In my excitement, I decided that a new year of Bakealongs would be appropriate, so I have dredged up the password to this blog from the deep recesses of my mind to bring it to you - don't all thank me at once!
For variety (and because I thought the technical challenges were getting a bit, well, desperate last year), I have opted to bake along with the signature bakes this time (though happily, because I am not being judged, I do not have to add any of my own "twists") so here we go - Madeira cake...
And just for added excitement (and because I didn't have any), I also candied some lemon peel.
I have no idea where this recipe comes from - it's just one I know (I'm pretty sure it's fairly standard) - so apologies if it's yours and I haven't credited you!
175g caster sugar
Zest of one lemon
220g SR flour
50g ground almonds (for added niceness)
Pinch of salt
3 large eggs
Optional candied peel to decorate.
I preheated my (fan) oven to about 160.
Although the recipes seem to say that you should just chuck everything in together and mix it, I can't quite bring myself to do that, so I creamed my butter, sugar and zest together first.
The I just chucked everything else in and beat it for a minute or so to make sure everything was nicely combined.
I greased and lined a 2lb loaf tin, chucked the mixture in it and baked for an hour.
If I had been super organised, I'd have taken it out half way and stuck my candied peel on top, but I wasn't and the candying (that must be the right word?) was still underway at that stage.
When I took it out of the oven, I glazed it with the syrup handily left over from my candied peel exploits and stuck a couple of bits on top.
And here it is!
It looks fairly convincing, I think, and it does indeed have the requisite crack in the top (I had no idea this was such a stringent requirement till watching the show last night - I just thought it was a thing that happened).
Madeira cake by its very nature tends to be a bit "boring", I think - which I guess is where the actual Madeira comes in (though I think that slices with jam and butter are also a valid option).
Shockingly, our wine cellar is a total Madeira desert at the moment, but I feel reasonably sure that can be addressed.
Now - anyone for some candied lemon peel?