‘The Accomplisht Cook’, By Robert May, Published 1664
To Make Marchpane
Take two pounds of almonds blanch’t and beaten in a stone mortar, till they begin
to come to a fine paste, then take a pound of sifted sugar, put it in the mortar
with the almonds, and make it into a perfect paste, putting to it now and then in
the beating of it a spoonful of rose-
I was asked to make a Marchpane for a local church celebrating the 400th anniversary of the rebuilding, parts of the church actually date back to Saxon times. I tracked down an authentic recipe , and worked out how to create it today.
After several attempts , the recipe I used was 500 gms ground almonds, 250 gms caster
sugar, 1 egg and enough rose water to make to make a firm dough.It’s important not
to overwork the paste. Using cardboard templates of the elevations of the building,
I cut out all the pieces about 5 mm thick, and carefully transferred them to a baking
sheet and dried them in a warm oven (about 75-
Each piece was iced with glace icing made with rose water, and then allowed to dry overnight. The sections were then carefully joined together with royal icing to make the building.
As this was a church I also made some “stained glass” windows from crushed and melted boiled sweets. Little bits of pure gold leaf were stuck to roof before display, and as a special, the church had interior lighting to illuminate the windows.
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