Saturday, 31 January 2009

Madeira cake

I made this cake a little while back; it wasn’t that I didn’t have any faith in my Brussel Sprout cake...but I thought it couldn’t hurt to have a standby item, just in case everyone who tried it started convulsing and frothing at the mouth.

There isn’t really much you can say about Madeira cake. There are only five ingredients – it’s simple and plain yet it’s perfection in cake form. The buttery soft sponge is both satisfying and easy to eat; no need for forks or spoons or cream accompaniments. If contentment were a cake it would be a Madeira. Who am I kidding??? Of course contentment is a might well be this actual one:

Traditionally Madeira cake is flavoured with lemon. This is a vanilla version but you could easily substitute the vanilla with the same volume of lemon juice and some finely grated zest.

The cake isn’t named after the Madeira islands but rather the wine that was served with it. See? This site is educational; it's not all about lusting at cake. (Official stats just in: site is 0.5% educational, 99.5% lusting at cake)

One interesting serving suggestion is to submerge stale Madeira cake in piping hot custard. The only problem I foresee is that I can’t ever imagine having any stale Madeira cake; believe me, this is not a cake that hangs around for long!

Look at the luscious crusty sugar topping:

180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g caster sugar plus an additional 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on top
3 eggs
165g self raising flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

How to make:

- Preheat the oven to 160°C/fan oven 140°C/315°F/Gas mark 2-3.
- Line a 20cm springform tin with baking paper.
- Start by beating together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs gradually, adding a little of the flour if the mix looks like it’s curdling.
- Beat in the vanilla.
- Fold in the flour.
- Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.
- Sprinkle the additional caster sugar over the top.
- Bake for approximately 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Mine took 55 minutes.
- Leave to cool for 20 minutes in the tin before turning out and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Rhiannon said...

So THAT'S how maderia cake is made. I'd always wondered why it tasted the way it did.

Also, big hurrah for it being an informative site - it means that you are 100% justified in baking lots and lots of cakes as they are helping further the blogsphere's collected intelligence!


Fiona said...

I think this is what my Nana used to bake, only she called it rice cake. Thanks - I was wondering where I would find the recipe. You got me thinking of this yesterday as I made your lemon layer cake (again). BTW - thank you for that recipe - it's fab.

glamah16 said...

I have yet to taste a Maderia cake as we dont have that here. So lloks like I will have to make on. Love the crusty topping.

Beth said...

I've started to make madeira cake in my breadmaker - with fairly good results. This looks fab with the topping

Rosie said...

Beautiful maderia cake C.C. You can't keep a good cake down hey?

Rosie x

Mike of Mike's Table said...

I've never had a madeira cake...and I want it. NOW!

Premyscakes said...

madeira cake is my all time fav. Looks perfect.

Y said...

I love this site of yours, and the fact that it's even that tiny bit educational, is a bonus really ;)

Have always wondered why they called it Madeira cake. Now I know!

Dee said...

Oh, I thought it would have Madeira IN it. Must file this snippet away for future reference :)

lisa said...

we made this last week and it was gorgous. thanks lisa

what happened ?how did i get HERE? said...

hey there! just popped your madeira cake in the oven....I'll let you know how it turns out! Fabby blog btw, love an avid baker of cakes myself - choccy cake being my best so far.... mxx

what happened ?how did i get HERE? said...

It was FAB! Just doing another for a friend!!

Lindsay said...

Yum this is an amazing recipe - do you have any tips for scaling it up?


The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Lindsay

Recipes like this will always scale up - the question is what size tin to use. I'd say use your judgement on this - but if it were me, I'd work on the assumption that if I did 1.5x the amounts I'd try a 23cm round tin.

BallyMac said...

Hi This is in response to Fiona who said she thought it was what her Nana used to bake only she called it a rice cake. I am originally from the North East of England and my Mam always made a rice cake. Similar to look at to the Madeira but the ingredients included ground rice. Think this is what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Hi, i was wondering if someone could help me please. i would like to make a madeira cake but i havn't got a recipe or dont know how much ingredients i would need for my 10inch square 4inch deep cake tin. i would be very greatful if someone could help me asap

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Anonymous

That's a big tin you're using so I'd follow this recipe and method above but scale it up so it's 1.5x the quantities I used for my 20cm tin.

A big square cake like that will take longer to cook as well. Near the end of the cooking time check it as if the edges are browning too much you might need to protect them with some foil

Good luck!

Kathy Bacon said...

Hi, thanks for this lovely recipe. I'm not an experienced baker, I'm looking to make this in a 9" square tin - would I use 1.5 times the ingredients as you suggested above? How much longer a cooking time do you think I would need?

Thanks ever so much if you can help!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Kathy

Yes, I think 1.5x would be the way to go.

A big square cake like that will take longer to cook as well. Near the end of the cooking time check it as if the edges are browning too much you might need to protect them with some foil

Good luck!

edzbird said...

Thank you! My Nan used to make a lovely Madeira loaf. I baked your recipe the other evening & it's as good as I remember Nan's to be. I took half to work yesterday & it all went. Love the crusty topping.
Sue x

Anonymous said...

Hi im a bit slow on this 1.5x doing a 10inch square ..for next weekend ..could you please help me with recipe .i gt grasp wat the 1.5 is & would I need more eggs .my tin is a 10inch master class.. & what temp shuld I put cooker on electric fan. shuld it be cooking time 1hour 30mins..ty hope you can help me with this.x

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Anonymous

What I mean by 1.5x is to multiply all the quantities listed by 1.5. So instead of 180g of butter use 270 i.e. 180 x 1.5
It's tricky re the eggs so use 5 - that's what I'd do.
Re cooking time you'll have to judge that - start with what I say in the recipe and check it, giving it 10 minutes before rechecking etc
As I've said to other commenters - cover the edges of the cake if it browns too much - I use foil

Hope this helps

Anonymous said...

Thats really good of you to help.a friend advised me with spunges this is ' to do every thing by 10 as in 10oz flour marg sugar..& half eggs like 5..i tried my first spunge 8bz of every thing in this 10inc master class square was way to shallow only cooked half way up pan..but biggest issue for me was the edges were wel crispy lol ..nt wat we want 1 like I said told me cover the whole tin with greeseproof paper until last 10 mins ..would this really work with a sooner hun.x

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Anonymous

I would never cover a cake whilst it's cooking as it would steam and change the texture.

Happy baking

Jlo211 said...

Hi Caked Crusader, I stumbled upon your recipe for a madiera cake and it's just come out of the oven. It looks exactly like your pictures (first time that's ever happened, and it smells absolutely delicious! Thank you so much - you will make my father happy tonight! Jlo xx