These delectable little almond cakes are topped with white chocolate and are a pretty addition to any tea party.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 17x 12" baking sheet and line with parchment paper. Butter parchment and dust with flour, tapping off the excess. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 1/4 cups sugar and the almond paste on medium-low speed until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add butter, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and vanilla; mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour. Set aside.
Prep sugar. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with the whisk attachment, whip egg whites until foamy. With the mixer running, gradually sprinkle in remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and beat until soft peaks form. Add a third of the egg-white mixture to the egg-yolk mixture and fold with a whisk. Gently fold in remaining whites.
Spread batter evenly on prepared sheet, and bake, turning pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.
Invert the cake onto a large work surface, and peel off parchment paper. Using assorted 2-inch cookie cutters, cut out cakes. Place cakes on wire racks set over rimmed baking sheets; set aside.
Place the white chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium-high heat; pour over white chocolate, and let sit for 1 minute. Stir until mixture is smooth. Spoon melted chocolate over cakes, letting some run down the sides; spread with a small offset spatula to coat completely. Transfer glazed cakes to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Place a White Chocolate Cutouts on top of each cake; decorate with Royal Icing, if desired. Cakes can be refiderated in an airtight container, for up to 3 days.
Line three rimmed baking sheets with parchment; set aside. In a heatproof bowl set over (but not touching) simmering water, melt white chocolate, stirring constantly. Divide melted chocolate evenly among three small bowls; tint each with food colouring to desired shade. Pour a coloured chocolate onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading it with an offset spatula into a layer about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer to the refrigerator; chill until chocolate is firm, 10-15 minutes. Repeat with remaining coloured chocolates.
Working with one colour at a time, cut out shapes; leave shapes in place on the sheet. (If chocolate is still soft in any area, return to the fridge to harden, 1-2 minutes). Refrigerate until completely firm. Separate the shapes from borders with a small offset spatula. (Scraps can be discarded or remelted and used again.) Cutouts can be refrigerated, between sheets or parchment paper, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.