Let’s be honest: Westeros is a bummer. If you’re not starving, you’re getting stabbed by a demon fog or drowned in molten gold. That doesn’t mean there aren’t specks of innocence or humor, though. In fact, the lack of levity makes it doubly effective when it does roll around. This is a big part of why I’ve always loved Tommen. For those who don’t know: Tommen is the sweet younger brother of everyone’s most-hated boy king, Joffrey.
In the television series Tommen appears to be a teenager, but in the books he’s only 7. Tommen is everything Joffrey isn’t, and this is never more perfectly demonstrated than in their treatment of cats. While Joffrey apparently tortured a pregnant cat for fun, Tommen cares lovingly for his three kittens Ser Pounce, Lady Whiskers and Boots. Reading about his innocent joy at playing with his pets was a balm in a very dark book series.
Ser Pounce has definitely become the fan favorite, perhaps due to how cute his name is. He’s also the only cat of the three to appear in the television series, though not as the small black kitten described in the books.
Fun fact: Ser Pounce was unceremoniously cut from the television series after his actor wasn’t as cooperative as everyone on set had hoped. It’s a cat, y’all. I’m not sure what you expected.
Sadly, even the innocent play of Ser Pounce ends up becoming a cruel lesson to Tommen about the world he’s been born into thanks to his mother, Cersei.
“Ser Pounce caught a mouse, but Lady Whiskers stole it from him.”
“Ser Pounce must learn to defend his rights. In this world the weak are always the victims of the strong.”
Tommen and Cersei in A Feast For Crows
Today we honor Ser Pounce’s love for mouse-hunting by making these adorable marzipan mice. Marzipan (or marchpane, if you want to be old-school about it) has been enjoyed since the Middle Ages, so it’s perfectly reasonable to think this could be a treat nibbled on by Tommen and his kitties in Westeros.
Making your own marzipan is easy and super rewarding, but if you want to make these mice with storebought marzipan that is also okay!
This is also my second Nyanuary entry, a Fandom Foodies themed month hosted by yours truly! Check out the details and how to participate here, plus all the other cool cat-themed recipes that have been submitted so far.
Also, please check out the charity spotlights and GIVEAWAY I’m doing for Nyanuary as well!
SER POUNCE’S MARZIPAN MICE
200g (1 cups) almond meal
100g (1 cup) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon rosewater
2 teaspoons liquor of choice (I went with triple sec)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Pink powdered food coloring
White non pareils (optional)
MAKING THE MARZIPAN
1. In a food processor combine the almond, sugar, rosewater and liquor and pulse to combine. Add half the egg white and pulse again to combine. The goal is that the mass just comes together; if half an egg white is enough to do this, stop here. If not, add the second half and pulse until things come together. Once things seem to be clumping, stop pulsing immediately! Once the mass has just begun to come together into clumps, stop. Overmixing it will make it separate and become oily. Turn the marzipan out onto a countertop, give it a quick knead to get it into a single ball and then wrap it in plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight to chill.
SHAPING THE MICE
1. Split the marzipan into golf ball sized pieces; each of these should make an entire mouse. Use about half of one of these golf-ball sized pieces to make colored marzipan: dye half of it brown with the cocoa powder and half pink. The directions from hereon out will be for one of the remaining balls.
2. Split off about 1/4 of the ball for the ears and tail. Roll the largest piece into a rounded cone as shown below and set it aside. Now use the remaining 1/4 of the mass to make the ears and tail. To make the tail, roll some marzipan into a tube that’s tapered to a point at the ends. Now roll 2 pea-sized pieces of marzipan into balls before flattening them out with your fingers. Squeeze the edges to thin them out even further. Using a tiny amount of corn syrup, adhere the tail and ears to the cone-shaped body. Now use a toothpick, chopstick or whatever else you have to poke two holes where the eyes will be going. You may have to widen these holes a bit, as we want the little eye balls to sit in the cone shape snugly. Repeat this until your marzipan is used up.
3. Pinch off tiny pieces of cocoa-tinted fondant and roll them into tiny balls (2 for each mouse). It’s important that these are all the same size. Next, pinch off tiny bits of the pink fondant and roll out similarly shaped balls (1 for each mouse). Once again using a small amount of corn syrup, adhere the eyes and nose to your mice. Optional: roll tiny white non-pareils in a thin layer of corn syrup and add them to the eyes for a little added detail.
4. Grab a small small paintbrush. Dip it into the powdered pink food coloring, tap off the excess and then use it to add a bit of pink in the ears and on the cheeks of the mice. Allow to set for 1 hour, then enjoy!
ALTERNATE DESIGN: to make the mouse holding the almond, make a slightly longer cone shape and sit it upright. Adhered the tail and ears like for all the other mice, but then glue a little almond to his belly with corn syrup. Roll two simple tapered tubes (like a very short version of the tails) for the arms and two little round balls for feet. Adhered the arms over the almond with corn syrup, then set the body on top of the two balls so they look like little feet squished underneath.
OILY OR BROKEN MARZIPAN – This happens when you overwork the marzipan. To save it, return the marzipan to the food processor and add a healthy dose of liquor. Pulse to combine; it will be very soft. Now add a half/half almond flour and sugar mix and pulse until it once again is barely absorbed.
DRY OR CRUMBLY MARZIPAN – Return the marzipan to the food processor and add a bit more egg white. Pulse until it barely comes together.
I really found that I loved the addition of triple sec to marzipan, and I’ll be making it myself much more often from hereon out.
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