Thursday, May 21, 2015

My Mother-in-law's Madeira Cake (Nigella Lawson)

Once again, I'm baking along with Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen wings and today, we are baking a simple Madeira cake from the book, How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson or here. And of, this recipe originates from Nigella's mother-in-law Carrie, not mine. LOL!

According to Wikipedia, Madeira cake is a traditional English cake eaten with tea or sometimes for breakfast. Madeira cake is somehow similar to a pound cake, a butter cake or a yellow cake but has a lighter kind of texture and is traditionally flavoured with lemon. It was named after Madeira wine, a Portuguese wine from the Madeira Islands, which was popular in England at the earlier days and was often served with the cake.

While researching for the above information, I was doing a search at Google with the phrase "Madeira cake" and was excited to see that this Nigella recipe is actually the second most popular hit that popped out from the search. Instantly, I knew that this cake is going to be good.

I was thrilled at first knowing that I was going to bake this cake but chicken out later when I saw that a standard large loaf of this cake contains 240 grams (1 cup) of butter. I was like "Yippee" and then "Eeew"... Sorry that I sounded so confused!!! LOL! Eventually, I have managed to make peace with myself and baked this smaller loaf of Madeira cake for my portion-size controlled enjoyment...

Madeira cake Nigella Lawson
This is my petite Madeira cake (A recipe by Nigella Lawson)
Instead of using an electric mixer, I can use a wooden spoon to cream this small amount of butter.
Finally, mix in the lemon juice.
Sprinkle the cake batter with extra sugar and bake.
Although this cake is petite, every mouthful of it is fully loaded with flavours and textures.

My first bite is like yum... because of its sugary crusty topping.

It follows by a robust buttery taste but with a hint of lightness from the lemon.

Even after my third or fourth mouthful of this cake, I still can't really differentiate if it is firm like a butter cake or light like a sponge cake as it is like a hybrid of both.

I know that each slice of my cake is little and so I will have two :)

Here's the recipe that is from the book, How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson or here

Using one third of the recipe, I have baked a petite loaf using a 8 x 17 cm loaf tin and the amount that I used and my additional notes are in blue.

240g unsalted butter (softened) (1/3 = 80g, 1/3 cup)
200g caster sugar (plus extra for sprinkling) (1/3 = used a reduced amount of 50g, 1/4 cup)
grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon (1/3 = I used zest of 1/2 a small lemon and 20 ml of freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 large eggs (1/3 = 1 egg)
210g self-raising flour (1/3 = 70g and I used SR cake flour)
90g plain flour (1/3 = 30g)

You will need a loaf tin (23 x 13 x 7cm / 9 x 5 x 3 inches), buttered and lined - I used the cooking spray to grease my tin and just one overhanging baking paper to line my tin.

Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3/325ºF or 150ºC fan forced.

Cream the butter and sugar, and add the lemon zest.

Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of the flour for each.

Then gently mix in the rest of the flour and, finally, the lemon juice. Note: this cake batter can be very thick and in small amount and you have to use a spatula or spoon to spread the batter evenly in your prepared tin.

Sprinkle with caster sugar (about 2 tablespoons - I used 1 tsp for my smaller loaf) as it goes into the oven, and bake for 1 hour (I baked my smaller loaf for just 25 mins) or until a cake-tester comes out clean.

Remove to a wire rack, and let cool in the tin before turning out.

Happy Baking
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  1. Yummzzz, looks and taste like lemon butter cake.. I love butter cakes, can eat the whole loaf.. I like it that you modified and reduced the recipe, coz that's what I usually do, hubby seldom eat cakes and I do it for myself only, huhuhu

  2. Oh yes, it's bake along again! I gotta go buy some butter. Lol.

  3. look at that colour on that cake.. it looks absolutely gorgeous.. great to have a smaller loaf recipe.. heh heh.. i like everything in morsels ><

  4. Your MIL will be so pleased if you offer this to her for tea!

  5. Hmm!! The cake looks so buttery good :)

  6. "I was like "Yippee" and then "Eeew"... Sorry that I sounded so confused!!!" - It fits into a rhyme. I will take your proportion for this cake and try it out since it is a popular cake.

  7. bake more next time and share the fats with your friends...:D

  8. What a delicious and easy recipe! I recently baked an orange butter cake and I realized how much I prefer cakes with texture and density over light and fluffy chiffon for some reason!

  9. Lovely crumbs and so golden! You baked this cake really well!:D

  10. I baked 1/3 of the recipe only too because it's too much for us to finish! It is a confusing cake because I cannot decide if it's a sponge cake or butter cake!

  11. Zoe, this is a great excuse for me to bake a cake that contains butter, Lots! heee..hee...

  12. This petite cake is just nice for one or two person. It is also a lovely present for mother-in-laws. Looks so yummy!!!

  13. That cake is just what I want right now. Dusting with sugar before baking tickles my heartstrings. :)

  14. Hi Zoe
    This cake is more like a dense, moist, soft pound cake to me, and I like pound cakes! I should have scatter the top of one mini cake with sugar, maybe the next time. Yours looks fabulous!

  15. Zoe, I like Lena's suggestion - bake more and share with friends ;) That would do the trick. I love how lovely your madeira cake looks. Odd that this cake is to be consumed with wine though. Tea would be more my kind of thing with this ;)

  16. wow, looks so nice and fluffy...

  17. Zoe, I've never baked this kind of cake, I should give it a go.
    Have a nice weekend

  18. Hi Zoe, I baked this today with one egg. I like the crusty top and my cake is very soft ... mmm is my favourtie type of cake. :))

  19. Okay, this looks so good! I am a fan of any kind of cake under the sun :)

  20. A simple lemon butter cake and, even better, a family recipe.
    I adore Nigella. I'll have to make this one. Thanks, Z. xo

  21. It looks like a butter cake to me. But I like cake with tangy lemon taste. My MIL likes buttery cakes ... hee ... hee .. maybe I try to bake this when she visits us :)

  22. Very pretty, an elegant cake! I adore citrus flavor dessert.

  23. Hi Zoe! Love this simple recipe with the lemon flavour! Yummzz... Btw, I've added your blog to my bloglist. You hv great contents here! Keep it up! :)