Whipped cream, clotted cream, and coconut cream are all ingredients that most of us are familiar with. They're great for both cooking and baking and add flavor and richness to your dishes. However, there's another type of cream that you might not be as familiar with — almond cream.
Almond cream, also known as frangipane, is a type of cream-like spread that's made using -- you guessed it -- almonds (and no, it's not the same as marzipan or almond paste either). Almonds are ground into a fine meal and mixed with butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour to create a cream-like consistency. Frangipane, although traditionally made with eggs and butter (and sometimes milk), can also be made using non-dairy ingredients for a vegan-friendly iteration. Either way, the cream tastes nutty, rich, and sweet, and is often used as a filling in pastries and tarts, such as Bakewell tart or almond croissants.
Of course, knowing what almond cream is isn't enough if you want to try this delicious spread for yourself. You'll also need to know how to use it next time you head into the kitchen.
How To Use Almond Cream
Almond cream is a pretty versatile ingredient, although it's most frequently used in French, English, and Italian pastries. The filling itself is raw, however, so whatever you use it in, you'll need to make sure to bake it or the cream won't be safe to eat. In general, recipes that call for frangipane include galettes, puff pastries, and tarts.
A couple of famous French pastries that contain this spread include Pithiviers, a type of pie made out of puff pastry that can be filled with fruit or even meat, and dartois, which is a puff pastry often filled with stone fruit and frangipane. If you'd prefer an English pastry, you can opt for the aforementioned Bakewell tart, which is an open-faced pie containing jam, almond cream, and slivered almonds. While these baked goods are all no doubt delicious, they can be a bit labor-intensive for the average home chef. Try simply incorporating it into a regular pie for a kick of almond flavor, fold it into a homemade croissant, or even stuff some French toast with the cream for a next-level breakfast bite.
The History Of Almond Cream
The exact origins of almond cream are actually a bit fuzzy, with no one knowing exactly where the spread hails from. However, it's generally thought that the confection dates back to the 17th century. The legend goes that there was an Italian nobleman, Marquis Muzio Frangipani, whose family served as the personal perfumers to French King Louis XIII. During those days, it was common for clothing to be scented, especially anything made of leather, and Frangipani is credited with creating almond-scented gloves that became very popular. Later, pastry chefs came up with the idea of making a sweet cream inspired by the deliciously-scented gloves. Thus, almond cream was born.
Whether or not you put a stake in the legend, almond cream is a tasty spread that works well in a variety of baked goods. Next time you want to make some pastries, consider whipping out a few recipes that involve almond cream!
Read the original article on Daily Meal.