New Zealand supermarkets don’t seem to stock marzipan. You can either buy plastic, yellow, almond-flavoured icing to ice your Christmas cake or make your own. I like to add vanilla extract to marzipan as it seems the perfect complement to almonds. It’s naturally a beautiful yellow colour from the chooky egg. My marzipan usually doesn’t make it onto a cake as I make it into Whittaker’s covered marzipan balls. Makes 40-50 balls.
Mix together 250g ground almonds with a free-range egg, 100g caster sugar, 100g icing sugar and a teaspoon of real vanilla extract (I like Heilala). Knead lightly and roll into small balls between the palms of your hands, using a little extra icing sugar if it gets sticky. Place on a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and allow to dry out in the fridge for a day or so. Melt most of a large block of Whittaker’s dark ghana chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan of water (find a bowl / saucepan / water level combination that seals the steam into the saucepan but so the bowl base is above the water). Spear the marzipan balls with a toothpick or two and dip in the melted chocolate to coat. Return to the baking tray until set. Parcel in cellophane bags tied with ribbon for gifts.