Oven temperature – 170 degrees centigrade
Start by prepping the cherries. Place the recipe’s weight of cherries in a sieve and rinse under warm water to remove the sticky glaze. Dry the cherries on kitchen paper then cut into quarters and place in a small bowl. Set aside.
If adding marzipan to the cake cut into tiny dice and set aside.
In a roomy mixing bowl cream together the margarine/butter and the sugar until the mixture is pale and fluffy in texture. Add then the eggs one at a time whisking well between each addition. Place the measured flour in a sieve and take out 1 large teaspoon and add to the bowl containing the cherries. Stir the cherries around in the flour until each piece is well coated and separated.
Add the ground almonds to the flour in the sieve and stir the two around before adding the whole lot to the creamed mixture. Add the almond extract (leave out if using marzipan) then fold everything together until the mixture is thick and smooth.
Add about three quarters of the cherries (plus all of the marzipan) to the batter and stir in. Transfer the thick mix to the prepared tin and smooth out with the back of a spoon or a knife. Take then your bowl with the few remaining cherries and dot these evenly over the surface of the cake. Using a skewer or the handle of a teaspoon then push each of these cherries just below the surface of the batter, spreading the batter over to cover the cherry as you go.
Pop the cake into the oven and bake for 30 minutes in a bundt tin and 45-50 minutes in a round cake tin. The baked cake needs to feel firm to the touch and be golden in colour.
Leave in the tin to cool then turn out onto a cooling rack and leave to go completely cold before decorating.
For the decoration :-
In a small bowl place the almond extract and the icing sugar then add hot water from the kettle just 1 tsp at a time and keep stirring until you achieve a thick smooth dropping consistency icing.
Either spoon this over the cooled cake or transfer to a reusable piping bag and drizzle over the cake. Whilst the icing is still wet scatter over a few toasted flaked almonds and cherry halves.
This cake is deliciously moist and will keep for up to a week in a tin.
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