Mazapán de Toledo, history and elaboration
Ifwe seek the origin of its production we must take into account that sugar did not spread in Europe until the sixteenth century, replacing, in many cases, honey, so that the "authentic marzipan could not have been made beforehand.
However, if there are precedents and as early as the 5th century BC Christians made a product, apparently similar, with almonds and honey to celebrate Easter.
Some believe it from Italy, specifically Venice, where the "marcipane", the so-called bread of San Marcos, was a typical sweet used in the festivities of the patron saint of the city and to commemorate the end of a siege that suffered the city and in which the lack of wheat motivated the elaboration of a kind of bread with the almonds and sugars that had in its warehouses.
Others cite a German baker from Lubeck as the architect of it in the face of the lack of bread caused at a time of famine in the 14th century.
The most accepted version dates back to the 8th century A.C, during Arab rule, and resembles the Word Marzipan with the Arabic term "mautha-ban", used to designate the figure of a seated caliph, because apparently the Arabs, once the paste was made, printed on it the relief of a coin with the effigy of a sitting king.
In Toledo, thanks to the Arabic and Hebrew heritage, as well as the good pastry chef of the convents of the nuns, a sweet of almond and sugar was also started.
Legend has it that it was the nuns of the convent of San Clemente who invented the marzipan, when the city was besieged by the Arabs and there was great need for food so with almond and sugar crushed with a mace they made a "mace bread".
However, the first known marzipan recipe dates back to 1525. In 1615 a first ordinance appeared in reference to the manufacture of mazapanes stating that they should "be jaropados of Valencian almonds and white sugar, and not otherwise".
Over time and with the economic bonanza of European countries this delicacy was limited to the Christmas festivities, but it was not always like this, Lope de Vega tells us:
"As for the two sanjuanes
nuns usually fight
at the expense of maapanes."
Ruperto de Nola speaks of the Mazapán de Toledo as an ideal food for mourners who lose their food, their preparation carried discarded chicken breast mixed with almond and sugar, so we assume that this should be the food that was prescribed to the sick in the primitive institution of the Hospital de Santiago de Toledo.
In the ordinances of the Manchego confiteros of 1,613 only Valencian almond and white sugar were already admitted as ingredients and from then until now it did not change its composition although its presentation, from the pancake with reliefs of antiquity to that of eels to modern piglets or figurines of ornament.
Ingredients of the Mazapán de Toledo:
- 250 grams almonds
- 250g powdered sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons water
- Optional cinnamon and lemon zest
Elaboration of the Mazapán de Toledo:
- In a deep bowl, place the almonds with the sugar and the two tablespoons of water.
- Optionally add the cinnamon and lemon zest.
- We knead the whole mixture with our hands for quite some time until we get a uniform mass.
- This dough we let it rest for a couple of hours in a cool place.
- After this time, we make figurines and place them on an oven plate.
- In a bowl we place the egg white and mount the white to the point of snow.
- Later with a pastry brush or a new brush, we paint the figures with the clear.
- Place them on a baking sheet bound with sunflower oil.
- Place the plate in the oven for about 2 minutes at 200oC, until the surface is browned.
- We take it out of the oven and let them cool down.
This is a fun dessert to do with kids.
Typical of Toledo, they are nothing more than marzipan modeled in the form of eel, but with fruit filling, sweet potato, yolk or angel hair, and decorated on the surface with candied fruits and egg white.
The eels are made by wrapping the canned yolk filling with a sheet of marzipan dough, still raw.
The obtained roll is manually modeled to give it the features of an eel, nose, mouth, tongue etc. and is dora in the oven, about 150o.
When it has cooled, the final decoration is carried out highlighting the plotted features and drawing on the dorsal part with egg white and snow-ready beaten sugar.
The decoration culminates with candy perlites and placing the eyes on the eel.
Once the decoration is made, it is placed on a tray and left to cool.
If you want it is accompanied by some frosted fruits that give it color.