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Posts Tagged ‘Pam Corbin Cakes’

♥ A recipe for my friend C at Cake, Crumbs and Cooking

When I was growing up, my mother didn’t bake cakes.

She was a fabulous cook but, being Chinese, she hadn’t grown up with baked goods as a household staple. So the cakes we ate were usually bought from the supermarket. My sister and I loved the little jam rolls, but mum’s favourite was the Madeira cake which she bought from either Woolworths or Coles. It was always rectangular, with a dense, squishy crumb.

I felt quite nostalgic when I spotted the Madeira cake recipe in Pam Corbin’s Cakes.  Unfortunately, my first attempt at the recipe was quite disappointing – heavy and brick like, although rescued somewhat by the addition of a jam filling and lots of icing.

I rejigged the recipe – increased the total batter size, reduced the quantity of lemon zest, increased the proportion of baking powder, and switched the granulated sugar to caster sugar. I was pretty happy with the amended version!

This isn’t a soft, fluffy cake. It has a distinctly old-fashioned feel to it – it’s not overly sweet and its firm, close crumb definitely needs icing or jam (or both) to finish it off. I think it would make an ideal base for petit fours or jam sandwiches, or served simply for afternoon tea with a glass of Madeira, as was originally intended…

Madeira Cake
(adapted from a recipe in Pam Corbin’s Cakes)

  • 250g plain (AP) flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 185g unsalted butter, softened
  • 185g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
  • finely grated zest and juice of one lemon (about 40ml juice)
  • 5 large free range eggs
  • 200g icing sugar mixture (confectioner’s sugar)
  • additional lemon juice (for icing)

1. Preheat the oven to 175C (350F) with fan. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour and sifted baking powder.

2. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, lemon zest and caster sugar, stopping frequently to scrape down the bowl.  Beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until combined after each addition. Add a little of the flour if the mixture starts to curdle.  Using a folding action and a wooden spoon or spatula, gently stir in the remaining flour, followed by the lemon juice.  Scrape the thick batter evenly into a greased and lined loaf tin measuring 22cm x 11cm (8½” x 4½”). I used the Tala tin liners I found last month.

4. Bake for approximately 50 minutes (start checking after 40 minutes) or until the top is well risen and brown, and a cake tester inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out cleanly.  Allow to rest for ten minutes in the tin, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

5. Icing: Sift the icing sugar mixture (you really do have to sift this time, or you’ll end up with lumpy icing) into a large bowl and gradually whisk in the additional lemon juice until it forms a thick paste.  Spread over the cooled cake and allow to set before serving.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe

. . . . .

This sturdy cake would be an ideal lunch box treat or after school snack…

It was also a wonderful base for our raspberry and peach trifle!

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