Sometimes, things which seem pretty difficult turn out to be quite simple. I had always assumed that marzipan is produced in an elaborate, technical process which cannot be reproduced at home. But in fact, making marzipan is dead easy. (It had to be since marzipan has been around since the Middle Ages with no food industry in sight.)
The main criterion for judging the quality of marzipan is the ratio of almond to sugar. It can range from 90 % almonds / 10 % sugar (highest quality) to 50% each (lowest quality). The former making sense from a production point of view (If you like your almonds so much, that you won't tolerate a bit of sugar, why not eat them straight as they are?), the latter being required by German food regulations.
To make the marzipan potatoes, proceed as described below, then make little marzipan spheres (first I tried to do this with two teaspoons, but just using your hands works best) and roll them in a saucer with some cocoa powder.
According to the source post, you can roll out the marzipan between two sheets of cling film and use it for drapping over a cake.
Source: Marzipan - ganz einfach selbstgemacht by Barbaras Spielwiese
200 g almonds
50 g confectioners' sugar
1-2 drops rose oil *
* Used one scant tablespoon of rosewater.
Blanche the almonds for 2-3 minutes. Drain and dry the almonds on a dishcloth. Peel the almonds by squeezing each between your thumb and index finger.
In a food processor or stand mixer, add the sugar and blitz briefly. Then add the almonds and blitz thoroughly. Add rose oil and blitz into a silky paste. *
* I made a full batch as described and the top half of the marzipan layer stayed a bit crumbly but would hold together after pressing together between my hands. Next time I will do it in two batches.
- Instead of almonds, use walnuts or hazelnuts or a mixture from almonds and pistachios.
- Instead of confectioners' sugar, use honey.
- Instead of rose oil, use rose water or amaretto or vanilla oil or lavender oil. Or cardamon or cinnamon.