Apricot and Marzipan Tart

Apricot and Marzipan Tart recipe

I had to ice my first fruitcake at the weekend after offering to bake his favourite cake to my father-in-law for his birthday. I don’t particularly like fruitcake so I had never made one before, and I had never iced a cake in my life. So a weekend of firsts, and at very short notice!

I ended up cheating a bit by buying a (nice) ready-made fruitcake but I did get some icing. Unfortunately, it’s only on the Saturday morning that I realised that the marzipan hiding in my cupboard was over a year old so I sent Badgerman to the shops about an hour before we were due to leave. It was a bit stressful.

He came back with the most delicious-smelling brandy marzipan, which I clumsily laid out on the cake before doing the same with white icing. It was a very lumpy looking thing in the end but decent enough for a first attempt. You can tell I’m more of a ‘substance over style’ sort of baker.

The fruitcake that started it all
The fruitcake that started it all

However there was a lot of marzipan left, and I was determined not to waste it, hence my never-tried-before made-up-on-the-spot Apricot and Marzipan Tart. I had no idea whether or not it was going to work but my hope was that the marzipan would melt a bit.

I can confirm that it did indeed melt and it was one of the tastiest – and easiest – tarts I have ever made. The smell alone was pure (alcoholic) heaven.


500g ready-to-roll puff pastry

about 200g Marzipan – whatever is left over from other baking projects

6 fresh apricots

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp icing sugar to sprinkle at the end


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Roll out the pastry on a baking sheet.
  3. Roll the marzipan to about 2 mms thin and put on top of the pastry, leaving about 1 cm of pastry clear all the way around.
  4. Cut the apricots into quarters and distribute them over the marzipan.
  5. Paint the egg over the pastry sides.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes.
the raw tart
the raw tart
The final product in all its glory
The final product in all its glory

Stollen Tasting #2

Welcome to the tasting of our second Stollen, with a surprising outcome, at least for me.


Shop/Make: Bahlsen Edel-Marzipan Stollen


Size/Weight: 500g


Presentation/Attractiveness: 3

I’ve come to the conclusion it is hard to make a stollen look bad but it was slightly odd in that it looked a bit like a roll.


Amount of Icing Sugar: 4

Very white looking all over.


Crumb Factor a.k.a moistness: 2

It was a very dense cake. It didn’t collapse into crumbs but still ended up feeling quite dry in the mouth.


Taste: 3

Nothing stood out particularly and I certainly couldn’t taste any citrus peel of any kind. It was a decent bit of cake but not very more-ish.


Marzipan Content: 2

The most disappointing bit about the whole cake. Instead of a log of Marzipan running through the middle, it was thinly rolled into it. Unfortunately it got rather lost in the cake mix and didn’t stand out at all.


Nut and Raisin Content: 4

I think I must have dreamed the ‘a Stollen has nuts’ thing. There wasn’t a nut in sight but there were lots of raisins and they tasted very raisin-like.


Alcohol Content: 0

Not a drop to be found. Very disappointing (see Taste).


Conclusion:  3

Disappointing. I had high expectations from Bahlsen, what with it being German aka home of the Stollen and particularly with ‘Marzipan’ in the title. It was average and a bit dry. That said, if that was the only Stollen available I would eat it and not be too unhappy (at least there was Marzipan and not poppy seeds in it). Possessed with a strange premonition (or inside information) Badgerman wasn’t the slightest bit surprised but in his own words: it will do.


See also:

Get Ready for a Stollen-Tasty Adventure

Stollen Tasting #1

Stollen Tasting #1

At last we have started the Stollen!

Yay to us. It’s not happening a moment too soon but technically we are still in the holiday season, right? In France it is tradition to send your Happy New Year cards in January (instead of sending Christmas cards) so I am extending the holiday cheer a la Casa della Frog until, well, until the Stollen is all gone. I’m giving it two weeks max.

We started this afternoon with Tesco’s very own Stollen. As you will see from the ratings below, it is a very strong contender for the winning spot and it is possible that it will just go downhill from this point on. So here goes:-

Stollen Loaf
Stollen Loaf #1

Shop/Make: Tesco Christmas Stollen Loaf


Price: I can’t find the receipt to check but Badgerman said it was cheap so I am going to guess probably £4.99 or under


Size/Weight: 550g


Presentation/Attractiveness: 4

We agreed it was a very decent looking bit of cake that was just asking to be eaten.


Amount of Icing Sugar: 4.5

Almost entirely covered in a decent layer of the snowy stuff


Crumb Factor a.k.a moistness: 4.5

It held together very nicely, with a good dense-yet-spongy feel when pressed


Taste: 5

All you might want from a Stollen, subtle hints of spices and satisfyingly gooey at the same time.


Marzipan Content: 5

A generous log of Marzipan all through the center, and a very tasty one at that, amazing! I expected a hard coin-size lump and instead it melted in the mouth.

Nut and Raisin Content: 4.5

No nuts, but just the right mix of raisins and cake

Alcohol Content: 4

You could really taste the alcohol yet it was subtle. Badgerman was very happy.

Conclusion:  4.5

It was De-Li-Shuss. I had low expectations of Tesco’s offering and was pleasantly surprised.

See also Get Ready for a Stollen-Tasty Adventure

Get Ready For A Stollen-Tasty Adventure

I invite you to join the Frog family in our annual* Stollen tasting extravaganza. Over the next two weeks, we will be conducting a rigorous yet highly subjective tasting experiment, in which we will eat Stollen from a variety of shops and makes; each cake will go through a series of tests and our findings will be posted online, with a 2011 winner announced in the New Year.

The TEST criteria will be as follows:




Presentation/Attractiveness, from 0 = it’s a right old mess to 5 = ain’t it pretty

Amount of Icing Sugar, 0 = faint suspicion to 5 = who snowed on my cake?

Crumb Factor a.k.a moistness, 0 = falling to pieces to 5 = gooey goodness

Taste, 0 = meh to 5 = can you taste the cardamom/rum/hint of citrus peel in that cake?

Marzipan Content, 0 = no Marzipan to 5 = it’s a Marzipanaganza!

Nut and Raisin Content, 0 = it’s all dough to 5 = the perfect mix

Alcohol Content, 0 =  a teetotaler’s heaven to 5 = more, hic, Stollen please, hic!

Each Stollen will get an overall mark out of 5.

Mr Frog, who will from now on be known as Badgerman on this site, as a maths teacher will be tasked with working out the mean average. He is also our in-house Stollen expert and will have the last word on true Stollen goodness, although you will be informed if there is disagreement between us (it is my blog after all).

Stollen-Dresdner Christstollen
Dresden Stollen - Image via Wikipedia

*It is annual in that we did it last year, so it is a repeat. I suspect it might become a Christmas tradition of sorts.