Lemon Madeira Layer Cake
This recipe is based on a Madeira cake for which there are two secrets to success:
- Use free range or organic eggs whose yolks will contribute a beautiful yellow to the cake.
- Cover it while baking and cooling
175g unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar (or standard caster sugar)
3 free range eggs
50 mls milk
grated rind of 1 unwaxed lemon
160g unsalted butter softened
500g icing sugar, sifted
juice of 1 large lemon
30mls whole milk
1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C
2. Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
3. Add an egg and mix in, followed by a spoonful of flour, then do the same with the other two eggs.
4. Add the remaining flour and mix in.
5. Add milk until it falls from the spoon easily.
6. Put the cake mixture in a well-buttered tin and lined deep round cake tin.
7. Surround the tin loosely in baking paper, securing it at the base of the tin, using its weight to hold it in place.
8. Bake in the oven for 1 hr and ten minutes. Check that it is done by removing the baking paper and inserting a skewer into the cake. If it comes out dry it is done.
9. Re-cover the cake with the baking paper and leave it for a few hours or until the next day. This ensures a soft top and a moist, yet light and buttery cake.
10. Whip/beat the icing ingredients, preferably in a kitchemaid for 5 minutes until really light and fluffy. Or use an electric whisk.
11. Now take a long sharp knife and cut the cake into 3 sections. Do this by turning the cake as you cut. Do not do this when you are in a hurry!
12. Layer the cake with generous dollops of icing and then ice the whole thing with the remainder, or if you have neat layers, just put lots on the top so the layers can be seen. (sorry it will take me ages to figure out how to rotate the image, but you see the layers)
13. I put some lemon zest in some sugar syrup and brought it to the boil, decorating the top with it, up to you.
14. As long as the icing is really light and fluffy, and yellow yolked happy organic of free range eggs have been used in the cake, this is a bit like a princess-yellow flummery.