One of the main ingredients of one of my most favorite cakes, Italian almond cake, is Almond Paste which I have never come across here in the UK. Fresh, homemade almond paste is very different to Marzipan. It comes with a rich almond taste and less sugar.
Almond paste vs. Marzipan
There is quite a heated debate amongst the baking fraternity about the difference between Marzipan and almond paste. But also almond paste means something different depending on which country you come from.
- Marzipan (as we know it in the UK) has a much higher ratio of sugar to almonds. Most brands contain only around 25% sweet almonds.
- Almond Paste generally has equal quantities of ground almonds to sugar.
Good almond paste does not only come with almonds and sugar, it needs a binding agent.
Here you can use different ingredients:
- Egg white
- Egg yolk
- Whole egg
- a little oil
- Sugar syrup
- Honey and
- some people add some alcohol for a richer taste.
In my recipe for almond paste I chose the whole egg, but only because I didn’t want to have to deal with the problem of a stray yolk or 1 egg white to use up.
Some Cointreau adds a nice, fruity flavour to the paste. If you want an alcoholfree version substitute with orange juice.
The end result was delicious and made for a perfect Almond Tart. It is really quick and so easy to make and freezes beautifully. No excuses… you have to try and make your own homemade almond paste. You won’t regret it.
- 250g caster sugar
- 250g ground almonds
- 1 large egg
- 2 tblsp Cointreau (optional)
- Sieve the caster sugar and the ground almonds into a mixing bowl.
- Give the egg and the Cointreau (if using) a quick mix to combine.
- Add the egg to the sugar and almond mixture.
- Mix together until a stiff paste is formed.
- Use immediately or wrap in cling wrap and store in the refrigerator.