Posted 20 June 2004 - 08:35 AM
Assuming this is correct, what is almond powder, and is it the same as almond flour? Or almond meal?
I'm very confused
Posted 20 June 2004 - 09:00 AM
Master Baker James MacGuire is here to answer all of your baking questions from June 1st thru June 6, 2004.
That being said, let me answer your question.
This vendor carried the almond powder:
You can make the almond powder yourself by working small amounts of almond meal in a blender in brief bursts, then sifting the result through a very fine mesh sieve. It should have the texture of cake flour.
Posted 20 June 2004 - 03:34 PM
As I was saying, good questions will lead to careful answers!
TPT is an abbreviation of the French pastry term " Tant pour tant", which can be loosely translated as " so much for so much". What you said about it's being a mixture of almond powder and icing sugar is true these days, but this is not how it began.
French pastry people and confectioners used to " broyeuses" ( grinders?), which consisted of a pair of mechanised stone cylinders, side by side, with a handle to adjust the distance between them ( have you ever seen a home pasta machine with a manual crank ?). They were used to reduce things to a powder or a paste ( almonds or almonds + hazelnuts could be cooked with sugar to the caramel stage, cooled, and the result , put through the machine at a finer setting each time. Depending upon the exact amounts of nuts and sugar, a fine powder ( nougatine )or an unctuous paste ( praline )is the result.
Anyway, back to tant pour tant: It was probably difficult to grind almonds by themselves without their turning into an oily mess, so grinding them with sugar made sense because there was sugar in the recipe anyway, and tant pour tant was kept on hand for various uses ( i.e. add enough egg white to form a firm paste and put it back through broyeuse and it became raw almond paste, add enough egg white so that it is stiff but can still be forced through a piping bag and it becomes the simplest form of almond maccarons, tant pour tant folded into whipped egg whites formed the basis for gateau Succes, etc.....)
Most places don't have the old fashioned grinder- the broyeuse- anymore, and buy praline, almond paste, and other things ready-made. I don't know why the recipe which you have found for almond cream calls for tant pour tant, and I think that if you have access to powdered almonds, you could replace the TPT with it's equivalent in sugar ( to be added to the rest of the sugar in the recipe) and almond powder.
However, if you can't find powdered almonds, you can put whole or sliced blanched almonds into a food processer with granulated sugar. If you need tant pour tant for another more typical use , it would be best to use icing sugar for a more finely textured result ( remember that North American icing- confectioners' sugar contains an alarming amount of starch so that it doesn't cake together. For this reason perhaps, it never seems to completely melt into things. I replace it with granulated sugar when I feel I can. When patissiers made tant pour tant, they were also turning the granulated sugar in the recipe into icing sugar !).
I hope my reply is helpful. I didn't mean to confuse things further!
Every good wish