Ever tried making your own ice cream or making your own lemon curd? Then you know that there’s some things that when you make them yourself wont compare to the shop bought ones. Almond paste is one of those things.
Another factor that these things have in common apart from being the tastiest you’ve ever had is that even though they aren’t too difficult to make you never hear about people making them. And lastly, yet another thing they have in common, their shop bought counterparts are awfully similar even though you can vary your own creations endlessly. Try chocolate ice cream with almonds, amaretto and cherry, when did you see that in store last? Or how about blueberry curd? No, you only ever see lemon curd and sometimes lime curd!
These things are really fun to make, because they give you so much back for making them, they are rewarding and easy, and you can really tell people that you made everything in your dessert from scratch and watch them become impressed.
Edit: this post used to be called “Endless possibilities – Homemade marzipan” but what I’m making here isn’t really marzipan, it’s almond paste, something similar to marzipan but much tastier with more almonds in it. It’s not as suitable for sculpting into figures and definitely not rolling out because it’s a bit grittier.
Homemade almond paste
300 g almonds
Sugar to taste
1 egg white
Amaretto and bitter almond oil (or a ground bitter almond) to taste
Water if needed to improve the consistency
Boil some water and chuck the almonds in, let them sit for a few minutes and then peel off the skin (this is quite fun, but time consuming!). Grind the almonds and mix with caster sugar until you think it’s sweet enough. Add one egg white and mix around a bit. Add the amaretto and/or bitter almond/oil if you have any until you think it tastes good enough. If needed, add water until the consistence is soft and pliable enough. Store in the fridge. Easy, isn’t it!
Try using different types of alcohol, how about Calvados or pear liqueur? You can also experiment with different types of sugar and with some chopped up almonds or a few raisins in for an interesting crunch/chewiness.
Perfect to shape into little pigs and give as a gift to a almond paste lover, or roll into balls and dip in chocolate or why not use in bun fillings?
(Or eat on its own when no one is looking…)
This picture is in the competition of Månadens matbild (food picture of the month) at Matgeek!