sugar differential – rhubarb almond honey cakes
There is a difference between almond paste and marzipan. Marzipan is made from almond paste but with much higher sugar content—and egg whites are sometimes added. It has a smoother texture and is more pliable, easier to roll, and use for molding and decorating.
Almond paste contains ground almonds, sugar and water. It’s cooked until it reaches a smooth consistency. Sometimes flavoring such as rose water, orange water, or almond extract is added. Almond paste is primarily used in cooking and baking. The amount of sugar in commercial almond paste varies, so before you add it to your recipe, sample the product to see if you need to adjust the amount of other sweeteners. (I use American Almond’s almond paste, which contains 65% almonds).
These Rhubarb Almond Honey Cakes are the perfect example of how you can maximize the almond essence in every bite. Almond paste also tames the tartness of rhubarb so you can reduce the amount of additional white sugar.
Rhubarb Honey Almond Cakes
Ginger-Honey Rhubarb Compote
- 2 cup 1/2-inch rhubarb pieces, 3-5 stalk
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 5 slices fresh ginger
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) cake flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (5-1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 5 ounces almond paste
- 12 tablespoons (6 ounces/1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup Ginger-Honey Rhubarb Compote
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoon light rum
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons reserved Ginger-Honey Rhubarb cooking liquid
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and partially crushed
Ginger-Honey Rhubarb Compote
1. In a medium saucepan, bring all ingredients to a simmer over medium heat. Cook and stir occasionally until rhubarb softens but still hold their shape, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain mixture over a medium bowl. Reserve cooking liquid and rhubarb separately, cool to room temperature.
1. Adjust the oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325℉. Spray a 6-count bundtlette pan with cooking spray, set aside. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, set aside. Whisk eggs and extract together in a measuring cup, set aside.
2. In the bowl of standing mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, beat sugar, lemon zest and almond paste on medium-low speed until sugar is moistened, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and beat until mixture resembles coarse sand, about 2 minutes.
3. Add butter and honey, increase speed to medium-high and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium-low, add vanilla-egg mixture, a little at a time, beat until combined. Add flour mixture in two additions until barely combine, with a few white streaks still visible. Remove bowl and finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula.
4. Divide batter evenly into prepared baking pan, bake until cakes are golden brown, toothpick inserted into cakes comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool on cooling rack for 5 minutes, then unmold by inverting the pan onto a lightly greased cooling rack, set over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cool for 20 minutes.
1. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, rum, vanilla extract, salt and 1 tablespoon of cooking liquid. Add remaining cooking liquid, 1 teaspoon at a time, to achieve a smooth pourable consistency. (Add more if necessary)
2. Spoon half of the glaze over cakes and let set for 5 minutes. Spoon the rest of the glaze over cake and sprinkle toasted almonds on top. Serve w remaining compote. (Cakes can be stored in airtight container at room temperature for 2 days)