Marzipan is, at its heart, a very simple confection. Ground almonds and sugar are all you need for the basic substance; the mixture is compressed into 'loaves' and then sliced for ease of consumption. If you're familiar with how fudge looks before it's chopped up, it's very similar!
Of course, that's not the end of the story. The texture and sweetness can be altered by tweaking the proportions. A nuttier flavour can be found with a little extra almond extract, or fruity flavours added with fresh juice. Spices and alcoholic spirits can be mixed in for deeper flavours, or you can just stir in whole pieces of flavour (even chocolate shards!).
Marzipan can be marbled or rolled together to create new, complex flavours in each piece broken off. The possibilities are endless, but thankfully we have Heidi to hand-tweaked all the possibilities to perfection!
The marzipan used on wedding cakes and the like is almost unrecognisable from what we're offering! While 'eating' marzipan is about 50-50 on almond and sugar, 'icing marzipan' is often upwards of 70% sugar—not to mention the thickeners and other additives. Even the highest quality of 'icing marzipan' is incomparable to this, so please rid yourself of any preconceptions!
The marzipan you'll find below is fresh, flavourful, and not oversweet. It is handmade from 100% natural ingredients and is meant to be enjoyed as it is!
Many parts of Europe have a tradition of sculpting and colouring marzipan into various other forms, sometimes quite elaborately. Across the north (including Scandinavia, Germany, and of course Belgium itself) a popular Christmastime present are marzipan pigs, while across southern Europe from Portugal to Italy you'll find the sweets masquerading as fruit! (Even Stefan Dumon has his own take on it!)
We at Chocobong have sampled quite a fair amount of chocolate; that's safe to say! However, one thing we've always struggled to find in our fair British isles is marzipan. This has disappointed Mr Bong's son, who's had to quell his voracious appetite for it to last between the trips Mr Bong takes to the mainland. What's worse is that this actually seems to be common across a lot of the anglosphere, from Canada to New Zealand!
Mr Bong had experimented with importing marzipan before, importing well-known European brands, but they were only ever just adequate—never quite to the unparalleled standard he held for chocolate and truffles! So, imagine Mr Bong's surprise when he, by chance, wandered into a boutique shop in Brugge by the name of Brown Sugar, and found stacks and stacks of pure marzipan in myriad flavours, not dressed up as just a chocolate filling or hidden in the corner away from more generic flavours.
And Brown Sugar's marzipan was truly special.
Mr Bong enjoyed it so much, he had to take some back. The next year, he took some more back. And now, here he is, taking all his favourite flavours to you too!
Brown Sugar's proprietor, Heidi, has been making her own, speciality marzipan by hand for many years. What began as a small passion-project of hers has since grown into a handful of boutique shops in and around Brugge, Belgium, producing fresh marzipan the same way she always has.
Brown Sugar's homemade marzipan uses simple ingredients—fresh almonds, simple sugar, and 100%-natural flavourings—but this lends a true expertise to the final composition. Heidi is passionate about quality (same as us!) and she makes it show in her work.
If you find yourself in Brugge, be sure to take a stop in one of their shops! You can find Brown Sugar at Mariastraat 21 or Breidelstraat 7, both B-8000, Brugge. Tell Heidi that Mr Bong says hi!