Four Clan Kitchen

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Posts Tagged ‘almond paste’

Homemade Marzipan and a Marzipan Streusel Cake with fresh fruits

Posted by fourclankitchen on July 12, 2014

photo 4

 

I found this recipe on this fantastic blog called the Daring Gourmet when I was searching for instructions on how to make marzipan at home.  This blog has a recipe for marzipan and it was a revelation.  It took all of 3 minutes to make and was about 5x more flavorful than the store bought log.  It was also significantly cheaper.   As I read the recipe for the streusel cake,  I could tell it was a winner.   I did not have all the stuff needed for it, so I improvised.   Instead of using 2 cups of cherries,  it used 1 3/4 cup mixed fruits (blueberries, peaches, cherries).  I mixed in 2 tsp of strawberry freezer jam into the fruit mix to enhance the flavors of some rather dull tasting blueberries.  I substituted the buttermilk with full fat yogurt.  Finally,  I took out the vanilla extract and added almond extract because a cake cannot be almondy enough for me.

Marzipan:photo 1

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup almond meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 tsp almond extract.

1 egg white.

Method:

Whiz the almond meal and pwd. sugar in the food processor,  stir in almond extract and the egg white.  Pulse till the marzipan comes together and resembles pie dough.   The original recipe called for rosewater, which I don’t like.  So I skipped it.

The recipe also says that this can be stored in the fridge for 6 weeks and longer in the freezer.   I simple made half a recipe and used it all up for the cake.  If you do this, then the egg white cooks with the cake and you don’t have raw egg issues.  You can do this if are squeamish about raw eggs or you can just buy the marzipan (not the same as almond paste).

Marzipan Streusel Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:

½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
⅓ cup Marzipan
1 egg
½ cup yogurt (the original recipe calls for buttermilk)
1 teaspoon pure almond extract (the original recipe calls for vanilla)
1½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved (I used a mix of fruits because that is what I had at home)

For the Streusel:
½ cup all-purpose unbleached flour
½ cup sugar
⅓ cup  Marzipan (see recipe above), crumbled
4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Powdered sugar for dusting  (I did not use).

 

photo 2
Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a  9 inch springform.
2. Make the streusel:

a) Combine the flour and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the marzipan and butter and use your fingers to combine the mixture until it resembles sandy clumps. Set aside.

photo 3

3.  Make the cake:

a) Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the marzipan and almond extract and beat until combined. Add the egg and beat until combined.

b) Then add the yogurt, almond extract and marzipan.  Beat till combined with the butter-sugar mix.  The mixture will be grainy.
c) In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
d) Stir  the flour mixture into the batter  about a 1/3 at a time and mix well.  Do not overmix.

e) Spoon the mixture into the greased springform, smoothing the top.

f)  Mix the prepared fruit with the jam and place on top of the batter, then sprinkle the streusel topping over it.

g) Bake on the middle rack for 45-55 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Mine took 55 min (maybe because I added the jam).

h) Let the cake sit in the springform for 10-30 minutes before removing, then allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Once cooled, sift powdered sugar over the top (I did not do this).

Link to the original recipe is below.
Read more: http://www.daringgourmet.com/2014/07/01/cherry-marzipan-streusel-cake/#ixzz37HELtAKm

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Almond Shortbread

Posted by fourclankitchen on June 2, 2012

Have you ever used almond paste?  It is basically marzipan, except that it has a little less sugar.  But if you like the flavor of almonds, this could be the ingredient that jazzes up your desserts.  I previously posted an almond cake on this blog that uses almond paste: it is one of my favorite cakes in the whole world.  I was rooting around for a recipe to use up a log of almond paste when I came across this recipe on the manufacturer’s (Odense) website.  I tinkered some with it and liked the results.  I swirled in some strawberry jam into the batter, it looked pretty, but the shortbread is really lovely without it.  Either way, this is a quick and wonderful recipe to have in your repertoire.

Ingredients:

1-7 oz log Odense Almond Paste, grated (I cut it into small pieces, this worked fine, but next time I will blend it with the butter and sugar in the food processor)

1 cup sugar

2 sticks salted butter, room temp (the butter does need to be at room temp).

2 egg yolks

1tsp almond essence  (this is not in the original recipe, but I wanted a more intense almond flavor)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (1 substituted 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup ground almond powder)

1 teaspoon baking powder

2-21/2 tbs.  jam (strawberry or raspberry),  optional

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish.

3. Add the almond paste, sugar and butter to a mixing bowl. Mix

on low speed until combined. Increase speed to high and beat for

three minutes, scraping down bottom and sides of bowl.

4. Add the almond essence and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well between each yolk.

Beat on high speed for three minutes, until light in color and

texture.

5. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Add to batter. Mix on

low speed, until just incorporated.Do not over-mix!

6. Lightly press the dough into the greased baking dish and  smooth the surface.

7.  Warm up the jam for a few seconds in the microwave, till it is runny.  Using a butter knife or a fork, swirl in the jam so that it forms a pretty pattern (I am no good at this, but the shortbread will go down the hatch pretty easily, pretty or not).

8. Bake 22-29 minutes or until lightly golden.  Mine needed 29 min, may be because I added the almond flour and the jam.

9. Cool pan on wire rack. Don’t cut until cool.

10. Store in an airtight container.

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Pear Almond Tart

Posted by fourclankitchen on March 24, 2012

It is hard to come up with pear desserts even at the height of pear season, which this is not.  But I did go to Costco and surprised myself by buying a whole case of  pears.  I scouted around for a recipe and this pear almond tart (in Bon Appetit) caught my attention because it used both pears and almond paste.   I had a log of almond paste (Odense, available at Whole Foods) at home, so I did not have to make the paste from scratch.  I  scouted around for additional recipes so I could get the  proportions of paste eggs etc right.  The final adaptation is from Bon Appetit, David Lebowitz’ website (for the tart shell, which used melted butter and caught my eye) and Smitten Kitchen.  The result is a lovely tart, but not one that overwhelms the taste buds.  But it is very satisfying.  The best part is the liquid in which the pears are poached.  I reduced  it by half, until it got syrupy and stuck it in the freezer for a future jam tart or mojitos.

Poached Pears  (Adapted from Bon Appetit and Smitten Kitchen)

Ingredients

4 cups water
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 medium-size firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled   (You can fit 4-5 pears into the liquid, if you want to make a couple extravand save for another use)

Seeds from 1 vanilla bean + pod (optional)

Method:

1.Bring 4 cups water, sugar, vanilla seeds (you can throw in the pod as well), and lemon juice to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves.

2. Add pears and reduce heat to medium and simmer until pears are very tender, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool pears in syrup.  (Cover and refrigerate).

Brown Butter French Tart Dough (Makes One 9 tart shell.  Source David Lebowitz).  This tart dough is made with butter melted and browned in the oven.  It is very easy to make and does not require refrigeration prior to rolling out.  In fact, it does not require rolling out at all, you just press the dough in place in a tart pan.  It is every bit as good as any other tart dough that I have made.

6 tbs. (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used canola)
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 slightly-rounded cup flour

Method:

Preheat the oven to 410º F.

1. In a medium-sized ovenproof bowl, such as a Pyrex bowl, combine the butter, oil, water, sugar, and salt.

2. Place the bowl in the oven for 15 minutes, until the butter is bubbling and starts to brown just around the edges.

3. When done, remove the bowl from oven (and be careful, since the bowl will be hot and the mixture might sputter a bit), dump in the flour and stir it in quickly, until it comes together and forms a ball which pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

4. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch (23 cm) tart mold with a removable bottom and spread it a bit with a spatula.

5. Once the dough is cool enough to handle, pat it into the shell with the heel of your and, and use your fingers to press it up the sides of the tart mold. Reserve a small piece of dough, about the size of a raspberry, for patching any cracks (I didn’t do this.)

6. Prick the dough all over with the tines of a fork about ten times, then bake the tart shell in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.

7. Remove from the oven and if there are any sizable cracks, use the bits of reserved dough to fill in and patch them.

I find it best to pinch off a small amount of the reserved dough, roll it gently between your fingers to soften it, then wedge it into the cracks, smoothing it gently with your pinky.

8. Let the shell cool before filling.

Almond Filling

6 ounces (170 g) almond paste
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons flour
6 tbs butter, salted or unsalted, cubed, at room temperature
1 large egg, plus one egg white, at room temperature
a few drops almond extract, optional

1 1/2 teaspoons rum, Calvados, or Kirsch (I omitted)

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Set the pre-baked tart shell on a baking sheet.

2. In a stand mixer, or by hand, beat the almond paste with the sugar and flour, until smooth.

3. Gradually beat in the butter, until smooth, then beat in the egg and the egg white, the almond extract, and the liquor, if using.

Assemble Tart: 

1. Spread the almond filling evenly over the cooled tart shell (should be at room temperature).

2. Cut each pear half cross-wise into thin slices.  Fan the pears slices as shown in the pictures, pressing gently into the almond filling,  Leave some space between the slice rows.

3. Bake the tart for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the almond filling between the pears has browned.

4. Cool slightly before serving, or serve at room temperature.

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