Nuts to Lent! I’m giving up giving up things. Even people who profess not to like marzipan (me included) seem to like this.
- 200g self raising flour
- 125g soft brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons speculaaskruiden
- A pinch of salt
- 150 g cold unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 eggs
- 300g marzipan (make sure it’s cold so it can be grated)
- 50g slivered, flaked or whole almonds for decoration
Sieve the flour, sugar, spices and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Rub the cold butter into the flour mix until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Try not to get it too warm or the butter will melt and the texture will not be quite as good. Add the milk. Knead the dough into a smooth ball, again trying not to handle it too much or get it too warm. Wrap the dough in cling film or a plastic bag, and place it in the refrigerator for 1 hour (or even overnight).
Whisk the eggs with 1 tablespoon water in a separate bowl. Grate the marzipan over another bowl and pour in half of the egg. Mash the egg with a fork through the marzipan.
Preheat the oven to 175 ˚ C. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the counter and rolling pin with a little flour. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough to a piece of about 15 x 30 cm. Lay one piece on the baking sheet, then spread the marzipan mixture evenly over it, leaving a border of dough around the edge. Place the second sheet of dough on top and press the edges together to seal in the marzipan mixture.
Brush the top of the dough with the rest of the egg. Press the flaked or whole almonds into the dough as decoration. Put in the heated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. When baked, leave the cake to cool on the baking sheet before cutting.
Rather than use a baking sheet you could also use a round or square cake tin, which avoids having to roll out equal sized pieces as you can just press the dough into the bottom of the tin.
NOTE: speculaaskruiden is a spice mix, over which people will argue incessantly. It’s like asking what to put in a Christmas pudding – everyone has a different opinion. However, this page offers a good compromise that most people will agree with most of the time: