I’m sorry to say there were no Haribos in Tudor England. Can you imagine a life with hardly any sweet foods?
In Tudor England, if you were very rich, you might have got to eat some sweets made of Marchpane, which was made of almonds and sugar. Both of these ingredients had to be imported by boat from abroad and were very expensive. They also had be finely ground by your servants, before being mixed together with rose water.
The marchpane would then be made into flat discs and baked before being decorated with other marchpane shapes, confits (sugared seeds, spice or dried fruit) or, for very special occasions, with edible gold leaf.
It was moulded into some amazing shapes and it is said that Queen Elizabeth I was given a marchpane model of St Paul’s Cathedral. Someone else even managed to make a Marchpane chess set! You would probably give these sweets as gifts, or use them to impress guests when you had a feast.
Our sweets are made with marzipan – a modern version of Marchpane. You will need;
- 1 pack of marzipan,
- some icing sugar,
- food colourings,
- small cookie cutters,
- edible cake decorations, dried fruit or nuts
- small paper case
- Sprinkle some icing sugar onto the table to stop it sticking. Mold the marzipan into any shape you like – it feels very like play dough! We made some small balls to put in a paper case which we decorated with marzipan shapes made with cookie cutters. We also made a large disc decorated with a tudor rose, and had a go at making a chessman (but this was not so easy!)
- You can decorate your shapes by painting them with food colouring and a paintbrush, icing them or cutting out small shapes to stick on the top. You could also use sprinkles, dried fruits or nuts. We found some edible gold cake spray at the supermarket which we used to decorate our sweets.
We would love to see some of your sweets and if you manage to make a model of St Paul’s Cathedral, please let us know!