Monday, August 29, 2016

Almond Paste





Almond paste is a very versatile medium to make marzipan figures, fruits, covering or mixing in cakes as well as other dessert decorations and designs . Freshly made it has a somewhat grainy texture depending on how well you processed it, but mostly because of the almonds. It's best to buy unsalted almonds. To begin this process we’ll blanch the almonds, to separate the brown skin from the nuts. Wait a few minutes for them to cool and dry. If you wish to skip this step just buy blanched almonds and Start at step 2. and place the almonds in a processor or blender to grind them with powdered sugar and a little binding liquid such as corn syrup, pasteurized eggs or glucose. Finally knead and form to a consistent dough of almond paste...ready for whatever you want to make.

Almond Paste recipe ingredients
1 ½  c. whole blanched Almonds
1 ½  c. 10 x
¼ c. Pasteurized eggs whites or substitutions
½ tsp. Almond extract (more or less)

Let’s begin with Step 1. If you understand blanching, this first step, will be a breeze for you.  Look for the skin to become wrinkled and kinda lift from the almonds. When gently squeezing an almond between your finger and thumb it should easily slide out of the skin.

  1. Boil water in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Carefully place the almonds in the boiling water and simmer for 1 min. Turn off the heat and remove the pan from the burner.
  3. Place almonds on a towel to cool and remove the skin. Gently, because they are slippery little devils.

To Begin step 2 Using a 7 c. Vol. processor Grind the almonds with ½ c. powdered sugar, to a fine ground consistency.


After the almonds are ground add the rest of the sugar and pulse until the whole mixture is combined completely. Stop the machine once more feed in the egg whites and extract. Start up the processor and let it combine to a mass of dough, then remove from the processor to your dusted working surface of powdered sugar.
If you are like me, and rather mix the binding liquid into the ground almond sugar by hand,
place it on the work surface or bowl, make a well int the middle of the almond mixture, to knead in the egg whites. All that’s left is to form it into a consistent ball of almond paste that’s not sticking to your hand. Just keep adding the powdered sugar as needed to achieve a slightly non-sticky dough. It's a bit tacky, but it doesn't stick to your hands at all.



Once it is a nice dough, I keep it in the refrigerator (will keep up to 3 months and freeze up to 6 months) wrapped in plastic wrap and parchment paper to keep it fresh for use and free of unwanted refrigerator flavors.. Bring the almond paste to room temperature before using. It is very easily colored too. I’ve added gel color after it’s made with pleasing results. I think it would be fine to add the color to the binding liquid as well or just painting directly onto the formed fruit or what have you, using a bit of petal dust.

Next time I will share how I make Marzipan from the Almond Paste
For these adorable little snowman
                                   


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