Marzipan Roll

A rich mixture of Madeira, sherry, mixed fruit, nuts and marzipan, baked in puff pastry, Marzipan Roll should be served cut in small slices, with strong coffee to counterbalance the sweetness. The roll will keep for at least a week stored in an airtight tin.

10-

2 tablespoons sherry

2 tablespoons Madeira

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 oz. glace cherries, coarsely chopped

2 oz. candied angelica, chopped

3 oz. walnuts, chopped

2 oz. mixed chopped candied peel

1 lb. castor sugar

12 oz. freshly ground blanched almonds

2 eggs, lightly beaten

½ teaspoon bitter almond essence

8 oz. flour

1/2- teaspoon salt

8 oz. unsalted butter

5 to

6 tablespoons iced water

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with

2 tablespoons milk

Line a medium-sized baking sheet with non-stick silicone paper and set it aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the sherry, Madeira, lemon juice, cherries, angelica, walnuts and the mixed candied peel.

Cover the bowl and set aside for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add 2 ounces of the butter and cut it into small pieces with a knife. With your fingertips, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add 5 tablespoons of the iced water and lightly mix it into the flour mixture to make a firm dough. If the dough looks too dry, add a little more of the water.

Shape the dough into a ball, wrap it in greaseproof or waxed paper and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Place the remaining butter between two sheets of greaseproof or waxed paper. Using a rolling pin, beat the butter into a flat oblong approximately

½ inch thick. Set aside.

On a floured board, using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into an oblong approximately J-inch thick.

Lay the butter oblong in the centre of the dough. Fold the dough over to make a parcel. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into an oblong. Fold the oblong in three. Turn the dough so that the open ends face you and roll it out again into an oblong. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Repeat the rolling and folding twice more.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200CC).

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the castor sugar and ground almonds. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the eggs and almond essence.

Using your fingers or a spatula, mix the liquids together, gradually drawing in the ground almonds and sugar mixture.

Lightly knead the mixture until it forms a smooth paste. Set aside.

Drain the fruit, reserving

1 tablespoon of the marinade.

Lightly knead the fruit and reserved marinade into the ground almond mixture until the mixture is thoroughly combined. Set aside.

Remove the dough from the refriger-ator. Roll it out into an oblong approxi-mately 8- by 12-inches, trimming off the excess dough with a sharp knife. Set the excess dough aside.

Spoon the marzipan filling on to the centre of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border all round the edges.

Wrap the dough around the marzipan to make a neat parcel. Moisten the edges of the dough with a little water and press them down lightly to seal the parcel. Tuck the ends in neatly.

Carefully lift the parcel and place it on the prepared baking sheet. Set aside.

Gather the excess dough pieces into a ball and lightly knead them together until the dough is smooth. Roll out the dough to J-inch thick, and cut it into decorative shapes – small leaves, flowers, hearts or triangles.

Moisten the undersides of the shapes and press them down lightly on the top and sides of the dough parcel.

Using a pastry brush, brush the egg yolk and milk mixture over the dough.

Place the marzipan roll in the centre of the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked and golden brown.

Remove the roll from the oven and set it aside to cool completely before serving.

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