- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 ounces (one stick) butter
- 8 ounces almond paste (not marzipan; this product has less sugar), room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons flour (cake is best, but all-purpose will do)
Baking and Assembly
- Stale brioche or other good-quality bread -- it has to be stale!
- Toasted, sliced almonds, to taste, for topping
- Maybe a handgun to keep people away
- Bring everything to a boil. Let cool. Will keep for weeks in your fridge.
- Cream butter and sugar in a mixer, as if for cake.
- Break up almond paste into 1-inch chunks and add to butter and sugar, mixing until not quite fully incorporated (a few BB-sized bits are OK).
- Add eggs one at a time.
- Add flour all at once and continue mixing until just incorporated. It should be very soft and spreadable, like the creamed butter and sugar. Store in the fridge or freezer, where it will also last for weeks.
- Preheat your oven to 350° and put Aretha Franklin on the stereo. Really. It doesn’t come out right if she’s not kicking it.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet, or use some nonstick spray. Scraping caramel is so déclassé.
- Cut bread into 1.5-inch slices. Don't stress over the precision, but do right, woman (do right, man).
- Dunk the slices in a bowl of syrup until they stop bubbling, then squeeze them out like a sponge and place them an inch or two apart on your pan. You really need the bread to be stale or it’ll turn to mush right about now.
- Spread the frangipane from edge to edge, about as much as you would to make a peanut butter sandwich. "Not too much," Emily says. "You’re trying to make money off of food that's garbage. Uh, I mean, it's about economics and preventing waste. Oh, just don’t write that, will you? You’re going to get me in trouble."
- Sprinkle almond slices on top and bake in a 350° oven about 15-20 minutes, just enough to set the frangipane and, if you’ve been good and Aretha’s been playing loud, enough to slightly caramelize the edges and keep the inside moist.
That's it. It takes hardly any time and even less effort, and it’s so good you might be persuaded to live this financially responsibly forever.