After we’d chowed down this Madeira Cake, I had an urge to reaffirm in my middle-aged brain that in fact all of my reasonings on the origin of Madeira Cake were true. That it did originate in Madeira, and I was always correct in my answers to pub quizzes, (oh, the pub! it’s been 18 weeks since I stepped inside one), anyway, I was wrong all along.
The cake was named after the Madeira wine from Portugal, which from the 18th century onward, was drunk alongside the cake in the afternoon for tea. Hence, the name. So now I know!
I love plain things like rich tea biscuits, scones, shortbread and so on. This cake is one of my favourites, and it’s quite versatile in its accompaniments. You can spread jam on it, have it as a pudding with custard or spread it with butter just like my grandmother used to do.
240 grams soft butter
200 grams sugar
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
300 grams of self raising flour
half teaspoon of baking powder
Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin
Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/325f
Mix together the butter and sugar. Beat in the whisked eggs slowly. Add the flour, baking powder and the lemon juice.
Mix together really well, then fold for a minute to create some air.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin, sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar and pop into the oven for about 50 minutes, checking at 45. The cake is done when a skewer comes out clean.Put onto a wire rack to cool.