There are two sorts of almonds, the bitter and the sweet Bitter are used to make oil, which is used in many baking recipes to add an intense flavour. Sweet are among the most commonly used nuts. Ground sweet almond are especially useful in baking and can be substituted for flour to create a dense, moist texture in cakes and biscuits. They are also used in savoury dishes - groundthey can thicken romesco sauce and add texture and flavour to chicken korma. Dishes described as ‘amandine’ are served with whole or split blanched almond – trout amandine being a universal classic.
They can be used as decoration, or for desserts, in sweets and pastries such as praline or the Spanish version of nougat (turrón), and in macaroons and marzipan. In savoury dishes they’re used in everything from stuffings to salads and tagines to pilau. Several recipes might tell you to toast before using them which intensifies their flavour and gives more colour and crunch. For the freshest flavour, grind your own as you need them because they become stale quickly.