125g unsalted butter, chopped, at room temperature
¾ cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon almond essence
1 ½ cups plain flour
¼ cup flaked almonds
415g can stoneless black cherries in syrup
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/3 cup icing sugar mixture
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
2 teaspoons milk
Grease a 20cm x 30cm lamington pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, extending paper 2cm above pan edges.
To make cherry filling, heat undrained cherries and sugar in a medium saucepan over a medium heat until hot. Blend cornflour with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Stir into to cherries until boiling and thickened. Transfer to a bowl. Cool for 30 minutes.
Beat butter, sugar and essence in small bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time until combined. Stir in flour.
Spread two-thirds of the mixture evenly over base of prepared pan. Pour over filling, gently spreading to almost cover. Drop spoonfuls of remaining mixture over filling, without completely covering. Sprinkle with almonds.
Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove. Cool in pan completely.
To make icing, place sugar, vanilla and milk in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.
Lift slice onto a serving plate. Drizzle with icing. Stand until set. Cut into bars.
TIP! Be gentle when spreading the filling over the soft base, as it doesn’t need to totally cover the base.