Almond paste. What's so great about it that I need to have a recipe for it on my site? With almond paste you can make the best almond cake I've ever eaten. That's what.
Not to be confused with marzipan, almond paste is a basic mixture of ground almonds, powdered sugar, egg white or glucose syrup and optionally a few drops of good quality almond extract. It takes about five minutes to make and is easier to make than toast. (I have a tricky toaster, it likes to undertoast, then burn on the second round, and no, changing the heat setting doesn't help. I just need a new toaster.)
If you're in the States and you're reading this, you're probably wondering why I'd need a recipe for almond paste 'cause I could just buy it in a can. You can buy it, I can't. I have yet to find almond paste anywhere in Ireland, and as far as I know, it's not even readily available in the UK, SA or a good portion of Europe. I could order it online, but honestly, it's so easy to make I'll save the expense and time of waiting for it to arrive, 'cause by the time it was delivered, I'd already be eating the last slice of that gorgeous almond cake that I made with my homemade almond paste.
I think I need to say this again, almond paste (pâte d'amandes) and marzipan are not the same. Almond paste is made of equal amounts of ground almonds and sugar, whereas marzipan has far more sugar. Almond paste is bound together with egg white or glucose syrup, but the ingredients for marzipan are cooked together to make the mouldable paste.
Marzipan is far sweeter, more pliable and used for covering cakes or making confectionaries, but almond paste is also used as an ingredient. So if you're think of trying out the almond cake linked here (and you'd better!) then, no, you can't substitute marzipan.
Now, about that almond cake. I'm not joking when I say that it rivals my love for carrot cake. And I LOVE carrot cake.
It's dense, moist, soooo buttery, not too sweet, perfect for a snack with a cup of coffee or served as a dessert after a good meal. It needs no frosting, just a light dusting of powdered sugar and maybe some fresh berries as garnish. My husband is in love with this cake too.
I could go on and on and on about how good it is, but until you try it I don't think you'll fully understand. So do yourself a favour, get yourself over to David Lebovitz's site, and make yourself this cake NOW! (Or at least this week). If you love almonds and everything buttery, it really is an incredible cake. Nothing complicated about the flavours, it's even really easy to mix together and bake! Nothing about this cake is difficult, especially the eating part. Unless you're eating your 4th slice in a row. But I won't judge you ;)
This recipe for almond paste will take you one step closer to almond cake.
Mmmmm... Almond cake.
Yes, I love it that much.
Oh, last note. I have yet to try commercially bought almond paste, but I believe that this homemade version will probably have a slightly rougher texture due to the fact that it's not been made by industrial machinery, regardless, there's nothing unpleasant about the slightly rougher texture in the almond cake. I dare say you wouldn't even notice the difference, but when I do get my hands on the bought stuff, I'll be able to do a proper comparison.
225g Ground Almonds
225g Powdered/Icing Sugar
1 Egg White
2ml Almond Extract
- Combine ground almonds and icing sugar in a food processor
- Pulse a few times to mix
- With the processor on, slowly pour in the egg white and almond extract
- When the paste starts pulling away from the sides and forms a ball, turn out onto a counter
- Knead lightly to bring it all together
- Roll into a log and portion as you need it
Almond paste recipe adapted from Food.com
Amazing almond cake recipe available on David Lebovitz's site
If you can't buy already ground almonds, then you can grind your own blanched almonds in a food processor or coffee grinder.
If you don't have a food processor, you could also do this in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
It can be stored in the fridge wrapped tightly in plasic wrap for up to one week. (If using glucose syrup it could probably last several months in the fridge)
The amount of paste this makes is enough for 2 almond cake recipes, so if you'd prefer to only make enough for 1 cake recipe, weigh the egg white and then divide it in 2 by weight, spooning half of it into another container.
Avoid using cheap almond "essence". Almond extract is pure almond oil and not only does it have a far superior flavour, it also doesn't have any added chemicals. A drop of almond extract goes a long way, so it's worth paying for a really good quality one.
Almond paste can be used to make confectionaries, try adding different flavoured oils or extracts like peppermint, rose or orange. Also cocoa or matcha tea.