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Old 09-20-2006, 12:23 AM   #1
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Blanching almonds

I'm studying an Almond butter cake recipe that I'd like to try out. It calls for blanched almonds to be ground up finely. I am planning to use my coffee grinder for this.

My questions are:

Why blanch the almonds first? Won't dry toasting work?
How to blanch almonds? Just dip in boiling water?
After blanching, should I let them dry out first before grinding up?

Thanks!

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Old 09-20-2006, 01:20 AM   #2
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Are they skinned? Boil some water, dunk them in for 10 seconds, drain them and pop them straight into cold water. Slide the skins off if you need to. They'll have a milder flavor after blanching. I'd put almonds in my coffee grinder in preference to my spice grinder because of the oils, and do let them totally dry. Hope it all comes out nice.

Got a sneak preview at the weekend of some new skin on roasted marcona's from our supplier. Very nice indeed.
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Old 09-20-2006, 02:27 AM   #3
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Thanks ChefScotty! I forgot to mention that the almonds I'll get are skinned and probably pre-roasted already. Do I still need to blanche them?
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Old 09-20-2006, 03:52 AM   #4
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No real need to blanch them if they're already skinned. Especially not in baking. Should you blanch them, dry them thouroughly (with some paper towels and a very low temp oven) before grinding.
If they're pre-roasted they should have a slightly golden colour. If just peeled they're a white-creme coulour. Roasting them will bring out the flavour a bit more, but it's not necesary. Not like for example peanuts which don't realy taste all that well if they're not roasted.
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Old 09-20-2006, 03:56 AM   #5
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I use raw almonds a lot in cooking and I would say that there will be a huge difference in flavors if you use preroasted almonds instead of buying them raw, blanching and peeling them and so on. Think roasted veggies versus blanched, different flavor right?

If the recipe calls for blanched almonds I would stick with this, its not hard, just go buy some raw almonds throw them in boiling water for 5-10 minutes, put them in cold water, take off the skin and continue. If you get extra just store them in an air tight container in your fridge.

Good luck with your cake, sounds delightful!
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Old 09-20-2006, 04:56 AM   #6
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Hmm. I think the only almonds I can get here are the pre-roasted ones that are color brown on the outside. Is this considered skinned? (I'm actually not sure what you mean by skinned almonds.) But these are ready to eat. I would really like to skip the blanching part...
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Old 09-20-2006, 05:04 AM   #7
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If it's brown, that's the colour of the skin, so it is not "skinned", or peeled. The outside should be the same colour of the inside of the nut, sort of light cream or ecru colour. I am not sure the already roasted almonds are "blancheable", I always use raw nuts for cooking and baking.
But to peel them is mainly for the esthetic effect, to make the colour of the finished product less dark. So if you are not so picky about it, you can use them without blanching and peeling. I ususally don't bother with them either, unless we are using pistacchio and want that beautiful green shade.
I just hope your almonds are just roasted, not salted!
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Old 09-20-2006, 05:46 AM   #8
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Urmaniac, thanks for clarifying things for me! I just realized now that the recipe is calling for raw almonds. What I have are ready to eat and are most probably pre-roasted already, therefore I don't need to blanche anymore. Just grind up. :-) (I didn't understand the point of blanching ready to eat almonds. And I only realized now that there is such a thing as raw almonds.)
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopstix
And I only realized now that there is such a thing as raw almonds
Did you think they naturally roasted themselves on a tree? lol

Well, like I said on the other thread, I thought until rather recently all sardines swimmed in stale oil and came out of tins too

Maybe that's why you have never seen the "raw" almonds sold in shops? Because it never occured to you and you took it for granted that "almonds" = "roasted"? Try and see if you can find them, either large supermarket or farmer's markets. They are much more versatile for cooking and baking!
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Old 09-20-2006, 10:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
Did you think they naturally roasted themselves on a tree? lol
LOL! I meant I didn't know almonds could be sold raw...
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