We pretend we like German Stollen for the sultanas when actually we can't wait to get to the little marzipan sausage in the middle. And the sight of glossy, colourful marzipan fruits makes us very, very excited.
I kind of made this up based on what I remembered and a few recipes that were similar. I was very pleased with the result and showed them to Mr Cupcake, who immediately said, "How cute... they look like little vaginas." I'm not sure if he meant that was a good thing or not. Anyway. Vaginas or not, Mr Cupcake could not be tempted by the stuffed dates because he's not keen on marzipan and also hates dates. So these were pretty much a dead loss in his book. Sorry Mr Cupcake :-(
A note for the dietarily challenged: these are gluten- and dairy-free.
Dates stuffed with pistachio marzipan
95g ground almonds
250g castor sugar
1 egg white, lightly beaten
castor sugar for dusting
Split the dates down one side, lengthways, and remove the stone. Then set them aside and make the marzipan.
Boil the castor sugar and the water in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring constantly until boiling, then boil the mixture without stirring until it reaches soft ball stage (116C, or you can test it by dropping a teaspoonful of mixture into iced water - if you can form it into a loose ball with your fingers, it's ready). Take off the heat and stir it until it begins to go cloudy - this is the sugar starting to grain. Then turn all the pistachios and almonds into the mixture along with the egg white, and stir well, placing it back onto a low heat and continuing to stir just for a few minutes until the mixture firms up a bit.
Sprinkle or pat some castor sugar over the top to make a little sugary coating, Repeat with the other dates.
If you want a thicker, more opaque coating, brush the date and pistachio with a little egg white and then dredge it in sugar. This will dry to a crunchy pale coating. I have also seen these with one end dipped in white liquid fondant, which dries hard - it looks lovely too.
Keep in an airtight container or in the fridge.They should keep for at least a few weeks if stored well.
|Action shot. Dates going everywhere.|