Sunday, 28 June 2015

Madeira LSP Cake

I am so totally out of the loop on current television ‘must sees’ that it’s embarrassing.  You name a hit show of the last 5-10 years and I can guarantee I won’t have seen it.  Mad Men?  Breaking Bad?  Game of Thrones?  Nope.  Never even seen a snippet of them.  House of Cards? No, which really baffles me given I’m a huge Kevin Spacey fan.  What about home grown ‘must sees’ like The Thick of It?  Downton Abbey? Broadchurch?  Nope, they are just names to me.  I’m not trying to be cool, and I’m certainly not one of those people who says, ‘oh no, we don’t watch television’ in a tone that suggests you’ve just asked them whether they eat babies.  I can’t explain it – modern drama just doesn’t appeal.  There is however one TV show we are utterly obsessed with and it’s a cartoon series called Adventure Time.  I don’t usually like animation but there is something about Adventure Time that is so original, imaginative and downright bonkers that I am hooked.  It packs more creativity into one short episode than most shows could dream of doing in a series.

Adventure Time is set in a post-apocalyptic world, which is never-quite-explained.  We know that the world and most humans seem to have been wiped out in the ‘Mushroom Wars’ and all the characters now live in the Land of Ooo, which is divided into different regions most of which are ruled by a princess or a king.  The protagonists are brothers Jake the Dog and Finn the Human (it is explained- Jake’s family adopted Finn as a baby, yes I have got it the right way round!) but for me the best character by a country mile is Lumpy Space Princess (often referred to as LSP).  LSP is the self-centred, pretty horrible princess of Lumpy Space who prefers to live rough in the woods and is happy as long as she has a can of beans to heat up for dinner.  Even her apologies turn into insults this is my favourite so far: ‘I'm sorry that you're starving because I ate all of your crops, even though you're all still really fat, and I probably helped you lose some weight.  Completely convinced of her gorgeousness (fair enough – look at her!) she has a brilliant voice and way of speaking that is quite hard to impersonate, much as I try.

This cake is my tribute to the awesomeness of LSP.  The flower tin I used gives an approximation of her luscious lumps but isn’t 100% accurate.  It was better than trying to carve a cake into the right proportions….me and cake carving do not get along; look at the issues I’ve had with the decoration alone!

The cake itself is a classic madeira – buttery, spongey and, thanks to the addition of the almonds, moist and keeps well (I say that, but I’m guessing….don’t judge!).  If LSP does nothing for you, then overlook the decoration and focus on the lovely Madeira underneath – it’s a cracker!  I am under no illusions that my decoration skills are poor.  If I asked LSP what she thought of it I have no doubt she would say something like: ‘it’s totally lame, whatever.’


For the cake:
175g unsalted butter, at room temperature
175g golden caster sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g self raising flour
50g ground almonds
1 tablespoon milk – only add if needed (see method)

For the glaze:
300 icing sugar
1-3 teaspoons boiling water – you might not need it all
Purple food colouring

To decorate: gold star, black icing


Preheat oven to 170C/Fan oven 150C/340F/gas mark 3.

Grease a 20cm flower shaped pan – you can also use a normal 20cm round springform, or a 900g loaf tin if you’re not fussed about making your cake look like LSP!

Beat together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy – don’t skimp on this stage.  Because of the ratios, and the fact that it’s golden caster sugar, the batter won’t go quite as light and fluffy as it would for say a normal sponge mix.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Beat in the vanilla.

Fold in the flour and ground almonds.

The mixture should be dropping consistency i.e. fall of the spoon with only gentle encouragement.  If it isn’t, fold in a tablespoon of milk to slacken it.

Spoon into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.

Bake for approximately 40 mins – 1 hour.  It will take nearer the hour if you use a loaf tin, but less if you use a round tin.  Start checking after 30 minutes for a round tin, just to make sure you don’t leave it in too long.  The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 20 minutes before de-tinning and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.

Once the cake is cool place a large sheet of foil under the cooling rack – this will catch any icing drips and make the clean up easy.

Now make the glaze:  Beat the boiling water into the icing sugar a teaspoon at a time.  This doesn’t seem like a lot of water but the glaze can become too runny so quickly that I like to go slow and monitor the change each teaspoon makes.

When the glaze is gloopy but not quite as runny as you want, add the food colouring.  As this is a gel it will also have an effect on the viscosity of the icing.

Once you reach the point where the icing is glossy and runny (but still thick) spoon it over the cake and gently spread it out so that it runs down the sides.  To get good coverage on the sides there will be waste, hence the foil under the cooling rack.

Leave to set.

Using a black icing pen (I wanted to get one from the supermarket but they didn’t have any – Tesco, grrrrr, so I ended up making one with food dye which was a bit grey) ice on LSP’s eyes, mouth and arms.

Place the gold star in the centre of her forehead.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Jo said...

I absolutely love this, her expression is priceless. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for this programme as it sounds hilarious!

You're not alone with feeling out the loop with modern tv. I've only seen 1 and 1/2 of the programmes you've mentioned (I stopped watching Game Of Thrones at the end of series 3 as I didn't like it. I found myself intensely disliking all of the characters!)I've been watching reruns of older programmes like Morse or Taggart instead!

Sumaiyyah said...

Dearest CC, I was so excited when I read your post on the chocolate tarts. You're back! Hope you've been well. I've never watched Adventure Time but I've seen people make LSP mini cheesecakes and stuff and I love cartoons- have never grown out of them, really!

Gloria Baker said...

I love this !!!
Im happy you comeback!

Gloria Baker said...

I love this !!!
Im happy you comeback!

Gloria Baker said...

I love this !!!
Im happy you comeback!

Babsie said...

Coincidence.......I saw a post by Olive Magazine about three minutes ago for Strawberry Trifles, which included Madeira Cake. I did a quick google search for a Madeira Cake recipe and found one on the BBC Good Food site. Then I thought to myself, I wonder if one of my favourite bloggers has returned to the fold, and even if she hasn't, she's bound to have a recipe for Madeira Cake......and there you are! I'm so pleased you're back, I don't care how infrequently you post, as long as you post!

Lisa Niblock said...

I too don't watch a lot of TV. It's not that I'm against TV I just don't seem to have the time between being a full time mom, working two part time jobs, babysitting, and baking and blogging and reading and sleeping and so on. I used to love a good drama, but sadly just haven't gotten into one lately.

I do though watch Phineas and Ferb with the girls and if I catch it in the after school My Little Pony. Both shows are just clever. I will now need to check out this Adventure Time show! Cake looks great!

Choclette Blogger said...

Well done you for giving it a go CC. I'm one of those horrified " we don't have a TV" types, so none of this means a great deal to me. But that's fine because there is CAKE ;-)

Cathleen said...

Oh my goodness, I love this so much!!
I have also never seen any of those TV shows you mentioned...except for Breaking Bad and Adventure Time :) I seriously must make this!!

Stuart Vettese said...

So great to have you back CC - and as for LSP - I thought you had mis-typed LSD! Very trippy and original! Looks lovely

sensibilia said...

Your taste is impeccable, no pun intended. I have seen Broadchurch, but none of the others you mentioned. Totally can do without. Gave up on Downton two series ago.
Will always find time to look at your cake recipes, however.

Baking Addict said...

Gorgeous cake! I've not watched any of the TV shows mentioined including this one but I love that you made a cake for your favourite character!

Kerry said...

I LOVE LSP! I'm also now obsessed with this cake! So glad I'm not the only adult that throughly enjoys this show!