This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
The nut is the seed of a fruit of the peach kind. There are several varieties; the bitter almond is one of them; it is used sparingly to add flavor to the sweet almonds in various preparations. A substitute for bitter almonds is peach kernels. The hard-shell almonds have a higher flavor than the soft-shells, and are to be preferred for cooking purposes.
The ready-prepared almond paste can be used in nearly all recipes where the directions are to blanch and pound the almonds in a mortar, a proceeding which consumes much time; the paste is about one-half almonds and one-half sugar. It is sold at confectionery supply stores jn five and ten pound tins at about twenty-five cents per pound on the average. To use it, shave slices as thin as possible and roll and crumble the shavings into the sugar which is to be used to make the cakes, etc.; for liquid uses, pound the shavings in a mortar, with sugar and milk, till thoroughly divided.
Half pound each almonds (or paste), sugar and flour, 1/4 pound butter, 8 eggs; mixed like pound cake. No. 2-Half pound almond paste, 4 eggs, 1 ounce butter, 1/4 pound flour; butter and yolks worked with the almond paste, whites whipped, and flour last. No. 3-Any white cake, silver cake, starch cake, etc., made with a proportion of almonds or paste, becomes almond cake. (See Albert cake).
Made with a pound of sugar, half pound pounded almonds and yolks of eggs to make paste, or with almond paste, sugar and yolks; spread over cakes before the white icing.
Ordinary white icing, with chopped almonds or almond paste mixed in to spread on cakes for a first coat, and smooth icing afterwards.
Boiled custard, with almond paste added, served in custard cups with whipped whites on top.
No. 1-Almond paste or pounded almonds mixed with pound cake or other cake batter, small lumps baked on pans or paper. No. 2-Two-thirds sugar, one-third almond paste or crushed or minced almonds, white of egg to wet it into dough; small lumps baked on pans or paper; slack oven.