In Italy, particularly in Palermo, marzipan is often shaped and painted with food colorings to resemble fruit — Frutta martorana — especially during the Christmas season and on Il Giorno dei Morti on November 2. May 9 and 10 are also special days for eating marzipan in Sicily. In Portugal, where the confection has been made by nuns since olden times, traditional marzipan fruit shaped sweets made in the Algarve region are called morgadinhos. There are other regions, as Toledo in Spain in which marzipan is shaped into simple animal shapes, and usually filled in with egg yolk (yema) and sugar. Chocolate cake and marzipans Ingredients (serves 8)
200g butter, chopped
250g dark chocolate, chopped
4 eggs, separated
1 cup caster sugar Method: 1. Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan-forced. Grease a 6cm-deep, 22cm (base) round springform cake pan. Line base and side with baking paper. 2. Place butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure bowl doesn’t touch water). Stir over low heat until smooth. 3. Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar for 5 minutes or until thick and creamy. Beat eggwhites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in remaining sugar until dissolved. 4. Add chocolate mixture to egg yolk mixture. Mix to combine. Add one-quarter of the eggwhite mixture. Mix well. Fold in remaining eggwhite mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until top is firm to touch and a skewer inserted into centre has moist crumbs clinging. Cool cake in pan. Serve.