In the 17th century when dinner was served earlier, cake may be eaten at midday with an alcoholic drink such as Madeira. Its popularity drunk alongside this cake is where the name comes from.
There are 2 secrets for a successful Madeira cake:
- Use free range or organic eggs whose yolks will contribute a beautiful yellow and flavour to the cake.
- Cover it while baking and cooling so as to achieve a moist cake.
175g unsalted butter
175g golden caster sugar (or standard caster sugar)
195g SR flour
3 free range eggs
50 mls full fat milk
grated rind of 1 unwaxed lemon (optional)
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. Mix in whole milk until it falls from the spoon easily.
6. Surround the tin loosely in baking paper, securing it at the base of the tin, using its weight to hold it in place.
7. Bake in the oven for 1 hr. 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.
8. Re-cover the cake with the baking paper and leave it for a few hours or until the next day. This ensures a softer top and a moist, yet light and buttery cake.