A close textured classic cake ideally with a dome and a crack. This cake signals the most exciting time in a baker’s year – the return of the Great British Bake Off! It also means the return of the Blogger’s Bake Along hosted by Jenny Paulin, which is something I joined in with last year and am very excited for again this year. I am due to move house towards the end of the Bake Off so I will join in for as many weeks as possible and pull a sad pouty face if instead of baking I am packing and unpacking!
Before the series started, we were treated to a preview of what the bakers would have as their first challenge in the tent. Week 1 was cake week which was a Madeira Cake, Walnut Cake and then a Black Forest Gateau. I’m not a massive fan of walnuts and didn’t fancy a Black Forest Gateau so decided to make a Madeira Cake. It also turned out that Madeira Cake is one of my Godmother’s favourite cakes and she was visiting from Aberdeen so it seemed like the obvious choice for the Bake Along.
I remember making Madeira Cake when I was a child using the recipe in my Mum’s Be-Ro book. I decided to use Mary Berry’s recipe from her Baking Bible because, well its’s Mary Berry. I didn’t realise there are ground almonds in a Madeira cake (there weren’t in the Be-Ro recipe anyway!) but because Mary Berry told me to, they went in the cake!
On the show, some of the contestants played about with the flavours but as this is such a classic cake, I decided to keep to the traditional recipe. I was pleased with how my cake turned out – I definitely had the dome shape needed and I’d go as far as saying as I had a pretty good crack in the top. I didn’t have a 7 inch cake tin so I used an 8 inch tin which is why mine may be a little shallower than usual. If you use an 8 inch tin, make sure you test the cake 5 – 10 mins earlier than the recipe suggests incase it has finished baking sooner.
175g softened butter
175 caster sugar
225g self raising flour
50g ground almonds
3 large eggs
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC or 160ºC fan. Line a 7 inch (18cm) deep cake tin with parchment paper
- Measure the butter, sugar, flour, ground almonds, eggs and grated lemon into a large bow and beat for approximately a minute
- Tip the cake mix into the prepared tin and smooth until level
- Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Put the slice of citron peel on top of the cake and continue cooking for another 30-45 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean
- Leave to cool in the tin for roughly 10 minutes before turning out an allowing to cool completely on a wire rack