Marmite. Strong, salty and distinctive. A divider of people. You either love it, or you hate it.
I’ve always been a true hater. Horrible stuff. I could never understand how anyone could love even a little of it on their toast. Even the smell was too much. Yes, i most defiantly sided with the haters.
Recently, however, i’ve changed sides. Should that even be possible? When one my best friends found out she was appalled; apparently this is one argument, allegiances are for life. I must now, however, raise my hand and declare myself to be a lover of marmite. I love its salty, savoury, stickiness. I love it’s jar with its chunky yellow lid. I love it in sandwiches, I love it on toast.
Sorry haters, I’m a traitor to your cause.
It happened quite recently. At work in the Pre-School, marmite sandwiches fall on our snack menu for the little ones. Somewhere along the line my fake, leading by example, ”isn’t this yummy?!” face stopped being quite so fake. I found myself searching for the sandwich with the thickest layer of marmite. I stopped eating it because I had to, and started quite looking forward to marmite sandwich day.
These scones stand as a declaration of my new found love. As any marmite lover will of course know, marmite does wonderful things with cheese. It brings out a wonderfully, hearty, savoury quality. The 2 tablespoons of marmite called for in the recipe may seem like a lot to a marmite hater, but honestly, the taste is subtle. The main taste is cheese, but a stronger, more mature tasting cheese. Its the marmite doing that. If you’re really not convinced, try making them with half the marmite. Ease yourself in gently, perhaps you’ll discover like me that marmite is, actually, rather good.
These smell heavenly baking the oven. I love the smell of cheese as it begins to melt and turn golden. Eat them warm, spread thickly with butter or, dare I say it, a little more marmite.
Are you a lover or a hater?
Cheese and Marmite Scones
(adapted from BBC good food)
140g plain flour
140g wholemeal flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
50g cold butter, cubed
85g mature cheddar (the strongest you can find), grated
2 tablespoons marmite
2 tablespoons greek or natural yoghurt
3 tablespoons milk, plus a little extra to glaze
Preheat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Lightly grease a large baking tray.
In a large bowl, combine the plain flour, wholemeal flour, and baking powder.
Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. You could also pulse it together in a food processor if you have one.
Stir in around half (45g) of the cheese.
In a separate jug, beat together the egg, marmite, yoghurt, and milk. It will take a bit of work to get the marmite to combine with the other ingredients, but keep going!
Make a well in the centre of your dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients, and mix together using a cutlery knife. The dough should be soft, but not sticky. If you find that it is too dry and the ingredients won’t come together, add a splash more milk.
Using your hands, form the dough into a ball, then roll out on a floured surface. You want your dough to be around 2cm thick.
Stamp out rounds using a cutter, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Paul Hollywood says to ensure that you don’t turn the cutter around the dough when attempting to remove your rounds, as this will impede the rise.
Squash the trimmings back together and roll out again to cut out the final scones.
Brush the top of each scone with a little milk, then top with the remaining grated cheese. Be generous!
Bake for around 10-12 minutes, or until risen and golden.