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Dec 2, 2006 01:00 AM

Best marzipan for baking

I'm going to try making stollen. Is there a best brand of marzipan or likely source? I live in Manhattan. Thanks for the help.

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  1. Are you looking for marzipan or almond paste? In either case, I think the Odense brand is fairly ubiquitous. But I think it's an inferior product and it's quite expensive. When I need almond paste I head out to Sahadi's in Brooklyn. They carry American Almond brand of almond paste (they also make other pastes such as pistachio and hazelnut, which are excellent) which I think is significantly better than Odense and about 1/4 to 1/3 the price.

    4 Replies
    1. re: JoanN

      The recipe calls for marzipan rather than almond paste. My (totally limited) understanding is that they're not interchangeable, but if I'm wrong I'd love to know. Thanks for the help all the same.

      1. re: jasmurph

        Marzipan is almond paste with sugar and egg whites added. It's a bit stiffer and a bit sweeter than almond paste. Hard to know, without seeing the recipe, whether or not you could substitute one for another, but I'll bet you could. On the other hand, marzipan--although significantly more expensive--is easier to find.

        1. re: JoanN

          It's the Peter Reinhart recipe for stollen in _The Bread Baker's Apprentice_; he suggests marzipan rather than slivered almonds.

          1. re: jasmurph

            Unfortunately, I have the Reinhart pizza book, but not his bread book. I did find a few references to his stollen online though and it certainly seens as though in this instance you could use the paste interchangeably with the marzipan. But you could also make your own marzipan, too if you wanted. It's easy enough. As I noted above, it used to be that marzipan was made with egg whites. Just Googling around, I see that--presumably because of raw egg issues--a number of recipes now call for corn syrup.

            Looks like a fun recipe. Be sure to let us know how it turns out.

    2. I second the recommendation for American Almond - they do both marzipan and almond paste, and it is a superior product. For this use I think you can safely substitute almond paste for marzipan if necessary.

      One hint for the filling: mix the marzipan with about 1 to 1.5 cups of fresh (soft) bread crumbs in the food processor. I usually use part of a fresh baguette, crust and all - just whirl the bread in the processor till you get crumbs, then add the marzipan and mix. You'll get a big clump, but it has a lighter texture than the rolled cylinder of plain marzipan.

      I picked this up from the instructions that come with the King Arthur stollen kit (shh, don't tell!) But I made from-scratch stollen for years and their mix is as good or better than any result I ever got from several different recipes. I've never seen this step in any other recipe, but when I tried it I was delighted to find that I had finally achieved the filling texture I remebered from the stollen I've had in Germany.