds. The nuts used here, therefore, and the product itself is quite caloric. So, there are almost 480 kcal per 100 grams of product. This suggests that two of these candies would be an excellent snack.
Almonds are characterized by many useful properties. For example, it contains a lot of tocopherol. This vitamin is considered a strong antioxidant, which helps to protect cells from adverse environmental factors and allows to resist stress and emotional tension. B vitamins are also concentrated in almonds. They are designed to strengthen the heart muscle, as well as the joints. In addition, they provide the removal of bad cholesterol from the body, improve liver function. It should be noted that it also contains ascorbic acid and vitamin PP.
Of minerals, the composition of such a delicacy contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulfur.
How is marzipan useful?
The benefit of such a dessert for the human body directly depends on the ingredients in its composition. The delicacy is characterized by the same valuable qualities that the nut possesses.
Among the useful properties of marzipan can be distinguished the following features. This product is able to strengthen the body's defenses and prevent the development of depression. As already mentioned, this product contains a high concentration of vitamin E. This component is very useful for the overall emotional state, the functioning of the brain and the CNS.
Since the marzipan includes almonds, the treat is very useful. This is also due to the fact that the product is not subjected to heat treatment. This preserves all the valuable components of the nut.
The benefits of marzipan lies in the content of vitamins B group. Even the sugar present here provides the production of the hormone of joy. This quality of the delicacy was previously used to combat depression, nervous breakdowns and apathy.
It should be remembered that uncontrolled consumption of sweets has a negative effect on the state of the teeth and material metabolism. The presence of sugar in the product is a limitation for diabetic patients.
In general, marzipan is a very tasty and healthy confection. If you follow the norms and use it in moderation, you can safely enjoy such a delicacy.
Due to the presence of almonds in the composition of marzipan, in large quantities this variety of nut also contains vitamin E. Since this substance is an antioxidant, it protects the cells of the body from various pathogens and protects them from changes that often occur in various diseases. In addition, tocopherol helps to cope with stress and emotional tension.
Beneficial effects on hair and nail health have also been noted. The ingredients used to make the dessert are characterized by a large number of beneficial minerals and vitamins. A large part of the recipes do not involve heat treatment. This preserves all the valuable elements in the finished product.
It should be borne in mind that marzipan, unfortunately, does not belong to the dietary products. Even if you consume no more than 100 grams of dainty per day, it will greatly affect the total caloric content of food eaten throughout the day. The high concentration of fats and carbohydrates can have a negative impact on the figure. For this reason, the product is not recommended for ladies who are watching their weight.
For men, this confectionery product is useful because it helps to strengthen blood vessels and cleanse them of excess cholesterol. All this allows you to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, improve liver function. In addition, the components of this product provide strengthen the joints and the protective functions of the body.
Another important advantage of marzipan is that it can quickly make up for the lack of energy. Due to the high caloric content, a feeling of fullness is maintained for a long time during quick snacks.
Since the main component of marzipan is almond nuts, the finished dish will have a corresponding caloric value. Therefore, you should not eat such a treat in large quantities, otherwise it will have a negative effect on the figure.
If you are prone to allergies, you should exercise caution even when choosing products that contain marzipan. During pregnancy, it is recommended to refrain from consuming such a confectionery product. Since the most persistent food allergy is exactly nut allergy.
As noted above, nut allergies are the most common. In order not to provoke an allergic reaction in the baby, it is necessary to consume no more than 2 spoonfuls of treats. A larger amount will affect breast milk. Such restrictions should be adhered to until the baby is 3 months old.
Before buying this delicacy, it is important to study the composition and check the date of manufacture. After consuming marzipan, it is necessary to constantly monitor the reaction of the child.
Marzipan is a natural product, which will be to the taste of many children. But to this day there are disputes about whether to give a child this product. Some believe that giving such a treat to children is safe, because it contains only sugar syrup and almonds, and it is not able to harm the child. In fact, this opinion is erroneous. After all, as we know, nuts are considered a strong allergen. The same excess sugar can cause cavities. Therefore, if the baby has a hypersensitivity to food, you should not give such a dessert. After all, even the minute pleasure of eating such a treat is not worth the fact that later you will have to deal with allergies and see a dentist.
When losing weight
To prepare marzipan, sugar, crushed almonds and in some cases additional components are used. The sweetness is characterized by a rich taste and dense consistency. It is not possible to eat a lot. To introduce such a product in the dietary diet is possible, but in small quantities. Marzipan candies have a lot of useful elements and various vitamins. All this is able to have a positive effect on the weight loss process. However, it is important to consider that the caloric value of marzipan is quite high, and exceeding the allowable norms can contribute to gaining excess weight.
Harm and contraindications
Unfortunately, marzipan is not only a sweet confectionery product, but also quite a harmful dish in some cases. Such a treat is a common component of various desserts, pastries, which are regularly consumed by lovers of sweets with great pleasure. The negative aspects of this confectionery are in some moments.
First of all, you need to remember that the composition of such a delicacy contains only sugar and almond kernels, grinded to a powder-like consistency. Almonds are characterized by the content of such a substance as amygdalin. This component is converted into a compound, which is a poisonous substance and has a poisonous effect on the body if it enters the blood. Yes, it is important to consider the norm here, but still, there is little good. Bitter almonds are the most dangerous because they contain more of the dangerous substance. To reduce the likelihood of intoxication, it is recommended to use sweet almonds instead of bitter almonds.
It should also be taken into account that peanuts are often used as an alternative instead of the main nut. And this type of nut is the most powerful allergen, which can provoke serious consequences in people who have an intolerance to this product. But even almonds can lead to allergies.
The high energy value of marzipan also poses a danger. As you know, in 100 grams of dainty concentrated almost 500 kcal, a lot of fat and carbohydrates. For this reason it is dangerous for those who want to get rid of excess weight. Speaking of a significant degree of calories, it should be taken into account that it is quite difficult for the stomach to digest. In this regard, the use of the treat should be limited to people who suffer from diabetes, who have liver disease, pancreatic diseases. However, quite a large amount of marzipan, more than 20 kg, is life-threatening. Naturally, no one would be able to eat that many treats.
Nutritionists warn that the daily dose of almonds, regardless of their type and method of processing, should not exceed one handful. Therefore, it is better to eat a little less sweetness, and then the probability of developing any health problems will decrease.
In order not to harm the body, it is recommended to give preference to homemade marzipan. If there is still a need to buy a store dessert, you should buy only the product, which does not contain chemical impurities, dangerous to health. Therefore, it is recommended to first carefully study the composition.
How to choose and store
Nowadays, it is quite easy to find marzipan on store shelves. Before buying, make sure that the product has a sealed package and a label with all the information about the manufacturer, production date, shelf life and storage conditions.
This treat should be stored in the refrigerator. The freezer is also suitable for storage. In this case, you should initially wrap the product in cling film or place it in an airtight container. The optimal storage temperature for marzipan is from +10 to -6 degrees. This delicacy is able to retain its taste and useful properties for up to 3 months. Before using, the mass of marzipan should be kept at room temperature, and then kneaded by hand.
How to make marzipan: recipes
It was noted above that there are two main methods of making such a nutty delicacy: hot and cold.
According to the hot method
The recipe for making marzipan using the hot method is very simple. You must first make a water bath. In a metal container, mix 4 egg whites and 150 grams of sugar, pre-crushed to powder. The resulting mass is heated in a steam bath until it forms a thick homogeneous paste. Add a few drops of lemon juice, 400 grams of ground sweet almonds and some bitter nuts. If there are no bitter almonds available, you can replace them with a few drops of almond essence. Now knead the mass until you get a smooth and firm dough. The product can be used as intended - to form various shapes out of it, or simply put it on a dish.
The cold method
Preparing marzipan by the cold method is even easier. If you follow the instructions, you will get marzipan dough, which is perfect for creating various shapes. So, you need to knead a dough, combining 200 g of honey and 500 g of powder obtained from sweet almonds. In the absence of the bee product, you can use powdered sugar. When kneading you will need to add a few drops of water. This is required to give the dough elasticity. All that remains is to form it into candies or other shapes that are needed in a particular case.
In European countries, marzipan is prepared in different ways. To prepare such a treat at home, you can use the French recipe. You will need 0.5 kg of sweet almonds, 10-15 kernels of the bitter variety, 0.5 kg of powdered sugar and cognac or lemon squeeze to taste.
Pour the nuts and leave for a few minutes. After that, drain the liquid, peel the nuts. Next, put the kernels in a pan and fry over low heat with constant stirring. Then crush the roasted almonds with a blender.
Now combine the nut mixture with powdered sugar and cognac or lemon juice. It remains only to knead the dough until a homogeneous mass. If it is very soft, you can add powdered sugar, but if it is crumbly, add a little water.
Making marzipan involves using nuts and large amounts of sugar. However, there is still a recipe for creating a delicacy that does not require a sweetener. With this method of preparation of the confectionery there is no need to add sugar syrup, which facilitates the task of the hostess. In this case, the role of sweetener and the ingredient that provides the desired texture to the delicacy will be dates. It is important in this case to choose a product of the highest quality. The number of dates depends on their size.
To make sugar-free marzipan, we will need 200 grams of almonds and 6-7 dates. First you need to soak the almonds in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, peel and dry them. Grind the peeled kernels in a blender. Now add seedless dates to the almond mass. Whisk again and knead the dough. Give the ready marzipan to desired shape, then wrap in clingfilm and send it to store in a fridge.
There are several recommendations, following which will turn out to prepare delicious marzipan with their own hands.
First, it should be noted that to make such a treat, it is necessary to use only fresh almonds, which do not have a rancid taste. The use of bitter almonds in this case is not necessary. However, it allows you to reveal a unique flavor.
In some cases, almonds are advised to pour boiling water to speed up the peeling process. In fact, this allows you to peel it faster, but it loses its unique flavor, as well as washed away some of the almond oil, which gives the mass of plasticity.
The prepared marzipan should be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped with cellophane. To achieve a homogeneous consistency, you can put the ingredient mixture in a steam bath. If the nuts are a little dry and produce little oil, you can add a little water to the mass. This will allow the almonds to become more malleable.
To prevent marzipan from sticking to your hands, you should sprinkle it with granulated sugar. If you need to get a delicacy of a certain color, you should use only food dyes.
As you know, the shelf life of marzipan is one month, if it is kept in the refrigerator. If in the process of making eggs was included, it is desirable to eat the resulting sweet as soon as possible.
To bind the individual parts of the figures it is recommended to use egg white. This substance is an excellent food glue.
Interesting facts about marzipan
- The standards for making marzipan are very simple. The only thing to keep in mind is that the amount of sugar should not exceed the amount of marzipan paste. If sugar is added, the mixture becomes denser and harder.
- The best marzipan is made in Germany, namely in the city of Lubeck. The confectionery in this city has a reputation of the best producers of this delicacy in the world. The percentage of almonds in this delicacy is practically 70 percent.
- In Hungary there is a museum of marzipan.
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