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almond paste

poodlequeen's picture

almond paste (post #63440)


It being the dead of winter, I have been on a "tear" to clean cupboards of mystery ingredients. One item I have is Almond Paste, in a can, from American Almond Products Co. It is probably 3-4 yrs old, and contains 1 lb. In my refrigerator, I also have a tube, label long gone, 7 oz, which I believe is almond paste. So I figure I'll make a cake ... and found Mean Chef's Almond cake via Chez Panisse/David Lebowitz. I also have a recipe from "The Best American Recipes of 1999" which is a MAtthew Kenney recipe.
Here are the questions. Should I just throw out these old ingredients? Too old to use? Too risky, too mysterious? A waste of all the other ingredients that go into a cake? The Kenney recipe calls for 12 oz almond paste (use up the can), and Mean Chef's recipe calls for 3/4 C.
Any advice?

UncleDunc's picture

(post #63440, reply #1 of 13)

How good is your nose? I made some bread one time with some old vegetable oil. I knew I'd had it around for a while, so I sniffed it carefully and it smelled OK to me. However, when I baked the bread, it turned out the oil _was_ rancid and it stunk up the whole house.

If either the can or the tube have been opened, I'd toss them. If they're still sealed and you're confident of your nose and tongue, smell and taste them and then decide.

plantlust's picture

(post #63440, reply #2 of 13)

Almond paste is strictly sugar and finely ground almonds (at least that's what it's supposed to be).  If the can is vacuum sealed there should be no issue of it being rancid and I would think the same applies w/the opened yet refrigerated tube. 

Personally (this is just what I do for almond paste), I would sniff and/or small taste. 

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TracyK's picture

(post #63440, reply #3 of 13)

I do not like that brand of almond paste, FWIW. And if you choose to use it, it will be very difficult to work with... it does not soften easily, or incorporate easily into other ingredients... I'd probably cut it into small chunks and run it through the food processor or a blender before trying to use it in a recipe (especially a cake recipe).

You say I'm a b---- like that's a bad thing.

poodlequeen's picture

(post #63440, reply #4 of 13)

Thank you all so much for your advice. I used the unlabelled tube of almond paste in Mean Chef's/Chef Panisse almond cake recipe ... (after tasting/smelling)...and it was excellent. The almond paste was fine (probably because sugar is a preservative), and it was a pleasure to use a recipe so well written. I made it in baby cake pans -- and wish I could give you each a piece!

KathiM's picture

(post #63440, reply #5 of 13)

i tried a recipe for cookies with almond paste a couple of christmases ago.  The recipe called for 1 brand the store hand another.  THe recipe came with warnings that it woudnt work with out the right brand.  They were right-it didn't work very well- Hence i can't remember the recipe.  Do you all have a favorite brand?

TracyK's picture

(post #63440, reply #6 of 13)

Odesse, I think it is... comes in a plastic tube like ready-made cookie dough. It's really good and quite soft, almost the consistency of a sandy cookie dough, or pie crust dough.

KathiM's picture

(post #63440, reply #7 of 13)

Thanks for the info tracie.

DeannaS's picture

(post #63440, reply #8 of 13)

I've only used the solo brand in the cans - which was explicitly called for in an Italian almond cookie recipe.

"As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists." - Joan Dye Gussow

KathiM's picture

(post #63440, reply #10 of 13)

I wasn't able to find the canned stuff, just the tubes.

RheaS's picture

(post #63440, reply #9 of 13)

This thread inspired me to bake this cake the other night and it's excellent. The only change I made was to bake it in a bundt pan and replace the vanilla with rosewater after reading a recipe for almond cookies with rosewater.  The latter change didn't do anything. I couldn't taste or smell any rosewater. Maybe I needed to use more rosewater? I liked the bundt pan because I got lots more delicious crust.

KitchenWitch's picture

(post #63440, reply #11 of 13)

>>I couldn't taste or smell any rosewater. <<

Rosewater is so delicate. maybe incorporate it into a glaze so it doesn't all bake off?



Syrah's picture

(post #63440, reply #12 of 13)

Or could you try sprinkling it on them hot out of the oven? One of Evelyn's recipes for biscuits suggested that and I loved it.


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RheaS's picture

(post #63440, reply #13 of 13)

Thanks! I was wondering about that, but the cookie recipe had it baked right in. I'll try the glaze next time.