Cakes & Bakes: Marzipan chocolate brownies

Slice of home-made marzipan chocolate brownie | H is for Home

Before I begin, I have to share that Justin thinks these marzipan chocolate brownies were the best brownies he’s ever eaten!

Marzipan chocolate brownies liquid ingredients | H is for Home

I’ve probably said this in the past, but Justin isn’t the biggest chocolate brownie fan in the world. If he was, I’d be making them every few days, because I adooooore them.

Baked chocolate brownies layer | H is for Home

The addition of the ganache and marzipan layers give extra dimensions to the dark chocolate gooeyness.

Putting the ganache layer on marzipan chocolate brownies | H is for Home

Justin’s usual grumbles about brownies involve words like – stodgy, claggy or even dry. These additions seem to have banished all those worries!

Rolling out home-made marzipan | H is for Home

And I followed this recipe simply as a way to use up left over home-made marzipan from last week’s Simnel cupcakes. What a great result – brownie harmony in the house!

Adding the marzipan layer in marzipan chocolate brownies | H is for Home

The layers make very attractive slices too – very tempting – perfect for having on the counter of our combined vintage shop & café which we sometimes dream of!

Adding the chocolate top layer in marzipan chocolate brownies | H is for Home

Give them a go – I think you’ll love them!

Slice of home-made marzipan chocolatr brownie | H is for Home

Click here to pin the recipe for later!

Marzipan chocolate brownies
Serves 8
For the brownie layer
  1. 175g/6oz butter
  2. 175g/6oz caster sugar
  3. 75g/2½oz dark chocolate
  4. 3 eggs
  5. 85g/3oz plain flour, sieved
  6. 40g/1½oz cocoa powder
For the ganache
  1. 75g/2½oz dark chocolate
  2. 75g/2½oz double cream
For the marzipan
  1. 150g/5oz ground almonds
  2. 200g/7oz icing sugar
  3. 2tsp almond extract
  4. 1 egg white
For the chocolate topping
  1. 100g/32½oz dark chocolate
  2. Home-made marzipan chocolate brownies ingredients
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For the brownie layer
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  2. Grease & line a 20cm/8-inch square cake tin with parchment paper
  3. Melt the dark chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of just simmering water (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't come into contact with the water)
  4. Stir to incorporate
  5. Whisk the eggs and sugar together well
  6. Mix in the chocolate mixture
  7. Fold in the flour and cocoa powder
  8. Pour the batter into the baking tin
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until just baked
For the ganache layer
  1. Melt the dark chocolate and double cream together in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of just simmering water (making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't come into contact with the water)
  2. Stir to incorporate
  3. Once the brownie layer has cooled, pour the ganache over and spread evenly. Allow to firm up before embarking on the next layer
For the marzipan layer
  1. Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until a thick ball of dough is formed
  2. Turn the paste out onto a work surface and knead it a few times. Roll it into a ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate whilst waiting for the ganache layer has firmed up
  3. Liberally sprinkle some icing sugar on a work surface and roll out half of the marzipan to about ½cm thickness
  4. Cut to size to cover the 20cm/8-inch square brownie layer
  5. Any unused marzipan will keep - covered in cling film - for a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
For the chocolate layer
  1. Melt the dark chocolate and pour evenly over the marzipan. Allow to set completely before 'cutting off the crusts' and slicing into portions
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H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/

Cakes & Bakes: Marzipan refrigerator cookies

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Home-made marzipan refrigerator cookies and mug of tea | via @hisforhome

I had a large lump of marzipan and some chocolate ganache left over from making last week’s petit fours. I HATE throwing food away so I decided to make a batch of marzipan refrigerator cookies.

Marzipan refrigerator cookie dough

It was a quick and easy recipe.

Slicing marzipan refrigerator cookie dough

They can be cooked off in small or larger batches – the dough can live happily in the fridge for a week or so – or freezer more indefinitely.

Cooked marzipan refrigerator cookies cooling on a wire rack

Nothing beats a homemade biscuit – and we loved the sweet, almond flavour of these. If you prefer your cookies to be soft & gooey rather than crisp, lower the heat of the oven to about 150ºC.

Cakes & Bakes: Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart

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Home-made honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart

We have some friends that live nearby who are having their kitchen renovated. For the next few weeks, all they’ll have to cook on is a single-burner camping stove.

Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart ingredients

We’ve been in the exact same position in the past – it’s such a drag! We invited them round to ours for dinner tonight so we thought we’d cook them something that they can’t currently make at home.

Glazed figs before being put in the oven to roast

Justin’s making the main course – chicken breasts filled with a fennel, pastrami and chicken mousse with a spinach and pine nut lasagne – and I’m making the dessert.

Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart before going into the oven

In keeping with the loosely Mediterranean theme, I’ve cooked a honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart. You can buy ready-made shortcrust pastry to make the base, but it’s really easy to make yourself at home – a 2-minute job… honest!

Honey-roasted fig & marzipan tart before going into the oven

I’ve not made this tart before – I hope it’s a hit tonight!

Cakes & Bakes: Redcurrant mazarin tart

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Half-eaten slice of redcurrant mazarin tart | H is for Home

Last week, you’ll remember that I set aside a small bowlful of redcurrants while I made the rest into jelly.

redcurrant mazarin tart ingredients

pastry ingredients for redcurrant mazarin tart base

What I had in mind for this extra was to make a redcurrant mazarin tart using a recipe I found in Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking… Scandilicious by Signe Johansen.

ball of pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

ball of almond pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart

It’s bit of a long-winded recipe to follow – the base, the almond paste (shop bought marzipan is much too hard) and the filling. But do give it a try, it’s worth the effort!

rolling pastry for redcurrant mazarin tart base

redcurrant mazarin filling ingredients

The amount of almond paste that is produced is slightly over what is needed. I plan on rolling the leftovers into little balls and then dipping them in melted dark chocolate; perfect little after-dinner petits fours!

uncooked redcurrant mazarin tart

redcurrant mazarin tart

The original recipe doesn’t call for leaving the tart in the oven while it cools, but I found mine needed a bit of a longer cook and it also helped stop the centre from sinking under the weight of all that fruit.

detail of a redcurrant mazarin tart

slice of redcurrant mazarin tart

The sweetness of the almond paste was a lovely match for the sourness of the redcurrants, balancing each other out. A little dollop of fraîche on the side is all you need to serve with it.

Pin the recipe here to try later!

Redcurrant mazarin tart
For the pastry base
  1. 200g/7oz spelt (or plain) flour
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter
  3. 50g/2oz caster sugar
  4. 1 egg
For the almond paste
  1. 150g/5oz ground almonds
  2. 200g/7oz icing sugar
  3. 2tsp almond extract
  4. 1 egg white
For the filling
  1. 340g/12oz almond paste
  2. 100g/3½ oz butter, softened
  3. 100g • 3½ oz plain flour (or cornflour)
  4. 6 tbsp caster sugar
  5. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 4 eggs
  7. 300g/11oz redcurrants, rinsed and de-stalked
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
For the pastry
  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour and butter together, or mix by hand in a large bowl, until it resembles breadcrumbs
  2. Add in the sugar and then the egg, and continue to combine until the dough comes together
  3. Cover the pastry with cling film and shape into a disc about 1cm/½ in thick
  4. Put into the fridge for an hour, or the freezer for 20-30 minutes
  5. Make the almond paste while you wait for the pastry to chill
For the almond paste
  1. Put the ground almonds, icing sugar, almond extract and egg white into a food processor and combine until a thick ball of dough is formed
  2. Turn the paste out onto a work surface and knead it a few times. Roll it into a log and wrap in cling film until you're ready to make the filling
  3. Any unused paste will keep for a month in the fridge or 6 months in the freezer
For the pastry pt II
  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas mark 5
  2. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is about 3mm/⅛ in thick (or as thin as you can roll it before it starts to crack) and about 30cm/12in in diameter
  3. Lift the rolled pastry into a 23cm/9in pie dish, cake tin or tart case (about 3cm-4cm/1¼ in-1½ in deep) and gently press into the sides and edges
  4. Trim any excess pastry from the rim. Prick the base of the pastry case with a fork, and blind bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
  5. Prepare the filling while you wait for the pastry case to cool
For the filling
  1. Put all the filling ingredients apart from the redcurrants in a food mixer
  2. Combine until the mazarin is smooth and even, and all the ingredients have been fully incorporated
  3. Turn the oven temperature up to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
  4. Pour the mazarin filling into the cooled pastry case and carefully sprinkle the redcurrants over the top, gently pushing some of them into the mazarin mixture
  5. Bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until golden and well risen
  6. Turn off the oven, leave the oven door ajar and allow the tart to cool slowly in the oven
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Adapted from Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking... Scandilicious
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/