Kaber El Louz – Tunisian Sweet Almond Paste Balls.
I chose these sweet little almond paste balls as the sweet recipe for MENA Cooking Club host country Tunisia.
I made them twice. First with natural food colouring, which I went a little too heavy on and they ended up tasting only and strongly of green tea – at least they were full of antioxidants!
Undeterred I tried again without any food colouring and I much preferred the taste and the appearance.
My recipe is a mix of Tili’s and Amira’s. I increased the amount of rose water in the syrup because the first time I made the Kaber El Louz all seemed fine whilst making the paste, but after I’d left the almond paste to chill in the fridge and I came to shaping it into balls, I found it had dried and was crumbly. I had to keep adding more rose water whilst shaping which was rather messy. I also added in some almond extract to the syrup because when used without the extract almonds are quite subtle in flavour and I definitely wanted to taste almond, just not as strong as marzipan.
Kaber El Louz are an easy sweet to make and children enjoy getting involved. Mine had fun coating the Kaber El Louz in sugar because they weren’t all that great shaping them – sorry kids!
Tunisian Sweet Almond Paste Balls
- 300 grams blanched ground almonds
- few drops food colouring*optional
- icing sugar, for work surface
- caster cane sugar, unrefined for rolling
For the Syrup:
- 150 grams caster cane sugar, unrefined – golden
- 3 tablespoon rose water (or orange blossom water)
- ¾ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place 100ml of water in a small sauce pan, add sugar, rose water, almond and vanilla extract.
- Over medium-high heat stir gently and bring mixture up to a boil, once it boils stop stirring and reduce heat to a fast simmer for 7 minutes.
- In a large heat proof bowl put the ground almonds then stir in the syrup until a paste forms. Leave to cool preferably at room temperature until cold enough to handle, about 30-45 minutes.
- If using food colouring divide your almond into 3 pieces and place in separate bowls, add different colouring (a drop at a time) to two pieces and leave the third without.
- Lightly dust your work surface with icing sugar. For each almond piece, divide and roll into balls of about 7 grams each. If you haven’t divided and coloured your almond paste then you need about 20 grams per ball. Once you have rolled the individual coloured balls take 1 of each colour and press then roll together into a large ball. Repeat this step with the remaining almond paste.
- Roll each ball in caster sugar and place in a petite four case.