I really like this sweet. It’s very almondy and sugary and fun! I know that marzipan was used to form different figures or even molded to form figures like a sculptor working in clay. I’m not that talented. I had fun turning the sweet dough into flowers and leaves. Nibbling on the dough while cooking…excellent!
Ymages in Sugar
And if ye will make any ymages or any other thing in suger that is casten in moldys, seethe them in the same maner that the plate is, and poure it into the moldes in the same manere that the plate is poured, but loeth youre mold be anoyntyd before with a litell oyle of almaundes.
(Heiatt, pp. 142)
And if you will make any images of any other thing in sugar that is cat in molds make them in the same maner that the plate is, and pour it into the molds in the same manner that the plate is poured, but let your mold be anointed before with a little almond oil.
1 C ground almonds 2 C powdered sugar 1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla pinch of salt.
I originally did this exactly as a poorly read Sugar Plate Ymages recipe from Heiatt and came out with the same type of candy that required boiling to produce a firm hard candy. What I inadvertently did make was a Medieval Middle Eastern dessert called Samak wa-Aqras.
Marzipan is an almond thick paste that can be formed into flowers, trees, birds etc. In period the marzipan would be colored with saffron, cinnamon etc to produce colors that would some times over ride the flavor of the candy.
I had to go to a different source (http://www.joepastry.com/category/pastry-components/marzipan/) for a good recipe for marzipan. Once I had different ingredients, the marzipan actually came out much better. I produced an almond paste and not an almond mix that needed to be boiled to form a candy.
I will note that my ground almonds could have been ground more finely and my powdered sugar was bought instead of taking regular table sugar and grinding finer in a mortar and pestle.
I mixed the almonds meal and the powdered sugar (1 ¼ C) together
then added the egg white and vanilla along with a hint of salt.
Everything was combined until a thick but wet paste was formed. I kneaded the mixture with more powdered sugar until a nice but not to dry dough was formed.
This required roughly another cup of powdered sugar.
For the forming of the roses, I used a silicone mold as opposed to a wooden or metal set of molds. My molds were dusted with sugar instead of almond oil as I felt my dough was still a little to moist to use oil on.
I did three different types of roses. One set of roses was just out of the plain dough with out any coloring. The next two sets of roses were made using common spices. I used cinnamon and saffron for a reddish brown coloring and turmeric for a yellow.
I was worried that after the roses were formed, the dough would loose the formed shape.
I found that leaving the roses out for a few minutes, stiffened the dough up nicely so that when the roses were put into air tight containers that the forms were not lost.