My baking journey began when I was in class 7. We had a stove-top oven which resembled an idli cooker and the cake I had perfected was the sponge cake that was in the oven’s recipe book. Of course that was during the pre-internet stage and cake was still a western goody.
Along the journey I experimented variations of that lovely sponge. I never felt the need to try a different sponge until I actually started studying recipes and cakes. Now that I bake for commercial orders, I have little time left to bake something for myself. And each time I do get a chance I pick a naked cake, which is free from any kind of icing.
I spend a lot of time reading about classic cakes and decided that I am going to try all of them, in my own time, of course. The first on the list was the Madeira cake.
This cake has a firm yet light and fine texture making it a perfect base for decoration. It is eaten with tea or for breakfast and is traditionally flavoured with lemon. This cake dates back to 18th century. Madeira cake is similar to a pound cake or yellow cake.
It is named after Madeira wine, a Portuguese wine which was popular in England and the cake was served with wine. It is often mistaken that the cake originated from Madeira Islands.
175 gms / ¾ cup unsalted butter
175 gms / 1 cup caster sugar
15 ml/ 1 tbsp lemon juice
225 gms/ 2 cups all purpose flour
7.5 ml / 1 ½ tsp baking powder.
Preheat the oven to 1600 C. Grease a 7 inch round deep cake tin and line with parchment paper. Sieve the flour with baking powder. Beat together butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the lemon juice. Stir in the flour and baking powder. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
Bake for about 40 mins , until golden brown or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the til for about 45 mins.
The original recipe called for a baking time of 1 ¼ - 1 ½ hour, but my cake was ready in 40 mins or so.
I used two 6 inch pans and divided the batter equally.