East Indian Mass Pav or (Moulded) Marzipan

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East-Indian-Mass-Pav-or-Marzipan Recipe - TheWingedFork
Recipe for the East Indian Mass Pav or Marzipan

Growing up, the house started smelling of Christmas from early December. Literally! You could smell marzipan, vanilla cream, thali sweet, cordial, Christmas cake and so much more. The best part of being East Indian though, was tasting the smells. Or rather eating the Christmas sweets that weren’t good enough to give to relatives and were handed over to us kids. 😉 It was also taking a nibble while making some of them. Shh!

One of my favourites was marzipan. Not the stirring for hours to make it, but the part where we mould it into these tiny colourful shapes – flowers, fruits, stars, angels and more.

By the way, if you’re looking for the Easter egg marzipan recipe, click here!

Now every East Indian knows that mass-pav or marzipan is made of a paste of almonds (Marzipan No 1) or cashews (Marzipan No 2) cooked with sugar, egg whites and rose water on a slow fire stirring continuously till it forms a waxy mass. And then starts the real work of kneading it, putting it into moulds and forming all these amazing shapes.

But on a side note, when I spent those 2 years in the UK studying for my Masters, I tried to find marzipan forms or marzipan moulds one Christmas. I went to about 7 or 8 stores before finally giving up on it. The only question they kept asking me was, “You mean you actually mould the marzipan?” It seemed like a very strange notion to them. And I went to a couple of famous stores too! But no luck. Even my friends in the UK use marzipan on cakes, but not as shapes by themselves.

I’ve since found that Brazil and Portugal make fruit shaped marzipan; parts of Spain like Toledo make animal shaped marzipan; Norway and Denmark make marzipan shaped pigs for Christmas; Belgium and Netherlands use marzipan figures on St. Nick’s eve. If you have more info, I’d love to add it here.

But anyways, back to the East Indian marzipan that may have been influenced by our Portuguese heritage. We mould them and leave them out to dry. And every day a few of them quietly vanish. Who’s stealing the marzipan and quietly eating them? Probably Albert, our friendly ghost.

Marzipan left out to dry - TheWingedFork
Marzipan left out to dry

East Indian Marzipan Recipe

Here is the recipe we use. Marzipan No 2 modified to granny’s measurements. Dad’s side does Mazripan No 1, but don’t you think it’s really tedious to blanch the almonds?

  • Half kg Cashewnuts
  • Three quarter kg ground Sugar
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 1 chowni Rose Water (for kneading)
  • 1 to 2 chownis Rose Water (for grinding)
  • 2 to 3 drops Almond Essence

* Note : Chownis aka East Indian wine glasses usually measure 30 ml or 45 ml. We use the 45 ml measurement.

Angels, stars, santa, bells and tree shaped Marzipan - TheWingedFork
Angels, stars, santa, bells and tree shaped Marzipan

Grind the cashewnuts to a paste with rose water. Aren’t we lucky that nowadays we can use the mixie and don’t need to grind cashewnuts on the patha? That’s probably why our grandparents were stronger than us. They worked harder.

By the way, cashewnuts and almonds are essentially gluten free, but may come in contact with other ingredients that contain gluten depending on the facility in which they’re processed. So if you want to ensure that your marzipan is gluten free, just get your nuts from the right facility. Did that sound corny? Haha!

Sprinkle a thali or thala with powder sugar and keep aside.

Add the cashew paste to the egg whites - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Add the cashew paste to the egg whites

Next, put the cashewnut paste into a toap (vessel) along with the ground sugar, almond essence, and egg whites that have been beaten to a stiff froth.

On a low flame, stir till it reaches a wax like consistency. Seriously, that’s a lot a stirring. If you’ve helped with stirring sweets as a kid, you’ll have strong arms.

Pour the marzipan into a flat thali - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Pour the marzipan into a flat thali
Colored marzipan balls - Pic by Abby from TheWingedFork
Colored marzipan balls

Once the mixture is quite dry, pour it into a thala aka thali and knead till it’s mouldable. Form into 4 or 5 different colored balls and set aside.

Next, sprinkle the moulds with some powdered sugar. Mould the marzipan into tiny balls and place into moulds till they form the required shapes. Turn the mould over and hit it on the back with the wooden spoon so that the shapes pop out. Collect them and place or thalies or trays. Leave out to dry overnight.

We make about 150 to 160 pieces with this recipe using average sized moulds. If you use the bigger flowers and leaves, you should get about 120 pieces. And that’s it. The marzipan is ready to be sent out to friends and family.

Colourful marzipan shapes on a black plate with Christmas bells and cane.
Colourful Marzipan for Christmas

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You can print off the list of ingredients and instructions to follow for making this recipe via the recipe card below (for home use only).

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East-Indian-Mass-Pav-or-Marzipan on a black plate.

East Indian Cashewnut Marzipan Recipe

AbbyAbby
The East Indian Cashewnut Marzipan is an East Indian Christmas dessert that's moulded into the shapes of Christmas ornaments or fruits and flowers.
4.88 out of 5 Stars by 8 readers!

Click the stars to add your rating!

Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine East Indian

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g Cashews
  • 750 g Sugar Powdered
  • 4 Egg Whites
  • 45 ml Rose Water For Grinding
  • 90 ml Rose Water To add while heating mixture.
  • 3 drops Almond Essence

Instructions
 

  • Sprinkle a thali or thala (flatboard) with powder sugar and keep aside.
  • Grind the cashewnuts to a paste with 45 ml rose water.
  • Beat the egg whites to a stiff froth.
  • Put the cashewnut paste into a vessel along with the remaining rose water, ground sugar, almond essence and egg whites.
  • On a very low flame, stir till it reaches a wax like consistency. (Be careful not to burn the mixture. This will take 30 to 45 minutes depending on the heat.)
  • Once the mixture is quite dry, pour it into a thala aka thali and knead till easily pliable. Separate the mixture into 3 or 4 balls, add a few drops of colour to each ball, mould the colored balls and set aside.
  • Sprinkle the moulds with some powdered sugar.
  • Mould the marzipan into tiny balls and place into moulds till they form the required shapes. Then turn the mould over and hit it on the back to get the pieces out. We make approximately 150 to 160 pieces. If you don't have moulds, form into fruits shapes with hands, but this will take more time.
  • Place the ready pieces on the flatboard and leave out to dry overnight.

Please click to rate the recipe!

Notes

1. Can be stored at room temperature for a month.
2. To ensure that your marzipan is gluten free, purchase them from a gluten free processing facility.

Related : If you’re looking for the marzipan Easter Eggs recipe, click here!

Next time we’ll do the recipe for the almond marzipan. 😉 Which one do you prefer to make? Almond or cashewnut mass pav?

East Indian Cashewnut Marzipan Recipe - By Abby from TheWingedFork

Who Sells Traditional East Indian Christmas Sweets? I’ve been getting emails asking if I take orders. We don’t do that anymore. So we’ve made a list of East Indian sweet makers who take orders in different parts of the globe. Click here to go to the list!

Traditional East Indian Marzipan Recipe - By Sarah and Abby from TheWingedFork
East Indian Marzipan or Mass Pav recipe - TheWingedFork

11 thoughts on “East Indian Mass Pav or (Moulded) Marzipan”

    • Hi Ronie, it should give you about 1.2 kgs of marzipan. Also, if you’re doing it for the first time or after a long time, you could try halving the quantity and making it in batches so that it doesn’t dry out too fast.

      Reply
  1. Hi Abby,

    Just landed on your site while browsing for Easter eggs. I am sure going to try your marzipan recipe. Interesting write up abt the blog and contributors.

    Hey by the way, those are interesting marzipan Christmas moulds. Where can I buy these to gift my dearest sister.

    Thanks
    Sylvi4 stars

    Reply
  2. Hi..
    Just went through your Marzipan recipe.
    I remember, my mum used to beat the egg whites stiff before adding. Your recipe doesnt require that process. Will it work without being beaten?

    Reply
    • Hi Samantha,
      We beat the egg whites too. It’s needed. You can see it in the step by step photos above where we’ve added the cashew paste to the beaten egg whites. Just forgot to mention it in the notes. Thank you for catching that. We’ve updated the post.
      Abby

      Reply
  3. Hi Abby,

    Love the recipe! I made them for the first time and it had come out beautifully. Took me sometime to get the consistency right but very happy. I’ve put mine in the fridge after putting them in the mould. Will they still last for a month?5 stars

    Reply
  4. Hi Melissa,
    Our December temperatures average around 23 to 32 degrees Celsius and we just store them air tight containers. If stored in a cool dry place, they last for a month without needing refrigeration. If you keep them in the fridge, they’ll last longer, but they’ll start to sweat when you get them out of the fridge. So it’s a trade off.
    Abby

    Reply

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