Natural almond flavouring covers a variety of different ingredients. They can be essential oils, powders or essences. Almond extracts are made by combining almond oil from the non-edible bitter almond with alcohol to create a more stable, longer-lasting almond flavouring agent. Almond flavour and extract are most commonly used in cookies and baked goods and pair well with fruits.
Extracts are made by infusing a liquid (usually alcohol) with a flavour, usually by soaking the flavouring ingredient in the alcohol for an extended period of time. Essential oils are made by extracting the pure oil from an ingredient such as a spice or fruit by pressing or juicing it. Flavoured powders are made by grinding up the ingredient to create a dry solid.
Extracts and flavourings are often used interchangeably in recipes, but there are some instances where one is preferable. In dry mixes, flavoured powders are better. In instances where alcohol can interfere with the way the recipe works, like in some chocolate candies where hardening is affected by alcohol, flavourings or other non-alcoholic choices are best. In baked goods, they can often be used interchangeably.
Extracts are more potent than flavoured powders and should be used in small amounts (usually one teaspoon). Essential oils are more potent than extracts and should be measured in drops. Liquid flavourings are often similar to extracts in potency and are used in the same amounts.
Natural almond flavouring and extract can both be made from real almonds and anyone with a tree-nut allergy should avoid them. Artificial almond flavourings may not contain any actual almonds. Some natural almond flavourings are natural in that the flavour comes from non-synthetic sources, such as bananas or apricot pits, but they may not include natural almond flavours. Always check the label before using any almond-flavoured additive if you have a tree-nut allergy.
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