Baronial 12th Night - Marchpane A Book of Cookrye, 1591
Marchpane, Gingerbread, Coriander Flavored Marzipan (Callishones) decorated
with White Coriander Comfits
How to make a good Marchpane. - First take a pound of long small almonds and blanch them in cold water, and dry them as dry as you can, then grind them small, and put no liquor to them but as you must needs to keep them from getting oily, and that liquor that you put in must be rosewater, in manner as you shall think good, but wet your pestle therein. When ye have beaten them fine, take half a pound of sugar and more, and see that it be beaten small in powder, it must be fine sugar. Then put it to your Almonds and beat them all together, when they be beaten, take your wafers and cut them round with a compass, the size of your marchpane. As soon as you can after the tempering of your (marchpane) stuff, let it be put in your paste, and strike it abroad with a flat stick as even as you can, and pinch the very stuff as it were an edge set upon, and then put a paper under it, and set it upon a fair board, and lay lattin Basin over it the bottom upwards. Lay burning coals over the basin. To see how it bakes, if it happen to brown too fast in some places, fold papers as broad as the place is & lay it upon that place. And thus with attending you shall bake it a little more than a quarter of an hour, and when it is well baked, put on your gold and biskets, and stick in comfits, and so you shall make a good marchpane. Or ever that you bake it you must cast on it fine sugar and rosewater that will make it look like Ice.
2cups almond flour
1cup confectioners' sugar
1 - 2 tbsp. Rosewater or water, or juice of choice
To Make the Icine
I made the Marchpanes over three separate days, and each day, the amount of liquid needed to make the dough varied between 1 and 2 tbsp. To begin, you will want to sift the almond flour and the sugar together, and then you add enough liquid that a stiff dough is formed. I used a spring form tart pan to press the dough into. I then removed the dough from the bottom pan and placed it onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Place the dough into the oven set to your lowest setting. The goal is to dry and bake the dough but not brown it (as you can see I had some difficulty on a few of these keeping them from browning...they were delicious despite being brown). This took about 15 minutes in my oven. I chose not to decorate the marchpanes, but the time to add decorations is when they come out of the oven and before you ice them.
To make the icing, add rosewater to confectioner sugar and pour over your marchpane. Allow icing to dry before serving. Note--these store well.