Most people do not think that pigs make very good host/hostess gifts. I beg to differ.
If you know me, you know that I love sweets. The holidays are a perfect excuse for me to delve into the craft of candy making. My favorite sweet thing to make this time a year is marzipan. Marzipan is a very versatile almond and sugar paste that allows you to make figures, decorate your cake or use as filling for pastries and cakes. I usually make a separate batch for me and Lilian just to have fun with -break out the food coloring and sprinkles of all sorts and kinds. we make christmas gnomes, mushrooms, fruits, veggies and little pigs.
Here is a great, simple recipe for marzipan, as well as a guide on how to craft our little pigs in chocolate mud.
200 g(7 oz) raw almonds
2 1/2 dl(1 cup) granulated sugar
1 egg white
1 - 2 tbsp cold water
a few drops of almond and
3 -4 dl (1 1/3 - 1 1/2 cup) confectioners sugar
chocolate of your choice
Blanch and skin almonds by dumping the almonds into a pot of boiling water. Let them boil for no more that 1 min, at which point you strain the liquid off. The almonds should now be easy to pop out of their skins. Let them dry on a kitchen- or paper towel for at least a few hours, preferably over night.
Mix almonds and sugar together in a food processor until it all has the consistency of a fine powder. The finer the powder, the smoother your marsipan will be. I use a spice grinder for this purpose, and mix in small batches. That's because I do not own a food processor, but it works really well!
From this point on, I use my hands to mix, but you can keep using your food processor, if you have one. Add egg white and a little bit of water and mix until you have hard paste. Mix in the powdered sugar, a little at a time, and keep mixing. Add more water if needed.
Your marzipan should look like this when done:
CRAFTING A PIG
Use a toothpick or back of a paintbrush to make eyes and nose.
Use a knife to make mouth.
Use a teaspoon to make the shape for the thigh.
Dip your pig in melted chocolate and place on parchment paper for the chocolate to cool completely.
This is just one idea and the options are obviously endless! Bring out your creativity and come up with some delicious designs, or make these pigs just the way I make them. Box them up and take them to your next holiday party. You contribution is bound to be unique.
This is my Etsy shop: