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Aug 11, 2010 03:39 AM

How much almond meal gives the same flavor as 1 teaspoon of almond extract?

Can I substitute this way if I account for the dry-wet difference?

If I can, should I toast the almond meal?

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  1. no substitute.

    you just don't want to buy almond extract?

    1. I agree with alkapal. Almond meal does not taste like almond extract and no amount of meal can replace it. In fact, nothing tastes like almond extract; it is made from oil of bitter almond.

      1. You can get some flavor or almonds, obviously with almond meal but you will have to replace a certain amount of your flour to do it. It wont taste the same as almond extract in any event as Janniecook.s says.

        1. I agree with everyone else -- having used both almond meal and almond extract in many recipes I can say they really don't taste the same. Almond extract tastes more like marzipan, whereas almond meal tastes more like regular eating almonds, if that makes sense. Also, if you substitute almond meal (for some of the flour, I'm presuming) the texture of your finished product will change.

          Extracts have the advantage of giving a large wallop of flavor in a small amount of stuff. An ingredient like almond meal, being a whole food, simply has much less flavor density.

          1. Thanks everyone. alkapal, I don't have much space in my kitchen and already have many bottles of spices and flavorings. I'd have to make a conscious effort to use up the almond extract.

            A few months ago, when I was pitting cherries, greygarious suggested I make an infusion from cherry pits, which have a strong almond flavor. I didn't do it at the time, but now wish I had kept the pits and frozen them for future use. The whole pitting process was so messy that I no enthusiasm for reclaiming the pits.

            7 Replies
            1. re: icecone

              on the bright side, the bottles are very small and last forever.

              1. re: jen kalb

                I'm going to try toasted almond meal just to see how the cake turns out. I'm not following any particular recipe, so I can make up the batter as I go. Or I could use it only in the topping to concentrate the flavor.

                On my next baking project that needs almond flavoring, I might get a bottle of almond extract. Then again, that might not be till next summer and I could buy more cherries and make an infusion from the pits. I've read that the pits can be poisonous if not treated properly, so I'd have to be careful.

                1. re: icecone

                  It's true that boiling the cherry pits will yield a nicely flavored syrup, but it also won't be nearly as strong as almond extract. Personally I use the liquid from boiled cherry pits to enhance the flavor of my cherry pies and pastries. But again, the amount of flavor you'll get from extract will greatly exceed that from boiled cherry pit juice.

                  You could also use the toasted almond meal and then add some vanilla extract instead, if you've got that.

                  1. re: visciole

                    Or amaretto liqueur or ground amaretti or almond paste/marzipan. Those will all impart a flavor like almond extract. I use AE a lot. A drop or two in stone fruit compotes and homemade sherbet. In various cake batters and cookie doughs, sub it for half the vanilla extract. Soften basic flavors of storebought ice cream and mix in a few drops of AE,

                    1. re: visciole

                      >It's true that boiling the cherry pits will yield a nicely flavored syrup

                      So boiling is all that's necessary to make the pits safe? I read that most pits are safe; just one or two out of hundreds might have a hint of poison.

                      >You could also use the toasted almond meal and then add some vanilla extract instead, if you've got that.

                      That's what I'm doing. It's baking right now.

                      1. re: icecone

                        I believe the pits of Prunus species (peaches, apricots, cherries, plums) all contain small amounts of cyanide. But you are perfectly fine boiling the pits to extract the almond flavor and the extra pulp clinging to them. (Else I'd be a goner!)

                2. re: icecone

                  You can use a lot of that almond extract making milk steamers with a drop or two in a cup of milk with sugar to taste. A delicious substitute for coffee esp in the evening if you want to sleep.