Mum's Madeira Cake
This is the first of my Mum's favourite recipes. I remember Mum making Madeira cake a lot when I was younger. It's an easy cake to make & it's versatile - you can eat it plain, iced or as my husband was telling me yesterday - as a dessert! I've never really thought of Madeira cake as a dessert option as it has quite a firm texture. My husband recommends heating it slightly in the microwave & serving it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream & some caramel sauce. Sounds pretty good to me - think I'll have try that one for myself!
Given the name, I was curious to find out the origins of the humble Madeira cake. According to Wikipedia it is an English recipe that dates back to the 18th or 19th century! Apparently it is named after Madeira wine which was popular in England at the time & people often served the two together. So there you go...you learn something every day!
Anyway, Mum suggested that I ice my Madeira cake with some white icing & lemon zest, so this is what I did! It's lovely - because the Madeira cake itself has a hint of lemon in it, so topping it with another hit of lemon works really well.
So on to the recipe!
8 ozs soft butter (226 grams)
8 ozs sugar (226 grams)
5 ozs plain flour (141 grams)
5 ozs cornflour (141 grams)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Lemon essence (no amount specified here so I would probably opt for a teaspoon. Madeira cake shouldn't taste too strongly of lemon so you don't want to add loads. I didn't have any lemon essence so I used lemon juice instead. I read somewhere that for every teaspoon of lemon essence, use two of lemon juice because the essence is stronger. You could also try adding some lemon rind - perhaps around 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon).
What to do...
- Heat your oven to 170 C.
- Prepare your cake tin by spraying a couple of areas with cooking spray to prevent the baking paper moving about. Then line the tin with baking paper & smooth/fold into the corners. I used a square tin of 20cm x 20cm with a depth of 5cm.
- Using an electric free standing mixer or hand held, beat butter & sugar together until creamy then add the eggs. Beat until eggs combined.
- Sift dry ingredients & add to creamed mixture. Beat until just combined - for around a minute.
- Pour cake mixture into your tin & bake for around an hour until a skewer or knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave the cake in the tin to cool slightly, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
TIP: If using fan bake on your oven, keep an eye on the cake as it will cook faster. The top will go golden brown so if you are worried about it burning, reduce the oven temperature to 160 C. I would suggest checking to see whether the cake is cooked after around 45 mins as mine has turned out ever so slightly dry - so I suspect it may have been in the oven just a bit too long.
If you fancy icing the cake with lemon icing, then here are the ingredients:
2 cups icing sugar
Around 1/4 teaspoon melted butter
The rind of one lemon & a teaspoon of juice (or you could try using lemon extract instead of lemon rind & juice)
- Add the melted butter, lemon rind & juice to the icing sugar. Carefully pour small amounts of hot water in at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency. If the icing turns out too runny, just add a little more icing sugar.
- Turn the cake upside down so you have a flat surface to ice, then slather icing on top of the cake!
- EAT CAKE!