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    Layered Marzipan Sweetmeats

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    Layered Marzipan Sweetmeats

    • Preparation time: 1 hour, plus cooling and 30-60 minutes chilling
    • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours 60 minutes 60 minutes

    Makes: 2 x 350g blocks


    • 500g blanched almonds
    • 50g icing sugar
    • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 600g granulated sugar
    • 2 tbsp golden syrup


    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4 and lightly toast the almonds on a baking sheet for 8 minutes, or until just golden - you don't want them to colour too much. Leave to cool, then put the almonds and icing sugar in a food processor and process until the almonds are finely ground. Transfer half the mixture to a bowl and mix in the cocoa powder. Set aside. Leave the remainder in the processor.
    2. Put the granulated sugar, syrup and 150ml water in a heavy-based pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Don't let the mixture boil before the sugar has completely dissolved - it can take 10-15 minutes for this to happen. Bring to the boil, and boil for 10 minutes until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage - 119°C on a sugar thermometer, or when a small amount of syrup dropped into a saucer of cold water forms a soft mass that will hold its shape.
    3. Carefully pour the syrup into a large measuring jug. Start to process the ground almonds in the food processor and gradually add half the syrup in a steady stream. The mix will become a soft paste. Carefully remove from the food processor (the mix will be hot) and wrap in clingfilm. Set aside.
    4. Put the reserved ground almonds and cocoa into the food processor and repeat as above with the remaining syrup.
    5. Once the marzipan is cool enough to handle, place the plain dough between two large pieces of clingfilm and roll out to a rectangle, 5mm thick. Remove the film and cut the marzipan to a neat rectangle measuring about 20 x 15cm. Set aside. Repeat with the chocolate marzipan. Place the chocolate marzipan rectangle on the plain marzipan. Cut this into quarters. Put each piece on the other, so you end up with 8 layers of marzipan. Halve the block to give two. Repeat with trimmings if you like. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30-60 minutes before serving.

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