These marzipan cherries topped a carrot cake from Carole Bloom’s newest book I made for a friend’s birthday party this weekend. Cherries were the theme of her party, because her name is Carolyn Cherry! Her birthday happens to fall at a time of year when there is not a fresh fruit to be found. Not even those grown in South America. So what is a pastry chef to do? Make her own, of course!
Not only are these a perfect garnish for a cake but they can also be served during Passover. They are a great addition to the chocolate caramel matzo and the fruit pâtes. I made my own marzipan with almond paste, powdered sugar and corn syrup. For those of you who want to create this beautiful treat with marzipan that is kosher, here are the two products that I recommend: Love ‘N Bake Marzipan or Solo Marzipan.
I used the recipe from the newest tome by Martha Stewart on Wedding Cakes. I just got the book from my aunt Kristin. It is gorgeous with inspiring pictures and many of her core wedding cake recipes.
To make your own Marzipan according to Martha:
1 pound almond paste
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
1/3 pound light corn syrup
In a food processor, pulse the almond paste and the confectioners’ sugar until combined. Add the corn syrup; pulse until the mixture holds together when pressed.
Transfer to a bowl and knead until smooth.
Add coloring to a portion of the dough. I like to use the gels or paste colors to get the most intense colors without adding too much liquid.
Knead in the color. I where rubber gloves so my hands aren’t stained for days!
Wrap well in plastic so the marzipan won’t dry out.
To make the cherries:
take off a small piece of dough and form a ball. Repeat as many times as you want.
With a skewer, poke a hole in the marzipan to form the top of the cherry. This is where the stem will go.
Using the skewer on its side make an indentation along one side of the ball to create a line.
With a paint brush that is used only for food and food coloring paint the cherries as you wish. I painted these cherries to resemble Rainier cherries, but you can paint them a solid deep red as well.
At a cake supply store you can pick up various materials for making the stems. These are made from green fabric covered wired and green decorating tape. I shop at Sweet Celebrations and New York Cake Decorating and they do mail order if there is not a shop in your town.