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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

My Quest for the perfect Madeira Cake

First attempt. 06/03/2012:

Update. Second attempt 30/07/2011:

Yup...getting there!

So, here's my recipe. It's pretty simple so whatever your size of cake just remember that the self-raising flour, sugar and butter are the same measurement as are the egg and the plain flour. (for the egg just round up or down as you see fit if you get what I mean). Feel free to use either lemon or vanilla, I like to use both. And feel free to tweak to your taste.

What you'll need:
                                                       8-inch (round)                      9/10-inch (round)
Self-raising flour                                       10 oz                                   12.5 oz
Plain flour                                                 5 oz                                    6.25 oz
Sugar                                                       10 oz                                   12.5 oz
Butter                                                      10 oz                                   12.5 oz
Eggs                                                          5                                          6/7
Vanilla Essence                                          1 tsp                                     2 tsps
Lemon Rind (grated)                                1 lemon                                 2 lemons    
Lemon Juice                                       half of a lemon                          one lemon
Milk (optional)                                         1 tsp                                       2 tsps

What to do:

1. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add the lemon rind, juice and vanilla essence. (you can use vanilla flavouring instead but essence is a bit more concentrated and therefore better).


3. Add the egg a little at a time mixing briskly to avoid curdling. You can add a little flour with the egg to avoid curdling.

4. Add the self-raising flour and plain flour and mix until a thick but pourable consistency is achieved. (next time I bake I'll take a picture of what it should look like)

5. Add the milk (optional) and mix well but not too much.
Note: if adding milk, use less lemon juice. If you want to use lemon juice, forgo the milk. The more lemon juice you use the looser and more crumbly your cake and vice versa.

6. Pour into a lined cake tin and scoop out centre towards the side of the tin (this is so that it does not form a dome but instead has a nice flat surface.

7. Bake in the oven at 160*C for 1.5 hours.

8. Leave to cool for 10 mins in tin on a wire rack. Then turn cake out on tin and directly onto wire rack and allow to cool. 

9. Enjoy your cake. Wrap in foil and store in airtight tin to enable it last longer.


- Use 6 newspaper sheets folded to wrap the outside of your cake tin. This ensures that the outside takes longer to cook enabling the inside of the cake to bake properly without the outside getting burnt.
- Use a good baking liner for the inside, it makes it so much easier to take your cake out of the tin. Mine is reusable and my cakes don't stick to the sides of the cake tin! Nothing I use it for sticks really which is quite good.
- Make sure to scoop the centre out well. This is so that when it eventually starts to rise that's when the centre starts to fill up and rise and you don't end up with a dome.
- Use unsalted butter where possible. Yes, there is a difference.
- You can use more grated lemon rind if you wish but don't use too much lemon juice, it will make the cake too crumbly and it will just fall apart in your hands when eating.