I learnt a great trick recently to impart an almondy flavour into food without the need for essence (which tastes a little synthetic) or for ground almonds (which in all honesty don’t give much flavour). By grating marzipan into sweet breads, buns and cakes you get a subtle almond taste, plus you end with lovely sticky nuggets running throughout.
One thing to note: marzipan isn’t particularly easy to grate, so pop it in the freezer for 30 minutes before doing so. Then try it in all manner of things including these fab scones.
Cherry and almond scones
Makes 6; takes 40 minutes
225g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tbsp caster sugar
½(half) tsp salt
55g unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
50g marzipan, grated (with a fine grater if possible)
50g dried sour cherries
140ml whole milk, plus 1 tbsp extra for brushing
Small handful flaked almonds
Cherry jam and clotted cream, to serve
1 Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and work in until combined using your fingertips. Stir through the marzipan and, if it clumps together, rub in with your fingertips. Stir through the cherries.
2 Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the milk. Using a knife, stir everything together. Knead the dough gently and lightly, then pat out on a light floured surface to about 2cm thick.
3 Cut out 6-7cm rounds using a cookie cutter – you should be able to get about make 6, re-rolling any extra dough. Place on a lightly floured baking tray. Brush the tops of the scones with milk, scatter a few flaked almonds over the top and bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden. Set aside to cool on a wire rack. Once cool, split open and spread with cherry jam and clotted cream.