26 March 2013

Nigella Challenge: Madeira Cake

I have decided this blog needs some direction and some purpose. Though there will still be some winding rambles on nothing much at all (promise). Let's call it 'The Nigella Challenge: How to Become a Domestic Goddess'.

It was sparked by something my boyfriend said - why so many cookbooks? How many recipes do you actually need? So I have decided that in order to truly become a domestic goddess, I must cook everything in Nigella's book. It was a moment of inspiration. So last night it began with this Madeira Cake. It's the first recipe in the book, so it became lesson number 1. I have all necessary cooking equipment now (thanks Mother Dearest and Boyfriend), so nothing can hold me back!

Testing out my new cake tester from the Lil' Sis for my B'day.

  • 240g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g caster sugar (plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling)
  • zest & juice 1 lemon/orange
  • 3 eggs
  • 210g self-raising flour
  • 90g plain flour
Preheat oven to 170C and line a 23x13cm loaf tin.

Cream butter and sugar, add lemon zest. Add eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of flour. It doesn't matter which type of flour you use here, the flour stops it curdling when you add the egg so that you get a beautiful smooth batter. Gently mix in the remaining flour (on either the cake-batter/low setting on your electric mixer or by hand). Finally add the citrus juice. I used orange as I didn't have a lemon, but both work just as well. 

Sprinkle with sugar and bake 1 hour until skewer comes out clean. Cool in tin before turning onto wire rack to cool completely.

This cake is ridiculously simple and the crunchy, golden top is a dream. Pair it with a citrus-infused tea and you've got the perfect afternoon tea cake.  

Next lesson is 'Simple Almond Cake'. Though it looks a little complicated to me...