Plum, marzipan and cinnamon

Use dark red, ripe plums for the best visual effect.

This plum muffin has a celebration look. To turn it into a casual breakfast, skip the compote topping and serve plain (and still delicious).
Use dark red, ripe plums for the best visual effect. As for the marzipan, try to avoid the luminous yellow stuff, artificial in substance and flavor.
Crazy Jack organic marzipan tastes good and is available from health food shops and some supermarkets.
Makes 10–12 muffins.
480 gr. plain flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt
200 gr. caster sugar
2 free-range eggs
110 gr. unsalted butter, melted
280 ml. milk
grated zest of 2 oranges
120 gr marzipan
icing sugar for dusting
Plum compote
700 gr. ripe red plums, pitted and cut
     into quarters
60 gr. caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1. Make the plum compote first. Preheat the oven to 170°. Place the plums in a shallow baking dish, add the sugar and cinnamon stick and mix together. Place in the oven and bake for 10–20 minutes, until the plums are soft and their skin starts to separate from the flesh (the cooking time will vary significantly, depending on the ripeness of the fruit). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. Put the sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Add the milk and butter (make sure it is not too hot) and whisk to combine.
3. Grate the marzipan on the coarse side of a grater and add this to the batter, together with the orange zest. Now add 80 gr. of the plum compote (pulp and juices) and stir together. Set the rest of the compote aside for later.
4. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the wet mix until just combined (there may still be a few lumps and bits of flour; that is what you want).
5. Line your muffin tins with paper cases and spoon in the mixture, filling them all the way to the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, take the muffins out of the tins and leave on a wire rack until cold.
6. Just before serving, dust the tops with a little icing sugar and top with the reserved cooked plums.