Husband and I were invited to join a community group with other young couples. It’s perfect! I’ll have a consistent excuse to bake and lots of willing tasters. Rather than start fancy, I started simply with Madeira Cake, a British classic that only calls for a few pantry staples.

Madeira Cake
11 September 2014, p. 51 in Be-Ro Home Baked Recipes, 41st Edition
Listening to Project Runway Season 4, Episodes 3-4

Equipment
Kitchenaid mixer
Mixing bowl
Rubber spatula
Cake tester (or toothpick)
Loaf pan
Parchment paper, cut to line pan
Sifter
Wire rack

Ingredients
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 + 1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp + 3 pinches baking soda
1/2 c. + 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
10 Tbsp butter (1 1/4 stick)
3 eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Sift together all dry ingredients except sugar. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add beaten eggs and vanilla a little at a time, adding a bit of the dry mix between additions. Add the rest. Smooth into the parchment-lined pan. Mixture will be thick. Bake for 25-40 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.

Notes on Baking
Once in the oven, I made the mistake of not checking the cake throughout the bake time. I baked it for 45 minutes, which was far too long, and it tasted over-baked. I’d recommend testing it at 25 minutes and then every 5 after until it’s done!

Reviews
Baker: 6 of 10, “Nice flavor, good with coffee.”
Husband: 6 of 10, “Dry.”
Tester (age 6): 5 of 10, “Next time bring something tastier!”

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My taster was my flower girl! She was not impressed, hoping for a sweeter cake, or at least something with icing! But she did crumble her piece into her applesauce, so she liked it a little!

Others suggested serving it with cream or berries. They also tried to re-name it! Top two ideas were “Madea’s Cake” and “Little House on the Prairie Bread”!

I wrote to Lois about my over-baking woes. She replied,

Most Madeira cakes are made in loaf shapes over here so you are fine. It’s quite a dense cake! It’s not usually light and spongy like a Victoria. It’s very buttery and can be rich in flavour.

Not bad for my first go! Next time, though – less oven time!

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