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 cake....it 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
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.