Learn how to make nut-free marzipan with this simple recipe. Perfect for covering special cakes including birthday cakes or classic Christmas cakes, this recipe is ideal if you’re cooking for a nut allergy sufferer and means that no one will have to miss out! This recipe makes enough marzipan to cover a 20cm cake and should take about 40 mins to make, plus setting time. Nut-free marzipan is much easier to make than you think and no one will notice the difference.
- 75ml whole milk
- 75ml double cream
- 1-2tbsp liqueur, such as Gran Marnier (optional)
- 100g semolina
- 70g polenta
- 175g caster sugar
- 400g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
- 1½tsp vanilla extract
- zest and juice ½ lemon
In a heavy-based saucepan, heat the milk, cream and liqueur until very hot but not boiling. Add 75g semolina and 50g polenta and mix well. Turn the heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes or until cooked through, mixing regularly with a rubber spatula.
Spread over a flat dish or a lined baking sheet and set aside to cool, then leave in the fridge to cool completely.
Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the remaining semolina and polenta, gently heat for 1-2 minutes, tossing regularly, then set aside to cool. Don’t let it colour.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar and icing sugar and make a well in the centre. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and juice along with the dry polenta and semolina mixture. Use a fork to break up the semolina and cream mixture until it looks like coarse breadcrumbs, then add to the bowl.
Beat until it starts to come together. Tip onto a work surface and gently work it until smooth, but don’t overmix or it will become sticky. Use a rolling pin to roll it out to a circle 2cm thick. Set on a baking sheet dusted with icing sugar, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or ideally overnight.
Dust the work surface with icing sugar before rolling. Judge if the texture is right before you start to work with it. It may need to get to room temperature before rolling, but it might need to go back in the fridge to help it firm up if the kitchen gets hot.
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It will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge.