It’s that time of year again when I feel the uncontrollable need to talk about marzipan. I realise there are far more important things to worry about in the world, but I can’t help taking this ancient confectionery seriously.

Marzipan moves into the spotlight round about now, as German stollen cake and — more popular locally — British Christmas cake. What they (particularly the British cake) often make use of is a thing that is hardly marzipan at all, and I’m pretty sure it’s this weird playdough laced with almond essence that puts most people off marzipan for life...

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