Last week my husband and I made a special dinner to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. For dessert there was a recipe for trifle that we wanted to make. My husband is quite the trifle maker and he hadn’t made one in a while. I’d never made one, and this one sounded good. We figured we could get most of the ingredients as we have a British store close to us. One thing that the recipe called for was Madeira Cake, and we couldn’t find that already made.
No worries, as I figured that there are many Madeira Cake recipes out there and I would just make one. I did a quick search online and this recipe was one of the first ones that I came across. I like Nigella Lawson’s recipe and this one seemed very straight-forward. I thought Madeira Cakes contained Madeira, but I guess they don’t! (Research revealed that the cake was often served with Madeira, thus the name.) This is a very simple recipe, with flavoring just from the lemon zest and juice.
The recipe says to line the pan and I didn’t do that. Don’t skip this step! It was basically impossible for me to get this out of the pan, but since most of the cake was going into a trifle, that wasn’t a problem. I cut the loaf in half and then was able to get it out of the pan. Learn from my mistake. The cake by itself was so good, a little crumbly, but the lemon (and the butter) is a real winner. I love the sugar crust that tops this cake, giving it something a little extra.
8 ounces butter, softened
7 ounces sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
7.5 ounces self-rising flour*
3 ounces flour
Preheat oven to 340 degrees. Butter and line with parchment paper a 9” x 5” loaf pan.
In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time with a tablespoon of flour for each. Gently mix in the rest of the flour and, finally, the lemon juice.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with about 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Remove to a wire rack, and let cool in the pan for about 30 minutes before removing from the pan to cool completely.
Recipe from Nigella Lawson
*I make my own self-rising flour by combining 2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt.