When it comes to marzipan, it’s often required for one recipe, using 100g at most. I think the last time I used the sweet almond paste was in stollen back at Christmas time. But I’m not sure why this is the case when it’s as delicious as it is: rich, sweet and slightly chewy.

Marzipan also strikes me as a festive ingredient, be it mixed through stollen or covering a Christmas cake. Flicking through this months Good Food I came across a rhubarb, citrus and marzipan cake, a spring bake to make the most of that golden marzipan sitting in a Tupperware box.

The cake uses ground almonds and polenta, so there’s a nutty flavour running throughout. The marzipan provides yet another almondy flavour, as well as a slightly chewy texture that fills you with joy as you come across a chunk. Marzipan has a tendency to melt a little while it’s baking, so you come across more marzipan than you anticipate. Always a treat.

The mixture pre-bake is a feast for the eyes, topped with vibrant pink rhubarb, golden marzipan and flakes of almond, it’s calling to be eaten while the mixture’s still raw (but please – don’t do this!).

It’s well worth the 45-minute wait while it cooks away in the oven, for when it’s cooked, it’s warm, light, sweet, nutty and crunchy on top. A real joy.

The Recipe – Originally from BBC Good Food March 2017, pg. 106

300g softened butter
400g rhubarb
350g golden caster sugar
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1/2 lemon
3 eggs
200g self-raising flour
50g fine polenta
50g ground almonds
1 tsp. baking powder
100g golden marzipan, chopped into chunks
Handful of flaked almonds for the top

– Chop the rhubarb into small chunks and place in a bowl with 50g of the sugar. Set aside for 20 minutes.
– Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
– Grease and line a 20x30cm tin with greaseproof paper.
– In a bowl, beat the butter, sugar and zest together until light.
– Beat in the eggs, beating after each addition.
– Add the flour, polenta, ground almonds, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
– Mix together.
– Fold through the marzipan and half of the rhubarb.
– Pour into the tin and smooth out.
– Top with the remaining rhubarb and the flaked almonds.
– Bake for 45 minutes. If the mixture is still wet, bake for another 5 minutes until cooked.

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