Elizabeth Skenderovic from Dundalk was looking for a recipe she misplaced for making an almond cake using almond paste.

Kay Berney from Baltimore shared a recipe for what she calls marzipan cake that is made with almond paste. She said she has been making this cake for many years, and it was a favorite of her late husband and her father, who both loved the taste of marzipan.

Both marzipan and almond paste are made with ground almonds and sugar, but in different proportions and with different uses. And while they have a similar flavor profile, the two are not entirely interchangeable. In this country, almond paste is what is most commonly used as an ingredient in cakes, tarts and pastries. Marzipan is more typically used as candy filling, and because it has a smooth, supple texture, marzipan is also used to shape and mold candy figures, and can be used as an alternative to fondant in covering cakes.

Berney said she always made this cake for her husband's birthday and other special occasions. She still makes it for family gatherings and she said that she likes to serve it with a homemade chocolate sauce on the side and fresh raspberries. Don't be fooled by the plain appearance; this cake is moist and sweet with a wonderful almond flavor through and through.

Briefs

Joan Metcalf from Westminster is trying to find the rest of a recipe for a fat-free cookie called Chocolate Bliss Bites from the February 2007 issue of Prevention magazine. Unfortunately, she is missing part of the recipe and she would like to be able to make the cookies again.

Edwin and Eleanora Kues from Rosedale are looking for a recipe for making pickled onions or sour pickle onions. They said they do not have access to a computer so they are not able to research this on their own and would appreciate if someone could provide them with a good and easy recipe.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278 or email baltsunrecipefinder@gmail.com. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.

Marzipan cake

Makes 8-10 servings

1 cup sugar

6 ounces almond paste

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

5 eggs, at room temperature

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons, all purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter an 8 1/2-by-41/2-by-21/2 inch loaf pan and dust with flour.

Using an electric mixer or food processor fitted with metal blade; pulverize the sugar and the almond paste until the mixture it is in fine pieces. If a food processor is used, transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Add butter and almond extract and mix until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until thoroughly combined. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and add to the egg mixture and mix until just until blended.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife blade around the edge of the cake and invert onto the rack. Lift off the pan and cool the cake upright on the rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.