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December 22, 2010
Chocolate-Pistachio Marzipan Spirals
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Overview | Leave your Comments and Recipes
Christmas Chocolate Marzipan 120 pxLora Brody, friend and author of Cooking with Memories, developed these spirals from two recipes in The Cake Bible: pistachio marzipan and ganache. It was my fondest hope that people would use my recipes to create their own specialties in this way, and I am delighted to report that the silky-rich chocolate ganache, rolled together with chewy pistachio marzipan, is a combination that tastes every bit as good as it looks. Thank you, Lora. These candies are terrific to have on hand to serve with espresso to friends who drop in with holiday gifts and wishes.

>>Download the recipe as a pdf.

shelled unsalted pistachio nuts 1/4 cup 1.25 ounces 38 grams
powdered sugar 3/4 cup (lightly spooned into the cup) 3 ounces 86 grams
corn syrup 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon 1 ounce 27 grams
glycerine or light vegetable oil (not peanut oil) 1/2 teaspoon * 3 grams
Optional: a dab of green paste food coloring or a few drops of liquid green food coloring


bittersweet or semisweet chocolate 1 (3-ounce) bar 3 ounces 85 grams
heavy cream 3 tablespoons 1.5 ounces 44 grams
corn syrup 1/2 teaspoon * 3.5 grams


shelled, unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped medium coarsely 3 tablespoons 1 ounce 28 grams
1 large egg white, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons 2 ounces 30 grams

Equipment: rolling pin; plastic wrap (preferably Saran Wrap).

Pistachio Marzipan

If your pistachio nuts are salted, rinse them in a strainer under hot tap water. Place the pistachios on a cookie sheet in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until the skins separate from the nuts when scratched lightly with a fingernail. With a large sppon, transfer the nuts to a clean kitchen towel and wrap them with the towel. Allow them to sit for a few minutes. Use the towel to rub off as much peel as possible. Cool to room temperature.

In a food processor with the metal blade, process the nuts until a smooth paste forms. Add the sugar and process until it is well mixed. Add the corn syrup and glycerine and process about 20 seconds or until well blended. The mixture will appear dry, but a small amount pressed between your fingers should hold together. If it seems too dry, add more corn syrup, 1/4 teaspoon at a time, with the motor running. If you wish to deepen the clor, add the optional food coloring. Process until the marzipan has a smooth, doughlike consistency. Knead it breifly by hand until the color is uniform.

The marzipan can be used at once, but it is much easier to work with if it is allowed to rest overnight at room temperature, tightly covered with plastic wrap.


Break the chocolate into pieces and chop it finely, or process it in a food processor withthe metal blade until finely chopped.

In a small saucepan, heat the cream and corn syrup to a full boil. Remove the saucepan from the hear, immediately add the chocolate, and over the pan. Allow it to sit for 1 to 2 minutes to melt the chocolate. Then stir the mixture utnil it is smooth and uniform in color. Cool to room temperature. (To speed cooling, you can transfer the ganache to a bowl.)

While the ganache is cooling, roll the marzipan between 2 sheet sof plastic wrap into a 12-inch by 6-inch by one-sixteenth inch rectangle.

When the ganache is at room temperature, remove the top sheet of plastic wrap covering the mazipan and spread the ganache on top, leaving one-quarter inch bare along 1 long edge. (An angled metal spatula works well to spread the ganache.) Using the bottom sheet of plastic wrap, slip the marzipan onto a cookie sheet. Refrigerate until the chocolate dulls and is barely tacky to the touch (about 10 minutes).

Use your fingers to roll the marzipan. Start with the long end that is covered with ganache. Roll it about one-quarter inch and press down on top of it to make it adhere tightly. Continue rolling until you have reached the other end. If a little ganache squishes out, wipe it away so that the outside of the roll is only the marzipan.


If the pistachio nuts are salted, rince the nuts in a strainer under hot tap water. Place the pistachios on a cookie sheet in a 325 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5 to 10 minutes to recrisp them. Cool to room temperature and chop them medium coarsely.

Brush the marzipan roll with the egg white (only about 2 teaspoons will be necessary to coat it) and roll it in the chopped pistachios.

Place the roll on a cookie sheet lined with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before cutting the roll into slices. You may also freeze the roll, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, and but it when frozen. To cut beautiful slices, use a serrated knife, dipped in hot water, to cut 1/2-inch thick diagonal slices. Wipe the blade clean after each slice.

Store: In an airtight container in the refridgerator or freezer. If storing the uncut roll, wrap it first in plastic wrap and , when firm, in 2 layers of alumninum foil.

Keeps: Several weeke refridgerated, several months frozen.

  • Glycerine is a combination of fat and oil that keeps the marzipan soft and chewy.
  • Saran Wrap is the ideal plastic wrap for rolling the marzipan because it lies very flat. Wax paper is the second choice.

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