I really love Madeira. I know some see it as boring but if you get a good one it is such a lovely clean taste, it lets you really appreciate the quality of the sponge without bogging you down in loads of fancy flavours. My favourite way of eating Madeira is with a little spread of jam or on its own with a cup of tea. But as it’s essentially a lemon cake, it goes really well with a bit of lemon curd and well would you believe it, I made five jars of the stuff earlier this week! What are the chances?
As always I used a recipe from good old reliable ‘Delia’s Cakes’ because if anyone knows how to make the best Madeira you’d imagine it would be a close call between Delia and Mary Berry… but I think Delia would probably clinch it.
So here’s the recipe I used – it really couldn’t be simpler: http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cuisine/european/english/madeira-cake.html
I followed this recipe TO THE LETTER and got a perfect result. When sifting the dry ingredients from height, don’t be put off by the big white cloud that will envelope you – it will be worth your while I promise. Due to the high sifting, this is probably the lightest sponge I’ve ever produced and it had a lovely rise.
A tip to make life easier – prepare all of your ingredients beforehand so all you have left to do is combine. By this, I mean chop and weight your butter in a dish, beat your eggs and zest your lemon in advance. The only reason I say this is that sometimes these bits can be a bit time consuming and can put you out of step with the recipe if you have to stop halfway through and start zesting and chopping. Read through the whole recipe first and prepare anything that needs preparing. Then you can follow the recipe more smoothly and easily and you’re less likely to miss a step or an ingredient out!
I served mine with a mug of hot lemon tea and a dollop of my home made lemon curd. Delicious