Marchpane was the forerunner to Marzipan, using almost the exact same ingredients that we use today.
Almonds, Sugar and Rose water were 3 of the most expensive ingredients and then add to that the gold leaf that was sometimes put onto the marchpane and you have a dish fit for a queen!
8ozs Ground Almonds
4ozs Caster Sugar
3 tablespoons of Rose Water
Mix together the Almonds and sugar
Add the Rose Water a bit at a time until the mix becomes a soft dough.
Take a small amount of the dough and place to one side.
With the remaining dough form a circle about 1 or 2 cm thick.
Place on grease proof paper and bake in the oven for 15 mins at 150 degrees.
After 15 mins switch off the oven and open the door slightly.
While the base in cooling in the oven make shapes out of the saved dough. We made a bunch of grapes with leaves and vines but let your imagination go mad if you want!
Attach your shapes with a little water mixed with icing sugar.
Now the fun part-Gilding!
At the time of Mary Queen of Scots real gold leaf would have been used. We used edible gold paint to decorate our Marchpane.
From hard spicy biscuits, amazing gingerbread house creations and soft loaves sometimes spread with butter or covered in custard, most people have a favourite type of gingerbread.Gingerbread in the time of Mary Queen of Scots was slightly different to what we are used to today though. It was more like a gingerbread biscuit but softer...most of the time!Ginger and Cinnamon, 2 of the spices in medieval gingerbread, were imported to the UK and of course were expensive, so they were added in great quantities to food, to show how wealthy your were.Medieval gingerbread was sometimes pressed into elaborate moulds and coloured or covered in gold gilt! Elizabeth I would often have the Tudor Rose made out of gingerbread for a dinner centre piece.Below is a very simple recipe for medieval gingerbread. you can add colouring or dust with edible gold shimmer dust if you wish or keep it medieval with a simple shape and studded with cloves.Ingredients:
Heat the honey in a pot and when warm add spices ( to your taste) and mix well. Take off heat and beat in breadcrumbs. You are looking for a dough like texture and may need your extra breadcrumbs.Oil lightly a wooden board and put mix onto board. Press out with hand until about 1/4 inch thickTraditionally the dough was then cut into diamond shapes.We cut ours into large and smaller diamonds.Put the small diamonds on top of the large diamonds and secure with a clove. If you wish to colour your gingerbread, add the food colouring at the spices stage. Add more breadcrumbs to make a stiffer dough if you wish to make more intricate shapes.