There is no Christmas that passes by without me having mazapan. A Spanish Christmas delight dated from the XI century!
As I wrote this post, I learnt nuns from Toledo – one of the most charming cities in Spain – invented the recipe during a famine.
With no flour in their pantries, but plenty of almond and sugar, they created the recipe and fed the hungry. Nowadays, they are still the main producers of mazapan in Spain, and the streets of Toledo are literally impregnated with the exquisite flavour of this delicacy.
What I love about this recipe is its simplicity. It only takes 5 minutes to make and you feel great after eating it, as it is not as heavy as other traditional Christmas delights + it is gluten-free!
Many recipes out there call for potato flour and white egg. And, I wanted to create a healthier version without white sugar. The result is incredible delicious, and so simple that I now make mazapan all year around.
What is good about this recipe…
Macrobiotics considers almonds one of the best of all nuts. Almond is not as allergenic as other nuts, and it is the only nut to alkalise the blood; all the other acidify.
From a nutritional point of view almond is one of the highest sources of biotin (Vitamin B7). The beauty of biotin is that it has the power to help stabilise blood sugar, and to keep the skin supple and moist. Almonds are also high in protein and antioxidant vitamin E.
Brown rice syrup is easier to digest and enters the bloodstream more slowly than other forms of refined sugar. It has a delicious flavour, and the perfect consistency for this recipe.
1 cup blanched almond flour
2 table spoons brown rice syrup
Optional: 1/2 vanilla pod or natural almond essence
- SPLIT the vanilla pod in half lengthways with a small, sharp knife. Use the knife to scrape down the length of the bean to remove the seeds.
- MIX the almond flour and the vanilla seeds, or the natural almond essence.
- ADD the rice syrup and combine. When the mixture starts to come together, use your wet hands to form a thick paste – similar to plasticine.
- ROLL between 2 sheets of baking paper making an even layer – approximately 0.5 / 1 cm thick.
- CUT into your desired shapes with a knife or alternatively using a small pastry cutter.
- PREHEAT the oven grill.
- PLACE onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- GRILL for 2 to 3 minutes.
- REMOVE and let the mazapan cool completely before touching.
- BRUSH the mazapan with rice syrup.
- STORE in a glass jar.
TIPS & NOTES:
- Do not work the ingredients for too long – just long enough to make the mazapan paste (less than a minute)
- Mazapan gets done very quickly and it burns in a split of a second, so stay by the grill!. I normally open the grill after 60 seconds. Turn the tray over, and cook for another 1.5 / 2 minutes.
- Additional flavour is totally optional. The traditional recipe includes almond essence. Personally, I do not use it just to keep it simple.
So tell me, what is your favourite Christmas delight?
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