Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Modeling Marzipan (with the Kids!)

I originally bought a package of marzipan back before Willow's ocean party, thinking that I would use it to model some edible decorations for her birthday cake.

That did not happen (I may have taken a nap instead), but in the process of moving everything from the kitchen cabinets to some temporary shelves in the living room (who has two thumbs and is getting her kitchen re-done?), Willow discovered this package of marzipan, read the label, discovered how AWESOME the whole thing sounded, and asked to do it.

The whole process of marzipan modeling is actually really easy, and very satisfying and kid-friendly, since marzipan takes dye like a champion and it's super-soft to mold but holds its form perfectly. I first cut the log of marzipan into about eight pieces, and I let Willow choose a color for each. Definitely go with professional-quality gel dye here--I've not tried liquid food coloring on marzipan, but I've heard that it can mess with the marzipan's consistency.

Then you have to knead the dye into the marzipan, just like kneading clay:

This is an excellent exercise in patience and fastidiousness, by the way. Will can get a little...wild, shall we say, with food crafting, especially, but it's very important to go wash your hands well between each color, so that you don't contaminate the next color that you use, and I was pleased to see how conscientiously she did that, without even having to be reminded, for the most part.

Aren't they just gorgeous? The colors are perfect!

Now you can begin to create whatever you want with your marzipan. I explained to the girls that marzipan is more like FIMO than play dough--they're used to crafting giant sculptures with play dough, of which I have an unlimited supply, and small sculptures with FIMO, of which I usually only have a small amount, so this prepared them for the size of sculptures that would work best with what we had.

Other than that prep work, I just stood by and watched, amazed, as they had a fabulous time creating:

The girls did a wonderful job avoiding cross-contamination by not touching anything other than the marzipan as they worked, and washing their hands often, so I was perfectly fine with the inevitable ultimate fate of all those gorgeous, elaborate, colorful, beloved marzipan creations:

And that was their morning snack!

We used:


homes'cool said...

This is such a fab and simple idea, why have I never thought of it!! I LOVE eating marzipan and what better excuse. Maybe we will be trying this soon....

Phyllis said...

What a great idea!!