Algarve Almond Marzipan • Doce Fino


Doce Fino from Algarve is a small typical portuguese sweet made of sweet almond dough (marzipan) with a filling of egg jam or sweet egg strands. Doce Fino is translated to English as Fine Sweet and it comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, mostly little fruits, vegetates, and animals. It is one of the most famous sweets from the Algarve region of Portugal.

These are not that complicated to make, the most work is to mold and form and pain all the sweets, but you can just make “cheeses”, the cheese is the most basic form, just mold it as a round shape and sprinkle it with sugar, no painting or filling needed, so can go from simple to more complicated, its delicious to eat and its fun to make it with kids, you can make simple or try more complicated designs, painting or not..

This is the basic recipe of how to to make Algarve style marzipan and the filling with sweet egg strands and not so much all the techniques to mold these delicious treats, because that would make a huge article, maybe ill make a part 2, but even if you are not adept at molding, like i said you can just make little balls filled with the sweet egg strands our little “cheeses”, lets check the recipe.

Algarve Almond Marzipan • Doce Fino

  • Servings: 30
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Classic Portuguese recipe of molded marzipan sweet egg filled sweets, traditional of the Algarve Region of Portugal.


  • Almonds – 500 gr (Raw almonds with the skin on)
  • Sugar – 500 gr
  • Water – 150 ml
  • Egg Yolks – 10
  • Sugar – 1000 gr
  • Water – 1000 ml


  1. Start with preparing the almonds, boil water in a large pan, remove the pan from the heat and add the almonds and cover for about 5 minutes.
  2. After the 5 minutes, drain the water and squeeze each almond, you will see the skin will come out open them and try to squeeze the shell of the almonds, if it comes out well, drain the water and let the almonds cool down a little bit.
  3. If you have time, arrange the almonds in two trays and let them dry in the sun for 2 days, if you don’t have the time or the weather doesn’t permit, preheat the oven to 200ºC and take the two trays inside for 10 minutes with a cork in the door to keep the door open, you want to dry the almonds, not to roast them!
  4. If you took the almonds to the oven after the 10 minutes, take the almonds out, mix them and let them dry in the sun for like 30 minutes to cool down and lose a bit more moister.
  5. When the almonds are very dry take them to a grinder and grind them to create an almond powder, you want it super fine, the finer it is the smoother and softer the marzipan dough will be.
  6. Now let’s prepare the marzipan, heat the 150ml of water and sugar in a saucepan until it reaches the soft ball point (or pearl point, you can check with a spoon, put a bit of the sugar syrup in a spoon and try and drizzle back, it the end of the drizzle creates a soft droplet of sugar that’s the point and the sugar syrup is ready).
  7. Remove the sugar syrup from the heat and add the grounded almonds. Now stir vigorously until the almonds and syrup form a smooth, homogeneous paste.
  8. Let it cool a little, and then take the almond dough out to a marble base or table and knead it well while still warm with a dough spatula (because its still pretty hot), and then let it cool completely.
  9. When cool, knead it again and create a ball, wrap the ball in cling film and let it rest, ideally overnight, but you can use it after about 1 hour without problems.
  10. For the sweet egg strands filling, you start with adding to a large and wide pan the 1000 ml or water and 1000 gr of sugar (to create a sugary syrup) on medium heat, you want it with a little rolling bubble.
  11. While its heating up, separate the egg yolks from the whites and whisk and strain the egg yolks through a sieve just to get a very creamy egg yolks.
  12. Now add the whisked egg yolks to a egg funnel (or egg yarn funnel, check the photo this is a traditional gadget to make this type of egg strand sweet, but you can use thin nozzle squeeze bottle or even a strong plastic bag like for freezing with some holes, the goal is to make very thin strands of egg yolk), make sure to use your fingers to close the holes of the egg funnel so it doesn’t drain out.
  13. When the sugar syrup starts bubbling and foaming a bit, start poring the egg yolk in a circular motion, don’t overfill, stop and let it cook for a few seconds and then remove the strands to a colander, repeat until you have no more yolks (If after draining the strands all start to stick or you just feel like they are naturally sticky that means you need to add a bit more water to the sugar syrup).
  14. After the sweet egg strands drained and cooled down, use your hands to separate the strands, so you get a lovely stringy sweet egg, this is the filling for the marzipan.
  15. When you have both the marzipan and sweet egg strands ready and cooled, you can shape the Doce Fino, you should start with the “cheese”, just make a ball of marzipan, about smaller than a ping pong ball, make a ball out of it, hen with your hands spread it out to make a large disk, fill it with a bit of the sweet egg strands, then fold it in and mold it into a mini cheese round shape, decorate it rolling it on sugar, put a little sugar silver ball on the middle (if you want) and then use a back of a knife to mark “slices” and that’s it… a traditional marzipan Doce Fino cheese ;D
  16. To make the fruits, painted vegetables you first want to shape the fruits into a pear, carrot, apple shape, also shape small leaves for decoration, with food coloring just pain it to resemble what you molded.
  17. For fish, almonds, piggies, you’ll take some marzipan and add chocolate or one of the food coloring’s, mix well to create pink, yellow, orange, blue or brown marzipan, then mold it and fill it, the fish is relatively simple, but the piggy is one of those that take more work, check the photos ;D
  18. And thats it, ready to eat, enjoy, share or even to give as a cute present, also after you made the marzipan and sweet egg strands, its a perfect fun time with the kids to mold whatever they want! ;D

You want the marzipan to be thin but not super thin so it doesn’t break when handling or eating, also be careful to seal it well, no egg strings sticking out, if it is sealed well the marzipan will hold well for about 1 month with no problems or refrigeration.

You can buy almonds without skin or already roasted, but marzipan tastes better if you get raw, take the skin and dry them yourself, it makes a huge difference in taste and texture, doing it this way it takes just more fresh and creamy.

Things that you might need to fully make these sweets:

  • Molding Tools – To help mold the marzipan.
  • Food Coloring and Brushes – To paint the marzipan.
  • Egg Yarn Funnel – Traditional tool to make the sweet egg strands, in alternative you can use a very thin nozzle squeeze bottle (I’ve used it once, since my aunt is the one that owns one of these).
  • Pasta Spatula – Helps you stir the hot marzipan, you can use plastic, metal or wood ones.
  • Paper Forms/Cups – For putting the marzipan after you are done ;D
  • Powdered Chocolate – To mix and make black marzipan.
  • Regular Sugar – To sprinkle on the outside, the only traditional marzipan sweet with sprinkled sugar is

This recipe for Algarve Almond Marzipan • Doce Fino was originally created on Esta receita de Como Fazer Doce Fino do Algarve foi publicada em português no


Per Serving: 299 calories; 9.7 g fat; 33.3 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein;

Did you try this recipe?

Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below ;D


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