Friday, 22 January 2016


“A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece.” - Ludwig Erhard

I have fond memories of my grandmother baking Madeira cake, from a recipe she got from an English friend of hers. The cake has a firm yet light texture. It is eaten with tea or (occasionally) for breakfast and is traditionally flavoured with lemon. Dating back to an original recipe in the 18th or 19th century, Madeira cake is similar to a pound cake or yellow cake.

It is sometimes mistakenly thought to originate from the Madeira Islands; however, that is not the case as it was instead named after Madeira wine, a Portuguese wine from the islands, which was popular in England at the time and was often served with the cake.

Ingredients, Cake
175 g butter, softened
160 g caster sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs, at room temperature
115g self-raising flour
55g almond meal
60ml lemon juice
Lemon icing
230g icing sugar mixture, sifted
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line the base and sides of an 8 x 20cm loaf pan.
Use an electric mixer to beat butter, sugar, lemon rind and cinnamon in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour, almond meal and lemon juice and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined.
Spoon into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make icing, combine icing sugar and juice in a small bowl to form a runny paste. Pour over top of cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Allow icing to set for 1 hour.

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