OK, so this this may be a celebration of the Scandinavian kind, but if you love the taste of marzipan, this ones for you.
And before we go any further, this recipe is by Paul Hollywood, it’s not mine. I’ve perhaps tweaked it only a fraction, but it’s his. Based around the technical challenge in the 2017 Great British Bake Off.
It makes for a great celebration cake anytime of the year and with just a touch of red, I think makes for a lovely Valentines Cake. And this is of course gluten free, without even trying 😀
For the cake;
600g Ground Almonds
600g icing sugar
3 egg whites, from 3 large eggs, lightly whisked to a foam, but not a meringue
1.5 teaspoons almond essence
red food colouring (I used Rainbow Dust)
Using a food mixer, with a dough hook (or by hand), add the almonds, sugar, beaten egg whites and essence and mix slowly to a dough.
You’ll have to keep stopping and starting to ensure the dough mixes evenly. Once the dough is combined add the red food colouring and continue to mix slowly until completely combined. Using a normal paddle attachment just adds to your woe as it sticks easily. You can of course mix this by hand… it does get heavy going though.
Once the dough is fully mixed turn out of the mixing bowl, wrap in film and cover and place in the fridge overnight. Or if you are pushed for time a couple of hours should do it.
And then the tricky bit.
Pre heat the oven to gas 5, 180c, 170c fan and line 4 baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Cut the cold dough into 4 fairly even chunks and keep them covered whilst you roll out each piece.
Lightly dust your worktop with cornflour, take 1 piece of the dough of using your hands roll the dough out to a long thin piece of dough, 2cm wide. Then cut the 1st piece 8cm long. The 2nd piece at 11cm, the 3rd at 14cm and so on, using each of the other 3 larger pieces of dough each cut at 3cm increments from the previous piece. Ultimately you should have 12 pieces, with the largest piece 41cm long.
Taking each piece, create a ring. This is the trickier bit. With the small pieces, you’ll need some patience, but just keep going, ‘ a squish and a squeeze’ and a ring you will do.
Lay out each ring onto the baking sheet, 5 small ones, 4 medium ones and 3 on the 3rd tray. Using an extra sheet of greaseproof, cover the 1st tray of rings and with another tray, lightly press on the rings to flatten them a little. Lightly flatten each tray.
Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes. Don’t over bake or they dry out once cooled.
Remove from the oven and cool, before icing and assembling.
For the icing;
2 egg whites, lightly beaten to a foam.
400g icing sugar
pink food colouring
Using a hand-held whisk, ring the egg whites to a light foam – not a meringue – and add the icing sugar a heaped spoonful at a time and whisk in until fully beaten. Keep going until all mixed in. Before adding the final spoonful add in a squirt of pink food colour and whisk to combine.
Try not to leave this icing out too long or it will harden, so using a number 4 or 5 writing nozzle, pipe icing onto the base of the largest ring to secure it to your serving dish. Then pipe the loops onto each ring starting with the largest ring. Continue piping loops onto the next largest, and so on, until each ring is covered in icing.
Finish off with your decorations of choice.