Does Mom like marzipan? Whip up some of Giada De Laurentiis’ mouth-watering almond pancakes for Mother’s Day. There’s no marzipan in the recipe, but the almond extract evokes the flavor. And you can garnish the stack with a small piece of marzipan.
Light and fluffy, sweet and nutty, this is a stack for special celebrations.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Optional garnish: maple syrup
Optional garnish: fresh raspberries
Optional garnish: whole almonds
Optional garnish: a small piece of marzipan
1. COMBINE the mascarpone, water, sugar, almond extract and vanilla extract in a food processor. Process until mixture is smooth.
2. ADD the pancake mix and pulse until just combined. Add the almond paste and pulse once to incorporate.
3. PREHEAT a griddle or large, non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Grease griddle or skillet with 1 tablespoon butter.
4. WORKING in batches, pour ¼ cup of batter per pancake onto griddle. Cook for about 1½ minutes each side, or until golden. Repeat with remaining butter and batter.
5. ARRANGE pancakes on a platter. Serve with maple syrup and fresh raspberries.
Marzipan is a popular confection in Europe. Photo courtesy Neuhaus.
WHAT IS MARZIPAN?
A paste of sugar and ground almonds, marzipan originated in Asia some 1,000 years ago. It is believed to have reached Europe via Spain, brought by Arab traders.
Marzipan grew quickly in popularity with royalty and the wealthy. It was only at the beginning of the 19th century that sugar became affordable and many more people could enjoy marzipan (as well as other sweet treats).
Marzipan is used as a pastry filling and was traditionally popular in wedding cakes as a layer on top of the cake and under the fondant. Marzipan is sweeter than almond paste, another ground almond-sugar product: It has more sugar and can be eaten directly as a confection, while almond paste is not be eaten directly but is used as an ingredient.
Marzipan is also molded and tinted to resemble fruits, animals, and other fanciful shapes.
It’s not only about almonds: Pistachio marzipan is another popular form, most often used to fill chocolates.