Following on from the first episode of Great British Bake Off, we have been inspired to do a bake each week from one of the three rounds – Signature, Technical Challenge or a Show Stopper. Week 1 – Cake week, Today we have chosen to do a classic Madeira cake, because who doesn’t love madeira cake? Moist, buttery goodness.
In the words of Mary Berry “Madeira cake for me is one of the great classics, it’s a close texture, beautiful plain cake but it should have a dome & a crack on the top”. So Bez, that is what we are going to try and bake!
We spent quite a while trying to decide what would be a good flavour combination, without taking any ideas from the GBBO contestants (pistachio & rosewater, top shout Tamal). We thought maybe a classic citrus flavour with some candied peel to finish would be the best route to go down, it was a toss up between grapefruit & lemon so in the end we chose one with a bit of a twist, and what our trail of thought usually goes to… cocktails…gin…a bramble! (for those of you who haven’t experienced the joy of a bramble, it is a gin based cocktail with lemon juice sugar syrup and a drizzle of creme de mure)
On your marks, get set… BAKE!
- 175g butter
- 175g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 250g self raising flour
- splash of milk
- 1 lemon (juice & zest)
- 3-4 blackberries
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Candied lemon peel & blackberries to decorate
- Cream together the sugar and butter in a bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs one at a time, its useful to put a tablespoon of flour in with the final egg to stop the mixture from splitting.
- Mix in the flour one half at a time and then fold in the lemon zest.
- Transfer to a greased and lined loaf tin.
- Bake for 35-40 mins at 180°c (gas mark 4) until golden brown and cooked through with a crack in the centre of the dome.
- Leave to cool for 10 mins or so, whilst waiting mash the blackberries in a bowl and mix in the juice of about half a lemon. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove the pips & add the sugar (taste the mix, you may want to add more sugar if its very tart).
- Using a skewer place a few holes over the top of the cake to allow the juice to soak in & spoon it over the cake. Leave to cool completely.
So to decorate our cake we are using simply the flavours in the cake – lemon & blackberries.
Like a few of the contestants on the bake off we are also doing a candied peel, however to make it a little more fun we are giving candied lemon curls a whirl.
- 225g caster sugar
- 225ml water
- 1 lemon
- Gets strips of the lemon peel, by removing the flesh & the majority of the white pith from the peel and slicing into thin strips. Alternatively you can use a lemon peeler and carefully go around the lemon
- Put the water & sugar in a small heavy based saucepan on a simmer until the sugar has melted, try not to stir.
- Throw in the lemon peel and leave to boil for around 20-30mins to allow the syrup to reduce
- Remove the lemon peel from the syrup and place on a cooling rack
- Leave the peel to cool for a moment until its cool enough to touch, using straws wrap the peel around the straws and leave to cool completely
- Remove the peel from the straws (this may be a little tricky and a little sticky), the candied peel should now be hard enough to hear a cling when dropped on a plate
Make sure you’re careful when picking up the peel, a few times we didn’t wait long enough and not gonna lie, few burnt finger tips & running round the kitchen saying ‘OW HOT OW’.. still attempted to hold the molten sugar in our hands. Not the best idea, but still they didn’t turn out too bad if we do say so ourselves!
We also had a lot of fun doing Mary Berry’s drop test from last nights ep where she was dropping the peel onto a plate to hear them hit off it. Safe to say we nailed that (maybe not the picture… just the sound)