I am making an almond cake from the Pastry Affair blog and did not know what almond paste is. Thank you!
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It’s a paste made of finely ground peeled almonds kneaded with an equal amount of powdered sugar into a sweet and slightly sticky dough. Sometimes a bit of (bitter) almond extract, oil or rose water is added.It’s used in small confections, rolled out to top cakes, in the filling for croissants and pies or – like in your case – in cake batters…
lem is mostly correct w/ 2 changes: egg whites are included in some recipes, and quantities of ground amonds (or almond meal) and sugar- may vary. I have never seen oil or rose water in an almond paste recipe.
Oh yes, I forgot about egg whites – as far as i know they are mostly added if making "baked marzipan" (cookies made of almond paste and egg whites only) or those intricate little painted figurines and objects often given as good luck charms on new year's day…
I have seen the suggestion of adding a bit of oil (ideally sweet almond oil) in several recipes using pre-ground almond meal, which tends to be more dry.
How interesting about the rose water! I assume it is due to the persian origins, but here in europe it is still found in many commercial almond pastes (they don't taste rosy, it's just a faint perfume). I'm curious: is almond paste an "exotic" ingredient in the U.S.? Over here it can be found in the baking isle of almost every grocery store…
It can be found in most U.S. grocery stores that I have seen, but it is not a frequent purchase I'm sure nor is it in most homes. I have mail ordered Odense brand for a friend, she is allergic to egg whites, so I just checked and it is made of almonds, sugar, glucose syrup (wheat starch) and water.
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