Almonds are an indispensable ingredient for Easter bread, but not only


My most viewed blog post appeared in April 2016, just before Easter. I called the post “Almonds Gentlemen Almonds” and didn’t know it would be such a success. It contained three recipes for an almond wildfire cake for Easter. So while we haven’t quite gotten to Easter yet, we’ll have a section on Easter soon, but even on normal days – there’s something in almonds that makes pastry even more palatable. Not to mention that almonds also make marzipan, one of the world’s favorite desserts. As a fan of almond bread, I have almond powder at home all year round, and it is used for baking cakes in cakes and biscuits of all kinds, as an addition to dough crumbs, for certification and enrichment of yeast cake fillings and more.

>> All Easter recipes

Orange cake, coconut and almond. recipe at the end | Photo: Kirin Ajam, Good Food

What is the difference between almond flour, almond powder and ground almonds?

Almond powder and almond flour are essentially the same product: almonds without the peel, finely ground into a powder. In contrast, ground almonds are usually ground with their husk and coarse texture.

Almond flour improves the taste and texture of pastries, making them more delicate. This means that cookies with almond flour can be crunchier, and cookies in tins are more likely to fall apart – but if you cool the pastries completely before slicing, it helps a lot. Anyway, this is a very small price to pay. In terms of taste, almonds blend nicely with the flavors of chocolate, lemon, orange and fruit in general, and of course it stands alone.

Almond production - Kirin Agam (Photo: Kirin Agam, Good Food)
Poppy and almond cake. Also this recipe at the end | Photo: Kirin Ajam, Good Food

Converting regular flour to almond flour

It is possible to convert portions of the flour in the recipe into almond flour in a 1:1 ratio (that is, replace a certain amount of flour with almond flour for the exact same amount) – but not in a large amount. In crispy dough cakes with one and a half cups of flour, for example, you can turn 50 grams, that is, a third – into almond flour, so that the texture is not spoiled and it is convenient to work with the dough. Even in baked cakes, turning a small portion—up to a third—of the white flour into almond flour will enrich the flavor of the cake but won’t harm the texture. If you shift half the amount of flour in the baked cake with almond flour – you will get a tastier cake, but more grainy and less stable, so it is better to turn a smaller amount.

An important point to remember is that unlike flour, almonds do not swell. So in cakes containing almond flour, it is usually started by whisking the proteins separately and the yolks separately, to give rise to the pastry. If you turn a third of the flour in the cake into almond flour – replace it by whisking the eggs. In addition, the mixture is often hardened with baking powder.

Almond production - Kirin Agam (Photo: Kirin Agam, Good Food)
Almar cake with almonds and chocolate. This recipe is also | Photo: Kirin Ajam, Good Food

Where do you buy almond flour?

I buy almond flour at a spice or bakery store, and keep it in the fridge because otherwise it tends to spoil and attract insects. This is also the reason why it is best to buy almond flour from a store that grinds almonds on the spot, or from a store that you know has a fast turnover.

Is it possible to make almond flour on your own?

It is possible, in a spice grinder, but it is important to do it slowly and in small quantities because the almonds tend to heat up quickly and begin to secrete fat, then lose their powdery texture and become sticky. So little by little, and in only short pulses.

And what happens at Easter?

What if I wanted to make buns in huts, which were originally made of white flour? The truth is that I do this quite often, taking recipes based on white flour and replacing it with a mixture of almond flour, cornmeal and potato flour, about a third of each. Feel free to try too.

Almond sticks stuffed with almond halva (Photo: Nufar Tzur, Good Food)
Almond fingers stuffed with almond halva | Photo: Nufar Tzur, good food

Recipe: Almond Sticks Stuffed with Almond Halva (Not for Passover)

I warn you that one finger is not enough, nor four. The filler can be exchanged for another price difference that you like.

the components:
For the dough:
1 cup (140 g) plain white flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
50 grams icing sugar (6 and a quarter tablespoons)
Half a teaspoon of fine salt
½ cup (50 g) almond flour/almond powder
120 cold butter, cut into cubes
4 tablespoons sour cream
½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)
yolk

to fill in:
Half of each (200 grams) fat halva
1 cup (100 g) almond flour/almond powder
Half a cup of milk chocolate chips

For coating:
egg white
chopped almonds

Preparation:

In a food processor, mix the flour, baking powder, powdered sugar, salt and almond flour.

2. Add the butter cubes and mix a little. Add sour cream, almond extract and egg yolk and beat in short pulses until a ball of dough is obtained. If the dough remains crumbly, add another tablespoon of sour cream.

3. Cover the dough in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for half an hour.

4. Filling: In a bowl, mix the halva fat and almond flour until you get a uniform consistency (sprinkle with chocolate chips afterwards).

5. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a large baking sheet with baking paper.

Almond sticks in a skillet (Photo: Nuvar Tzur, Good Food)
Almond sticks in a frying pan | Photo: Nufar Tzur, good food

6. Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a thin rectangle.

7. Cross the rectangle and transfer half of it to the tray (on baking paper).

Using a plate or spoon, evenly and evenly distribute the halva filling over the dough in the pan. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

9. Cover the cooked dough with the remaining half of the dough and tighten the edges along its entire length.

10. Grease the upper dough with protein and sprinkle with almond slices.

11. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and cool.

12. Cut the rectangle into two parts lengthwise, then cut it into side strips.

>> And these are the recipes for all the Easter cakes baked here throughout the article

>> Here’s the perfect Easter chocolate and almond cake

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