Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mazarin squares

It's been ages since I shared a recipe. This one is for some really tasty, quick mazarin squares. A "mazarin" is a baked goodie named after Jules Mazarin - but as far as I know, that's it for the relation. It's somewhat similar to the English Bakewell tart (for a huge round-up of bakewell recipes, look here!) and generally has a shortbread shell, and a marzipan filling, and a glaze on top. Sometimes it has a layer of raspberry jam on top as well, and is then named "catalan". There are many versions - every café has them, and they are very popular. I haven't tried making them myself, although I'm sure it's not very difficult. Instead, I opted for this version which is even easier - it does away with the shell entirely, and is essentially a soft, moist almond cake with a sugar glaze. These will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days, without going dry.

Be aware that this recipe makes a lot. If you halve it, you have to figure out the proper size dish to use. Next time, I think I'll simply try halving it, and using a regular 24 cm springform pan - I *think* that should work quite well.

The recipe comes from the lovely book Kyrkkaffe, just like this recipe.

Mazarin squares
You need a baking dish 30 by 40 cm (roughly 11 by 15 inches).

100 g almonds, blanched and peeled
400 g butter
300 ml milk
4 egg
600 ml (2.5 cups) sugar
700 ml (2.9 cups) flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
¼ tsp bitter almond extract

300 g powdered sugar
4 tbsp water or freshly squeezed orange juice

Butter and line the dish with breadcrumbs or flour, or use a teflon sheet to line it, which is my preferred method. Preheat oven to 175°C,

Run the almonds through an almond mill, or if you don't have one, process very finely in a food processor. (Add a tablespoon of powdered sugar to make it even finer.)

Melt the butter and add the milk. Beat eggs and sugar until fluffy, and add the butter-milk mixture.

Mix flour with baking powder and vanilla sugar, and stir into the batter. Add the almonds and the bitter almond extract.

Pour the batter into the baking dish, and bake for about 30 minutes. Keep a watch on it - you don't want it to turn too dark, so you might need to cover it with foil or lower it a bit after about 20 minutes, depending on your oven.

Let the cake cool completely. Mix the glaze, simply by stirring together the sugar with water or orange juice. It should be thick but spreadable, not runny.

Glaze the cake - either completely, and cut the squares afterward when the glaze has set, or cut the squares beforehand and put a big dot of glaze onto each piece of cake, like I did.



Tea said...

These look delicious, Anne. I've never heard of Mazarin; I can't wait to try them.

Andreea said...

i am so happy i discovered your blog. the recipes look delicious!

Pille said...

I've made Mazarins before, using the recipe from my 'Cakes, Cookies and Bread from Sweden' book and really enjoyed them! Will have to give your mazarin squares a go, too!