Almonds are a popular ingredient in Swedish cooking. They are used in pretty much the same way as they are used in the UK (roasted, salted, as a topping etc), but are probably used more frequently. For instance, almonds and raisins are nearly always added to glögg (mulled wine).
Mandelmjöl (ground almonds) are widely used in Sweden and throughout Europe. If you live outside of Europe, where mandelmjöl is better translated as almond meal, it is less widely sold and so you may need to grind your own. Fortunately it is easy to do as shown below.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and remove from the heat. Put some raw (shelled) almonds into the water and leave to soak for 1 minute. Drain them and run under cold water immediately, until cool enough to handle. Hold an almond between your thumb and fore-finger, squeeze to slide the skin off. Let them drain on paper towels.
Grind the almonds using a grinder or a food processor until you have a flour-like consistency.
Mandelmassa (almond paste) is also frequently used in baking in Sweden. It is similar to marzipan, but with more almonds (usually 50%). You can buy it online or at specialist shops.
If a recipe requires mandelmassa you can sometimes substitute marzipan, but you need to take care because of the much higher sugar content.
Recipe for mandelmassa
I usually use shop-bought mandelmassa, but you can make it yourself using the recipe below.
|200 g||(1½ cups)||blanched almonds|
|200 g||(1¾ cups)||icing (confectioners') sugar|
Put the almonds in a food processor and give it spin for a minute or so until they are finely ground. Add the sugar and egg white and mix to form a paste. The almond paste can be wrapped in clingfilm (food wrap) and kept for up to 3 days in a fridge.
Swedish Marsipan (Marzipan) is essentially the same as British marzipan and is normally made with about 25% almonds (Odense, a popular Swedish brand, use 24%).
Pre-rolled green marzipan
Pre-rolled green marzipan is popular for making prinsesstårta (princess cake). It does save the hassle of colouring and rolling the marzipan by hand. It can be bought online or from specialist shops (copy and paste the following into a search engine: Odense färdigt marsipanlock grönt).
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