Sugar-Free Marzipan

Posted on December 23, 2012. Filed under: Candies & Chocolate, Icings, Spreads & Fudges | Tags: , , , |

Sugar-Free Marzipan | Low-Carb, So Simple!

There are constantly great new low-carb products coming to the market. Well, many of them are unhealthy and full of artificial, weird ingredients. The main purpose of these products is not to make you healthy — the main purpose is to take your money. However, sometimes you find great, quite natural products which give some variety to the healthy low-carb lifestyle.

After finding a powdered sweetener consisting of erythritol and stevia there is no way back. It is sweet without the bitter aftertaste of stevia and it has only very little of the cooling effect of erythritol. I tried the sweetener in cooking and baking, and found that it makes really nice marzipan. This great recipe I want to share with you, my dear readers, and wish you happy holidays! :)

 

 

 

Sugar-Free Marzipan

5.3 oz = 150 g almond flour
3.5 oz = 100 g Zsweet sweetener OR Confectioner’s Style Swerve OR powdered erythritol
1 egg white from an organic extra large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract or a few drops bitter almond flavor

 

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour and the sweetener. Sift the almond flour and the sweetener for the best and smoothest result.
  2. Add the egg white and the almond extract.
  3. Knead until smooth. This shouldn’t take more than a minute.
  4. Shape and mold as you wish. Wrap the leftover marzipan in plastic film to prevent from drying. Store refrigerated.

 

 

Sugar-Free Marzipan | Low-Carb, So Simple!

 

 

 

Tips for making the sugar-free marzipan

This marzipan is easy to make and it’s ready in no time. I recommend sifting at least the powdered sweetener, so that there are absolutely no lumps in the final marzipan. For the best result, you can sift the almond flour as well.

If you are concerned about using raw egg whites, you can use pasteurized egg whites, or egg white substitute made from pasteurized egg white powder and water.

You can add almond extract for enhancing the flavor. However, if you can get bitter almond flavor (NOT bitter almonds or bitter almond oil), that would give even more authentic marzipan flavor. I’ve bought my bitter almond flavor from Germany, but I wouldn’t wonder if you can buy bitter almond flavor online.

Store the leftover marzipan tightly wrapped in plastic film and refrigerated. The marzipan dries quickly and becomes hard if not covered.

Use the sugar-free low-carb marzipan for making decorations or marzipan confections, just like you would use the sugar-laden marzipan.

 

Sugar-Free Marzipan | Low-Carb, So Simple!

 

 

 

My experiments with the sugar-free marzipan

I love to create all kinds of sugar-free and gluten-free delicacies for the holidays. I haven’t seen any commercial versions of low-carb marzipan, so for a very long time I had planned to develop a proper alternative to sugar-laden marzipan. Especially chocolate covered marzipan confections are my favorite holiday treats, so now it was a good time to go into developing a proper low-carb marzipan.

I’ve got some books with marzipan recipes. Two of the books are low-carb cookbooks, third book is a massive Finnish edition full of sugary and gluten-filled recipes, which I love to convert into sugar-free, gluten-free low-carb alternatives.

One low-carb cookbook — my favorite — is The Low-Carb Baking and Dessert Cookbook by Ursula Solom. The recipes for marzipan confections in that book use pure almond paste, which is high-carb and filled with sugar.

The other low-carb cookbook is a Swedish book, Bakglädje med LCHF by Annika Rogneby (yes, I love to own cookbooks in different languages, well, no wonder, I’m a linguist…). There is also a recipe for low-carb marzipan or actually for almond paste. However, I wasn’t satisfied with that recipe either. It uses erythritol crystals as sweetener, which have gritty mouthfeel and give the typical “cooling effect”. It also uses water as binding agent. Well, I haven’t used to water in marzipan… I prefer egg whites.

Since I wasn’t completely happy with the existing the low-carb marzipan recipes, I had to develop one. I took the massive Finnish dessert book and pored over the recipe for marzipan. That was simple: almond flour, equal amount of confectioner’s sugar, a couple of egg whites and some bitter almond flavor.

 

Sugar-Free Marzipan | Low-Carb, So Simple!

 

I had just received a sample package of powdered Zsweet sweetener. I’ve always thought it’s pure erythritol, but to my surprise it contains also stevia! Well, I have had also pure powdered erythritol, and this Zsweet seems to taste much better. You can feel a little bit of the cooling effect of erythritol, but it’s far away from being that intensive like in the pure powdered erythritol. Zsweet is also sweeter, so you need it less than pure powdered erythritol.

My sugar-free, low-carb marzipan experiment was a great opportunity to explore more this Zsweet sweetener. For the first experiment I used just some 3.5 oz (100 g) of both almond flour and Zsweet, one egg white and a couple of drops bitter almond flavor. The texture was perfect, but the taste was far too sweet. I shaped some balls which I glazed with very dark chocolate hoping that the dark chocolate balances the excessive sweetness. Well, it did to some extent, but I wanted to get better tasting marzipan.

One experiment I made with pure powdered erythritol since I had some leftovers in my pantry. The resulting marzipan wasn’t sweet enough, and even worse, I could feel the cool erythritol a bit too much. So, back to Zsweet.

The most satisfied I was with the experiment which contained 5.3 oz (150 g) almond flour, 3.5 oz (100 g) Zsweet, 1 egg white from extra large egg and a few drops bitter almond flavor. The texture was great and easily moldable. The taste was sweet, but not too sweet.

 

Sugar-Free Marzipan | Low-Carb, So Simple!

 

In my next experiments I tried coloring the marzipan. I had got some free samples of red super food powder and green super food powder from iHerb. For one batch I added the red powder before adding the egg whites, and for another batch I added the green powder. The colors in the resulting marzipan were intensive and bright! I was extremely positively surprised. I was expecting dull, weak colors.

Of course you can buy ready food colorings, but I wonder how artificial they are. I prefer natural colors. Yes, and where is the challenge if you just take a ready color and add it? Come on, that’s boring! As I love challenges, I also love to search and find as natural colors as I can and experiment with those. I still want to give a try to different berry and vegetable powders. Turmeric for yellow, carrot for orange, blueberry for violet, cocoa powder for brown…

I was also surprised that the green powder didn’t give any bad taste, it was pretty neutral. Also the red powder gave a pleasantly sweet and fresh flavor.

 

Sugar-Free Marzipan | Low-Carb, So Simple!

 

 

 

Tips for variation

Since you can use this sugar-free marzipan just like the real stuff, the ways to vary and use the marzipan are endless.

For the ultimate holiday treat I developed a delicacy with a salty, crunchy pistachio in the middle, covered by sweet marzipan and glazed with a generous amount of bitter, very dark chocolate… that’s a perfect combination of different textures and flavors!

You can make marzipan confections by adding chopped nuts, flavorings or chopped dried fruits and berries. Next I plan to make marzipan confections, where I have added chopped dried cherries or cranberries which I first let soak in rum and stevia. If you count carbs faithfully, please take into account that dried fruits and berries contain quite some carbs.

This sugar-free marzipan is great also for molding and shaping decorations on cakes and other baked goods. There are some ideas in the photo below. Well, I apologize my bad photos, I have to take better photos from better decorations in the future when I have more time to make some…

 

Sugar-Free Marzipan | Low-Carb, So Simple!

 

H A P P Y  H O L I D A Y S !

 

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19 Responses to “Sugar-Free Marzipan”

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Hi Gemma, I’ve always wanted to try out this marzipan inside Stollen as my husband is German, but didn’t manage to try it out so far :) So, unfortunately I cannot say how the marzipan stands baking. Anyway, if I baked Stollen, I would use the marzipan just like that, with egg white. If you try out, I would love to hear how it turned out!

Hi
Could you use this marzipan in place of traditional fondant for a birthday cake?

Hi, yes you can if the cake is small (8 inches in diameter at max). Just handle it very carefully and don’t make it too thin!

Wherey can I buy ZSweet. I tried super markets, Wegmans, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Kroger and Harris Teeter and they do not sell it. I searched online and could not find it.

Hi Lily! In the end of last year I contacted the company and the CEO told me Zsweet would be more available in the beginning of this year. Usually Amazon and Netrition sell it. I’ll send you email about other source where you can ask it. It’s a great sweetener and it’s really a pity that it’s not currently better available.

Hey! Love that you posted this recipe! My father is Norwegian and LOVES marzipan good-luck pigs, but after being diagnosed with diabetes type two a few years back, he hasn’t been able to eat them.
I wanted to do something special this Christmas, and attempt to make him a sugar and gluten free marzipan pig!
The zsweet though, is SUPER expensive (20-80 dollars)-and I was wondering if you would know of any cheaper solutions that would work equally as good. My dad is a bit of a picky-eater, kind of a prickly Norwegian guy–so taste is important! lol
Once again, thank you for posting this!!

Hi Alice, and thank you for your comment! Wow, that Zsweet seems to be awkwardly expensive there. That’s a pity, because usually it’s some $10 per package (which still is not cheap…).

Well, in place of Zsweet you can use any powdered erythritol or powdered xylitol. However, those might have gritty mouthfeel and cooling aftertaste. From the powdered sweeteners I’ve tried, Zsweet is the only one which dissolves properly in non-heated food (like marzipan, jams or frostings) and even it has some cooling aftertaste, it’s not too bad.

But one idea would be to use less powdered erythritol or xylitol and add some liquid or powdered stevia to reach preferred sweetness and minimize the cooling effect and grittiness.

Actually, there is a Norwegian company “Funksjonell Mat” which makes powdered erythritol called “Sukrin Melis” (http://www.funksjonellmat.no/sukrinmelis/om/ in Norwegian; http://sukrin.com/en/sukrinmelis/about/ in English). I used that before I found Zsweet. But like I said, I always had some problems to make the sweetener dissolve properly. Now when I remember, I used it also when making marzipan and it was okay. A little bit gritty feeling, but if you use less and add some stevia, the result should be just fine.

Hope this helps!

Thank you for all the great ideas! For Christmas this year I want to make family and friends a traditional Danish nougat roll. This is a log made with marzipan one layer and hazelnut paste for the second layer. The outside is dark chocolate accented with small pieces of violet candy. The rub is I want the whole thing to be sugarless. I’m sold on Erythritol, but have no tolerance for Stevia due to its unpleasant aftertaste. Wondering if you might have any suggestions for another sugar zsubstitute besides Stevia that might blend well with Erythritol? Also if you know of a source for hazelnut flour?
Keep up the good work! Your passion really shines through!
Thank you.
J. Carr

Hi Julia! Thank you for your comment. That Danish nougat roll sounds really tempting.

There are some other sweeteners in the market which blend well with erythritol. Good old Splenda (the small packages) is one. Another is Lo Han, which is liquid sweetener made from fruit. Many people like it, but I don’t find it sweet enough. I bought one bottle of NuNaturals Lo Han Supreme from iHerb. The taste is quite pleasant but not very sweet. You might want to search for different brands.

I guess you have tried several different brands for stevia? Some have very little aftertaste and some have terrible aftertaste.

I buy my hazelnut flour from a local store. I noticed iHerb carries also hazelnut flour (Bob’s Red Mill), so does Amazon. However, if you are making nougat (or hazelnut paste), why not to try hazelnut butter, especially if you happen to find a smooth variety?

It’s great to hear that you like my blog. Hope you succeed with your Danish nougat roll! Merry Christmas!

Hello thanks for the info. Was checking the internet for diabetic fondant to make petite fours and found your site. I will try to use the mazipan for center with very small amount of rasberry jam.This looks great. Still need to find diabetic fondant. Do you have any ideas. I do like the dark chocolate idea. Maybe use that if i cant find. Thanks again for your info really enjoyed reading it.
Tara schott

Hi Tara and thanks for your question. I have made sugar-free fondant myself a long time ago and it was really nice. Unfortunately I didn’t publish the recipe yet and I wonder if I still have it somewhere. I can try to find it. I haven’t seen any commercial diabetic fondants so far. I guess for the time being dark chocolate is the best option.

Great that you like my work. Btw, did you notice that I have a recipe for sugar-free raspberry jam?

[…] Recipe and Photo credit via lowcarbsosimple.com […]

Wow!

Wonderful photos and great job! Can’t wait to try it.

Thanks so much for publishing this recipe.

Hi Jayne, you’re welcome! Hope you like it.

Do you think this product – http://www.iherb.com/NuNaturals-NuStevia-NoCarbs-Blend-3-5-oz-98-g/4891 – could also work if i don’t have zweet?

Diana, I think I have that product in individual packages and it’s much sweeter than Zsweet. If you want to give it a try, I recommend to use it much less than Zsweet. You can start with a teaspoon or maximum two, and add more if needed. I also wonder if the aftertaste of stevia in that product is unpleasant if you use it in marzipan.

Thank you! I saw this Zsweet brand on iherb but not this one. Maybe they will carry it in the future.


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