Hannah, that extraordinary baker, gave me the idea for pistachio marzipan this morning, and it's been nagging away at me all day. I've just made a batch (five minutes, including photography), and it's wonderful - a lovely speckled green, outstandingly better than any marzipan you can buy (but, then, that's also true of the usual almond marzipan).
I'm going to use it to make a traditional Easter treat, Simnel cake - a fruit cake plainly decorated with a marzipan covering and 11 balls of marzipan to symbolise the 11 true disciples. I'll use my mother-in-law's foolproof boiled fruit cake recipe, which was the first she ever gave me, something she made often. I'll post the recipe in the next couple of days, when I make it ... you don't need to make this cake in advance, it's quick and easy, and the Simnel decoration is a cinch.
I just hope that my sister-in-law's Labrador doesn't spot the cake before we all get a chance to eat it - that's what happened the last time I made a Simnel cake two years ago. Somehow, we managed to keep the awful truth from her, and ate hot cross buns instead. But last year, we all forgot that she didn't know .... and she was mortified, both that her dog had eaten most of the cake, and that we'd kept the truth from her.
250g shelled pistachios
250g icing sugar
the white of one medium egg
In a food processor, grind the pistachios until smooth. Add the icing sugar and egg white. Mix until it forms a clump.
This keeps well in the fridge, but should be brought back to room temperature before rolling out to cover the cake.
I'm entering this - rather late, so I hope Ilva will forgive me - for this month's Heart of the Matter, party food for Easter - and to celebrate HotM's first birthday ... so many wonderful recipes and ideas for heart-healthy food.
PS I had a query a couple of days ago from an American reader about British terms for sugar. Another helpful reader mentioned that US icing sugar contains cornstarch ... here in the UK, Tate and Lyle icing sugar is pure, apart from a little anti-caking agent which doesn't appear to be cornstarch.
Extra fruity golden cake
Links from other blogs
Hannah's Easter tree cookies with marzipan
Simnel cake photograph at The Fresh Loaf
Simnel cake recipe at Apple and Spice
Golden brown - A room with a view.
1 day ago